Songs Of Their Own | Max Creek – Playing In The Band

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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 which will culminate 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 Max Creek commanded “Playing In The Band.”

Credited to Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Robert Hunter, “Playing In The Band” was part of the batch of new songs debuted by the Grateful Dead at their February 18, 1971 concert at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York. The Dead included their April 6, 1971 performance of “Playing” on their self-titled live album (aka Skull Fuck), while in 1972 Weir produced a version for his solo album Ace and Hart recorded a version (titled “The Main Ten” in reference to its 10/4 time signature) for his Rolling Thunder solo LP. One of the songs played live the most by The Dead (between some 580-600 times), it was a frequent vehicle for massive jams, including the over 45-minute version that opened the second set in Seattle on May 21, 1974. A relatively tame 12- minute final live rendition of “Playing In The Band” came July 5, 1995 at Riverport Amphitheatre near St. Louis.

One of many Grateful Dead songs covered by Max Creek over the course of the band’s own storied 44-year career, “Playing In The Band” has long been a jam vehicle for the East Coast outfit currently made up of guitarist Scott Murawski, drummer  Bill Carbone, percussionist Jamemurrell Stanley, keyboardist Mark Mercier and bassist John Rider. The quintet assembled at Telefunken’s studio in South Windsor, Connecticut to lay down this exploratory version of “Playing,” At nearly 19-minutes in running time, song #28 is by far the most jammed- out contribution to the series yet.

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.

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