Holly Bowling’s classical take on the Grateful Dead, Better Left Unsung in stores tomorrow, 12/9

It’s been over twenty years since the untimely passing of Jerry Garcia and the subsequent dissolution of the Grateful Dead. Since then, their music has become a touchstone for musicians of every genre. Classical musician Holly Bowling adds to the canon with a stellar collection of songs by the Dead played solo on piano complete with improvisations that reflect the unique style of Garcia and his iconic band.

The highlight of the two-disc set is a long, winding version of “Eyes of the World,” which Bowling recreates after painstakingly transcribing every instrument from a particular live recording. For those keeping track, this take on the tune was played on June 18, 1974 in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a tour-de-force reimagining complete with massive chords standing in for Phil Lesh’s bass and the polyrhythms of the two drummers.

Elsewhere, she plays such favorites as “Franklin’s Tower,” “Cassidy,” “Terrapin Station (Suite),” and “China Doll.” The melodies of these classic tunes sneak up out of a symphony of notes.

I particularly enjoyed her version of “Terrapin,” especially since she manages to simultaneously evoke Garcia’s pinpoint guitar work and his wispy vocals before raising the roof on the final section of the intricate tune.

Bowling seems to have found her niche since last year’s Distillation of A Dream: The Music of Phish Reimagined for Solo Piano was greeted with critical acclaim. This collection will expose fans of classical music to the timeless melodies of the Grateful Dead and reveal the universality of their music to people who are already fans.

This entry was posted in TVD New Orleans. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text