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 Ryan Montbleau & Stephane Wrembel triggered “Dupree’s Diamond Blues.”
Derived in part from the traditional “Betty & Dupree” which Pigpen performed with Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen reportedly as far back as 1964 and the Grateful Dead covered at least once, Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia wrote “Dupree’s Diamond Blues” and The Dead recorded it for their 1969 album Aoxomoxoa. Played live a number of times that year, it fell out of rotation until a revival during the first set of the band’s show on October 2, 1977 at the Paramount Theater in Portland, Oregon.Three more 1977 performances, along with two in 1978 followed before going silent again until 1982 when it stuck around with some regularity through 1988. After that, “Dupree’s Diamond Blues” was played once in 1989, once in 1990 and twice in 1994, a final rendition coming October 13, 1994 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Guitarists Ryan Montbleau and Stephane Wrembel paired up at Telefunken’s South Windsor, Connecticut studio to record their jazzy arrangement of “Dupree’s Diamond Blues.” Montbleau handled vocals while Wrembel fired off a couple of fierce solos to round out their dual acoustic guitar attack.
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.