Songs Of Their Own | Corinne West & The Bandits – Dire Wolf

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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. Our grand finale 50th video, a Playing For Change Songs Around The World rendition of “Ripple,” will premiere the day of the final Fare Thee Well show in Chicago on July 5. With a focus solely on Grateful Dead original songs, we asked many of our favorite artists to record cover versions 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 Corinne West & The Bandits slayed “Dire Wolf.”

In 1969 Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter were living together in a house in the woods in Larkspur, an area north of San Francisco. One night after watching The Hound of the Baskervilles on television, Hunter was inspired to write the lyrics to “Dire Wolf” – the title perhaps coming from Jerry’s girlfriend at the time Mountain Girl. Later the next day Garcia put the words to music and soon an acoustic performance to open The Dead’s June 7, 1969 Fillmore West concert marked the song’s live debut. Recorded for the 1970 studio record Workingman’s Dead, “Dire Wolf” was played around 225 times, emerging from the forest a few times a year leading up to June 2, 1995 at Deer Creek in Noblesville, Indiana when it was played a final time during the first set.

Filmed in a forest near Madrone Canyon in Larkspur just down from the house in the woods that bore “Dire Wolf,” Corinne West & The Bandits set up for an acoustic performance among the redwoods. The San Francisco-based singer-songwriter was joined by a group of bandmates that have each shared the stage in various settings with members of the Grateful Dead, including Roger McNamee on guitar, Pete Sears on bass, Barry Sless on pedal steel guitar and Jason Crosby on fiddle.

Head here to explore our Songs Of Their Own homepage featuring Max Creek, Jackie Greene, Strangefolk, Midnight North, Anders Osborne & Luther Dickinson, Keller Williams and more, or watch each entry via the YouTube Playlist below.

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