The latest batch of Grateful Dead covers off the all-star tribute album Day of the Dead have been unveiled, including My Morning Jacket singer Jim James’ rendition of the legendary jam band’s “Candyman.” James is joined on the American Beauty cut by “friends” – the National’s guitarist Aaron Dessner, bassist Scott Devendorf and drummer Bryan Devendorf – who gives the track a dusty, aching vibe thanks to some lap steel guitar.
The new batch of songs off the three-disc Dead tribute album includes Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s space funk interpretation of the band’s “Shakedown Street,” arguably the most danceable track in the Dead’s vast catalog. Elsewhere, Sharon Van Etten, Perfume Genius and friends teamed for “To Lay Me Down,” Charles Bradley and Menahan Street Band covered “Cumberland Blues” and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy tried his hand at the somewhat obscure Jerry Garcia Band cut “Rubin & Cherise.”
Day of the Dead is due out May 20th through 4AD. The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner curated the project, with all proceeds from the triple album benefitting the Red Hot Organization. The War on Drugs, Wilco, Mumford & Sons, Courtney Barnett, the Flaming Lips, Real Estate and dozens more contribute Dead covers to the all-star compilation.