Title - Jerry's Smilin': Guitar Tribute To Grateful Dead
Artist - Damià Timoner
For those not in the know, Damià Timoner has done something remarkable here.
An acclaimed and virtuosic Mallorca, Spain-based guitarist, arranger, and conceptual thinker - he has rendered an elegant and entertaining musical portrait of one of the world's most legendary rock bands.
A self-described "Deadhead," Timoner initially learned about The Grateful Dead by reading about them in the newspaper. He picked up a few of their LPs including What a Long Strange Trip It's Been (1977) and Live / Dead (1969).
And that was it. He listened to their music in earnest and became a lifelong fan. "The Grateful Dead changed my view of music and life," he explains.
Sometimes you come across a production that makes you fundamentally rethink an artist or band. That's what Timoner has done with his brand new album, Jerry's Smilin': A Guitar Tribute To The Grateful Dead.
1. 'Brown-Eyed Women'
2. 'Ramble On Rose'
4. 'Built To Last'
5. 'Lady With A Fan / Terrapin Station'
6. 'Blow Away'
9. 'Dark Star'
10. 'Touch of Grey'
Having created a Latin jazz window for new audiences and generations to discover The Grateful Dead's music, Timoner opens on the one-two pop bounce of 'Brown-Eyed Women' (which was first performed by the Grateful Dead in August 1971 and was then a regular part of the repertoire being absent in only 1975), and backs that up with the low slung 'Ramble On Rose,' the perfect-for-nylon-string guitar vibe of 'Cassidy.'
Next we get the lo-fi, smooth groove of 'Built To Last' and the gently funky, hazy-swazy ambiance of 'Lady With A Fan / Terrapin Station' (and which are also the first two songs of a 7-movement suite named 'Terrapin', forming all of side two of the LP Terrapin Station, released by the Grateful Dead in 1977).
Timoner's Latin guitar take on the AOR of 'Blow Away' has to be heard to be believed, and is backed beautifully by the slow, melancholic crawl Americana of 'Loser,' then we get an immaculate rendition of the jaunty, feelgood blues of 'Operator,' with this highly imaginative album coming to a close on the original psychedelic guitar and keys sound trip 'Dark Star,' closing on the can-do optimism and self-improvement pop rock message within 'Touch of Grey.'
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