Grateful Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland was born on this date in 1952. The multi-talented musician was just 37 when an accidental drug overdose took his life on July 26, 1990. One of several to have fulfilled the keyboardist role in the legendary band, the Brent Era was highlighted by the late musician’s soulful vocals and elaborate array of keyboards that were essential to the band’s 1980s sound.
This week’s Saturday Stream presents a comprehensive live Spotify Playlist chronicling Mydland’s time as a member of the Grateful Dead. The recordings range from 1979 through 1990, which marked the longest tenure by a keyboardist in the Dead.
Brent’s first official show as a member of the Grateful Dead was held April 22, 1979 at Spartan Stadium at San Jose State University in San Jose, California. Mydland’s final appearance with the band came on July 23, 1990 at The World Music Theater in Tinley Park, Illinois. The band has released several official recordings that are available on Spotify from concerts held during Brent’s period as a member of the Dead. The earliest available track comes in the form of a May 7, 1979 rendition of “Passenger” and three tracks from April 3, 1990 make up the most recent streamable Brent tunes.
Below is a massive 439-song Spotify Playlist that presents the Brent Era of the Grateful Dead organized from his earliest days in the group to his final months playing in the band. Mydland’s talents as a vocalist and skills behind the keys are apparent on such tracks as “Easy To Love You,” “I Will Take You Home,” “Blow Away,” “Never Trust A Woman,” “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and others. Stream the retrospective playlist below: