STOLEN ROSES: Songs of the Grateful Dead

Stolen Roses is one of those projects which grew in the doing. David Gans, the esteemed host of the Grateful Dead Hour, wanted to assemble a CD of often obscure and/or out-of-print versions of Dead tunes which had been recorded not as part of a tribute album but because the recording artist liked the songs. This would include the Cache Valley Drifters' "Cumberland Blues," the Stanford Marching Band's "Uncle John's Band," Joe Gallant and Illuminati's big-band go at "Unbroken Chain," and Sex Mob's "Ripple."

As he searched, he found, in the Grateful Dead tradition, graceful ways to bend the rules. He liked Michael Norman Mann's stage play Cumberland Blues, and invited the cast to record "High Time" for the project. He learned that the Patti Smith Band had recorded "Black Peter" on the night Jerry Garcia died, and was willing to make it available. Bob Dylan has had several Dead songs in his repertoire for some time, and allowed a live take of "Friend of the Devil" to be included in this album. Widespread Panic has performed "Cream Puff War" in concert, and when they were asked for a copy, they knocked off a studio version.

Two pieces were commissioned. The Persuasions had asked about recording Dead tunes, and somebody came up with an exactly perfect idea for them -- doing the gospel-influenced "Black Muddy River." They produced it so beautifully it led to a full album of Dead material by the group (the album will be called Might As Well, out this fall on Grateful Dead Records/Arista). And Jerry Garcia's long-time friend and collaborator David Grisman struck Gans as the perfect musician to try the Dead's classic "Dark Star." Throw in Elvis Costello's medley of "Ship of Fools" and "It Must Have Been the Roses" and Henry Rollins' (!) take on "Franklin's Tower," and you have Stolen Roses.

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Track Listing

1. Cumberland Blues - Cache Valley Drifters
from Step Up to Big Pay!

2. High Time - Original cast recording
from the World Premiere of the Stage Play Cumberland Blues

3. Brown-Eyed Woman - The Pontiac Brothers
from Fiesta en la Biblioteca

4. Friend of the Devil - Bob Dylan
Live Performance - previously unreleased

5. Ship of Fools/It Must Have Been the Roses - Elvis Costello
Live Performance - previously unreleased

6. Black Peter - Patti Smith Band
Studio recording - previously unreleased

7. Black Muddy River - The Persuasions
Studio Recording for this project - previously unreleased

8. Dark Star - David Grisman Quintet
Studio recording for this project

9. Ripple - Sex Mob
from Solid Sender

10. The Golden Road - The Bobs
(from Cover the songs of...)

11. Unbroken Chain - Joe Gallant and Illuminati
from Code of the West

12. Franklin's Tower - Wartime Featuring Henry Rollins
from Fast Food for Thought

13. Pasta on the Mountain - Leftover Salmon
from Bridges to Bert

14. Cream Puff War - Widespread Panic
Studio recording for this project - previously unreleased

15. Uncle John's Band - Stanford Marching Band
(from Mirth Control)