Songs Of Their Own | The New Mastersounds – Help On The Way

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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 The New Mastersounds flew with “Help On The Way.”

“Help On The Way” first appeared, instrumentally, at the Grateful Dead concert on June 17, 1975 at the Winterland in San Francisco. The second performance of “Help” came on September 28, 1975, and by then Robert Hunter’s lyrics had been added to Jerry Garcia’s composition. Its third appearance was delivered at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on August 13, 1975 which became One From The Vault. From its inception, both over 100 times live and on the band’s 1975 Blues for Allah LP, “Help” was followed by “Slipknot!” and “Franklin’s Tower.” Outside of its debut in 1974, the only performances of “Slipknot!” came following every time “Help” was played. By 1977 the “Help/Slip/Franks” trio fell in and out of rotation, four and five years between performances at times. The final trifecta coming at the Dead’s June 22, 1995 concert at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York.

British funk quartet The New Mastersounds were in the Bay Area in June while on a short tour of gigs through Northern California. We caught up with guitarist Eddie Roberts, drummer Simon Allen, bassist Pete Shand and keyboardist Joe Tatton before their show at City Winery in Napa. Like the first time The Dead played “Help On The Way,” The New Mastersounds presented an instrumental – and a bit more groove-forward – arrangement of the song.

JamBase is a proud sponsor of Eddie Roberts & Positive Legacy’s The Payback. The next Payback benefit concerts for Compass Family Services will take place September 25 & 26 at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall featuring Roberts joined by Zigaboo Modeliste, Reed Mathis, Robert Walter, Mike Dillon, Jennifer Hartswick, Adryon de leon, Daniel Casares and Mike Olmos. Tickets go on sale July 7.

Watch each entry from “Songs Of Their Own” via the YouTube Playlist below.

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