Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Debuts Bob Dylan Cover In Asheville

Listen to the band's "Absolutely Sweet Marie" cover and the rest of Saturday's concert at Rabbit Rabbit.

By Scott Bernstein May 2, 2022 8:42 am PDT

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead premiered a take on a Bob Dylan classic during their Saturday night concert in Asheville, North Carolina. The quintet’s first “Absolutely Sweet Marie” cover began the band’s two-song encore at Rabbit Rabbit.

Namesake drummer Joe Russo, keyboardist Marco Benevento and guitarists Tom Hamilton and Scott Metzger were joined by Jon Shaw as regular bassist Dave Dreiwitz was on the road with Ween. Saturday was the group’s second of two shows at Rabbit Rabbit. This weekend’s run started on Thursday in Newport, Kentucky and ended on Sunday with two sets at the SweetWater 420 Fest in Atlanta. Shaw held down the bottom end at all four concerts.

Hamilton handled lead vocals on “Absolutely Sweet Marie,” a song originally released on Bob Dylan’s 1966 double album Blonde On Blonde. “Absolutely Sweet Marie” bled into “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad” to end JRAD’s Saturday night show in Asheville. The quintet stuck to favorites from the Grateful Dead live repertoire throughout the evening with the exceptions of “Absolutely Sweet Marie” and a version of the beloved The Allman Brothers Band instrumental “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed” the group played within “Slipknot!”

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead split the usually paired “Scarlet Begonias” and “Fire On The Mountain” in Asheville on Saturday as the former opened the first set and the latter kicked off the second set. “Scarlet” gave way to “Jack Straw” before Tommy belted out “Row Jimmy” and Scotty sang “Estimated Prophet,” which featured teases of “Crazy Train” and “Sunshine Daydream.” The group then connected ballad “Wharf Rat” and rocker “Truckin'” to close Saturday’s first set. Highlights from the second set besides the slick “Liz Reed”/”Slipknot!” sequence included a +30-minute pairing of “Fire On The Mountain” and “Shakedown Street.”

Listen to an audience recording taped by Gordon Wilson below:

Setlist (via Almost-Dead.Net)

Set One: Scarlet Begonias > Jack Straw, Row Jimmy, Estimated Prophet > Wharf Rat > Truckin’

Set Two: Fire on the Mountain, Shakedown Street > I Need A Miracle, Help on the Way > Slipknot! > In Memory of Elizabeth Reed -> Slipknot! reprise > Samson and Delilah

Encore: Absolutely Sweet Marie, Going Down The Road Feeling Bad

Jon Shaw replacing Dave Dreiwitz on bass

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