Led Zeppelin’s presence on JRAD setlists should come as no surprise considering the band (minus guitarist Tom Hamilton) makes up the pre-JRAD Led Zeppelin instrumental tribute act Bustle In Your Hedgerow. For an example of a Zeppelin cover with vocals, check out this video of “The Lemon Song” sung by guest singer Nicole Atkins. For a Zep cover more in the style of Bustle, check out the video above of “Good Times, Bad Times” played at the Brooklyn Bowl in March 2018 (and stick around for the “Chest Fever” that follows).
While The Beatles are not known for improvising during their concerts, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead has been known to rely on the Fab Four’s songbook. Last summer, with frequent guest saxophonist Stuart Bogie sitting-in, JRAD opened their show at Red Rocks with their debut of “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” off The Beatles’ 1970 double LP, The White Album. The original version of Paul McCartney’s ditty clocked in at 1:41 — this show-opening performance by JRAD at Red Rocks spanned +15 minutes.
Another veteran singer-songwriter who can also put on one hell of a rock show, Neil Young’s music has too been a source of material for Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. Sung by the group’s namesake drummer Joe Russo himself, the group has worked through the On The Beach deep cut “Vampire Blues” a number of times. This video features the second set opening rendition of “Vampire Blues” from March 14, 2019 at College Street Music Hall in New Haven, Connecticut.
Allen Toussaint/The Rolling Stones | Fortune Teller
”Fortune Teller” is a song written by late great New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint. It was covered by The Rolling Stones, landing on their live album Got Live If You Want It! that came out in 1966. In this video, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead can be seen playing The Stones’ arrangement of “Fortune Teller” out of “St. Stephen” at Brooklyn Bowl in 2016. Sung by Russo, the band seamlessly transitioned from “Fortune Teller” into “I Know You Rider.”
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 solo album Nebraska included the song “Atlantic City.” The often covered song is part of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s repertoire, with guitarist Tom Hamilton leading the way, as can be seen in this video opening the second set on September 26, 2019 in Philadelphia. Another JRAD cover of The Boss, his hit “Born To Run,” can be viewed here.