Songs Of Their Own | Clangin & Bangin – They Love Each Other

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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, JamBase teamed with Telefunken to produce the Songs Of Their Own 50-day tribute series featuring a daily cover of a Grateful Dead original song and culminating with our grand finale 50th video premiering the day of the final Fare Thee Well show in Chicago on July 5. We started the series with a list of 100 Grateful Dead original songs (exclusively their tunes, not covers they often played) and asked many of our favorite artists to record cover versions either at the JamBase office in San Francisco, at one of the many venues around the Bay Area, at Telefunken’s Connecticut studios and beyond. No song was allowed to be covered twice, and today’s participants Clangin’ & Bangin’ sailed up “They Love Each Other.”

One of a batch of new songs that included previous Songs Of Their Own choices “Loose Lucy” and “Row Jimmy,” the Grateful Dead first played “They Love Each Other” on February 9, 1973 at Roscoe Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, California. Jerry Garcia (with the rest of The Dead) recorded the song he wrote with Robert Hunter for his 1976 solo album Reflections. The earliest live versions had a final verse that was eventually dropped and the tempo of the song slowed dramatically in the late 1970s. Though performed often through the mid-1980s, by 1985 “TLEO” became increasingly uncommon, only played a handful of times each subsequent year and not at all after their September 27, 1994 concert at the Boston Garden.

Drummer Jake Alexander and pianist Kirby Lee Hammel, who have each participated in prior Songs Of Their Own recordings (#25 and #34, respectively), make up the local San Francisco busking duo Clangin’ & Bangin.’ Known around town for hauling an upright piano to their shows, Clangin’ & Bangin’ trucked the piano to Down Home Music in the East Bay to record their rendition of “They Love Each Other.” Down Home Music is an iconic music store in El Cerrito that has been a fixture of the scene for almost 40 years. Owner Chris Strachwitz also runs Arhoolie Records, which was established in 1960 and has since become one of the leading labels recording and issuing blues, Cajun, norteño and other forms of roots music from the U.S. and beyond.

Watch all of the Songs Of Their Own entries including Max Creek, Jackie Greene, Strangefolk, Midnight North, Anders Osborne & Luther Dickinson, Keller Williams and more via the YouTube Playlist below.

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