Songs Of Their Own | Jackie Greene – Sugaree

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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, JamBase teamed with Telefunken to produce the Songs Of Their Own video series. We began with a list of 100 Grateful Dead original songs (exclusively their tunes, not covers they often played) and tapped many of our favorite artists to record a cover version either at the JamBase office in San Francisco or at one of the many venues around town and beyond. No song was allowed to be covered twice, and today’s participant Jackie Greene shook up “Sugaree.”

Grateful Dead first played “Sugaree” live on July 31, 1971 at the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, immediately preceding the debut of “Mr. Charlie.” The song was written by the familiar team of Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia and was recorded for the latter’s debut solo LP, Garcia, released in 1972. Performed heavily by The Dead throughout the 1970s and in the 1980s, with more than 350 performances “Sugaree” became more rare toward the twilight of their career. It was only played live five times in 1995, including its final rendition at the second to last Grateful Dead concert at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 8, 1995.

Prior to his gig at Great American Music Hall in San Francisco yesterday – a storied venue for the Grateful Dead as their lone August 13, 1975 show there became One From The Vault – Jackie Greene and his bandmates Nathan Dale, Fitz Harris and Brian Filosa set up backstage for their stripped down version of “Sugaree.” The northern California native’s Grateful Dead roots run deep, with Greene having performed with The Dead’s bassist Phil Lesh & Friends ensemble, as part of the acoustic trio WRG with Dead guitarist Bob Weir and Chris Robinson and also regularly incorporating Dead covers, including “Sugaree,” into his solo sets (Greene also recorded “Sugaree” for his 2009 EP, The Grateful).

Watch all of the Songs Of Their Own entries including Anders Osborne & Luther Dickinson, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Keller Williams and more via the YouTube Playlist below.