The National celebrated the release of their massive, three-disc Grateful Dead tribute album Day of the Dead by visiting CBS This Morning Saturday to perform the legendary jam band’s “Peggy-O” and talk about the all-star tribute compilation.
Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National spoke to CBS’ Anthony Mason about the mammoth collection, which benefits Red Hot. “It was really hard to decide when we were done, because honestly it could be 12 hours long,” Aaron Dessner said of the 59-track album.
The twin brothers also talked about performing with the Dead’s Bob Weir inspired the duo to work on the tribute LP, which also features Wilco, Flaming Lips, Mumford & Sons, the War on Drugs and dozens more.
“We had a kind of wish list of artists we wanted to work with, But once word got out, artists started coming to us,” Bryce Dessner said. Aaron added, “There is chemistry, real chemistry between these groups of people coming together to play the music so well. It wasn’t a forced kind of awkward, ‘Let’s cover the Grateful Dead.’ It was like it was already there. We were just kind of turning the faucet on essentially.”
The National also performed their dreamy, atmospheric rendition of the Dead live staple, Jerry Garcia and company’s version of the Scottish folk song “The Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie.” In addition to the National’s performance, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, who pops up on three Day of the Dead tracks, performed his tender, piano-led take on Shakedown Street‘s “If I Had a World to Give” for the program.
Watch Aaron and Bryce Dessner’s interview with CBS This Morning below: