Songs Of Their Own | Guitarmageddon – Candyman


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 Guitarmageddon picked “Candyman.”

“Candyman” entered the Grateful Dead live setting during an acoustic set performed on April 3, 1970 at the University of Cincinnati Field House. Written by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia, “Candyman” was recorded for the band’s 1970 record American Beauty. It continued appearing mostly in first sets for the rest of the band’s career, being played over 270 times, though with less frequency over time. A particularly noteworthy “Candyman” was played on at The Dead’s first gig following Garcia’s recovery from a diabetic coma on December 15, 1986 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, during which the guitarist emphasized the song’s verses: Hand me my old guitar/Pass the whiskey round/Want you to tell everybody you meet/The Candyman’s in town. Played a mere three times in 1995, “Candyman” was last performed by The Dead on June 30 in Pittsburgh at Three Rivers Stadium.

San Francisco’s Guitarmageddon came by JamBase headquarters last week to record “Candyman.” For this Songs Of Their Own taping guitarists Sean Leahy and Josh Clark were assisted by Dan Lebowitz on lap steel, Eric DiBerardino on bass, Cochrane McMillan on drums and Scott Guberman on keyboards.

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