Song of the Week: "To Lay Me Down"


Dave McMurray: "To Lay Me Down" (feat. Jamey Johnson)

I'm not one that will listen to rote cover versions of songs we love by the original artists. Thankfully, jazz saxophonist Dave McMurray knows all about dynamic reinterpretations. On his latest Grateful Dead cover from his latest long player Grateful Deadication 2 (Blue Note), he's taken one of the Dead's most beloved ballads -- from the mighty pen of Robert Hunter/ Jerry Garcia -- and infused it with mournful sax and vocals from Jamey Johnson, and in the process showed us another color in the spectrum of the blues. The song also features contributions from pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz, guitarist Larry Campbell, and bassist Don Was. Moreover, his new 9-song set offers up Dead favorites and deep cuts including "Truckin'," "China Cat Sunflower," and the lead single "Scarlet Begonias" which features vocals by Oteil Burbridge. Returning to the fold are McMurray's Detroit associates guitarist Wayne Gerard, keyboardist Maurice O'Neal, pianist Luis Resto, bassist Ibrahim Jones drummer Jeff Canady, and percussionist Larry Fratangelo. 

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