Next week Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart will issue RAMU via the Verve Forecast label. Billboard has premiered another single from the record ahead of its November 10 release, the lead track “Auctioneers.”
The 12-song album gets its title from Hart’s Random Access Musical Universe database of sounds. Included in that collection is a 1948 Library of Congress recording of a tobacco auction in Kentucky which was sampled on “Auctioneers.” Here’s what Mickey told Billboard about the track:
It’s the rhythm of the auctioneers, that’s the energy of (the track). They’re selling tobacco, but at such a rapid speed that it’s just fantastic, rhythmically, and it has a melody to it and it fits into the dance. It’s kind of a precursor to rap, in some ways. So I just created something on top of that old sound recording … I want people to appreciate and understand what’s lying in the archives of the world, just sitting there waiting to be discovered. I live with that stuff all the time, just being in the archives all these years. I’ve got my finger on the button there, and I’ve always loved it. All these things have never really coexisted; I mean, I’ve found things that never coexisted before and kind of married them and the music. You can really have fun with it, and “Auctioneers” is a perfect example of that.
The album includes the previously shared singles “Wayward Son” featuring Animal Collective’s Avey Tare and “Big Bad Wolf” featuring Tarriona “Tank” Ball of Tank and The Bangas. Co-produced by Michal Menert at Hart’s Studio X in California, Mickey was joined on RAMU by his Dead & Company band mate Oteil Burbridge on bass, longtime collaborators Zakir Hussain on tabla, Sikiru Adepoju on talking drum and Giovanni Hidalgo on congas, along with guitarist Steve Kimock, renowned saxophonist Charles Lloyd and The String Cheese Incident percussionist Jason Hann.
Hart told Billboard he hopes to tour behind RAMU, but for now his focus is on the upcoming Dead & Co. tour starting next week. Mickey mentioned the possibility of the group that includes hid Grateful Dead band mates Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann recording new material with lyrics provided by Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.
“We’ve talked about it,” Hart said. “We’ve got some new songs from Hunter, and we’re considering it, just thinking about schedules and when we want to go in the studio and so forth and so on. It’s one of those things; We were never a great studio band. All the fun is really live.
Give a listen to “Auctioneers” below:
- Wayward Son
- Big Bag Wolf
- The Lost Coast
- Who Do You Think You Are
- You Remind Me
- When the Morning Comes
- Wine Wine Wine
- Spreading the News
- Infinite Space
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