I am offering this album as a vehicle for continuing to spread the Grateful Dead's mission of peace and love throughout the world. For those who are not familiar with their music, this is a "safe" introduction to it. For those who are already fans, this is a unique and beautiful interpretation of, as you may have guessed, mostly Jerry tunes. Some acoustic, some electric, from slow to rockin'.
Robert Hunter's incredible poetry and the music given to it by Jerry Garcia lend themselves beautifully to the harp. It has been an absolute joy to arrange these tunes.
"Harpin' on the Dead" will be recorded at what I'm pretty sure is the only world-class studio located on a chocolate farm, Steelgrass Ranch, on the island of Kaua'i. On this record, I am attempting to catch the improvisational style of the Dead with the best recording equipment available. On the acoustic songs (Ripple, Box of Rain, Standing on the Moon, Black Muddy River, Attics of My Life) the instrumentation ranges from solo harp and voice to harp, acoustic guitar (Tom SanFilippo of Half Step) and upright bass. On the electric songs (Lady -> Terrapin, Scarlet -> Fire, Eyes, Franklin's, They Love Each Other), we are joined by drums and incredible electric guitar played by Steve Inglis (Palolo Jones, House of Spirits). The harp fills in for the keyboards. Vocals are by yours truly, backed by other members of the band.
Dark Star is its own animal, of course, with crystal bowls, sitar, harp, flute and percussion.
I am really excited about this album and hope it will find happy homes in the computers and CD players of Deadheads and harp lovers all over the world.
The funds raised for this project will go directly to the musicians and recording engineers, as well as to production and graphic designers. They are all top-quality professionals. I am sparing no expense for the studio and I am paying my musicians well. The studio has graciously agreed to wait until this fundraising campaign is over to collect payment.
I am estimating the costs at $12,000 all told, and have set the goal somewhat below that to increase my chances of being fully funded.