Local Deadheads are in for a treat this weekend as Dead and Company makes its highly anticipated Fenway Park return.
Comprised of Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, as well as New England’s own John Mayer, the superband will perform at back-to-back shows in Boston on June 17 and 18, so fans have two chances to catch this amazing live collaboration at the home of the Red Sox. To get pumped for this weekend’s Dead and Company concerts we gathered some groovy tunes and curated a special Spotify playlist. Rock on, Deadheads.
Written by the legendary Grateful Dead songwriter Robert Hunter, “Casey Jones” has become one of the band’s all-time biggest hits, in no small part due to its drug-fueled, yet catchy opening lyric, “Driving that train, high on cocaine.” The track debuted on the band’s 1970 album “Workingman’s Dead” and is one of the group’s few songs to achieve mainstream popularity outside of the hardcore Deadhead community. While they’ve shied away from playing the song live in recent years, there’s always a chance that Dead and Company breaks out the hit during their Fenway Park run.
‘Friend of the Devil’
Another classic tune written by Hunter, with music by the late Jerry Garcia and John Dawson, “Friend of the Devil” has become a fan-favorite tune among folk rock lovers. The song tells the tale of a an outlaw on the run from the law, who evades capture with the help of Satan. Dead and Company recently played the song during their June 10 show in Boulder, Colorado.
Like “Casey Jones,” “Sugar Magnolia” helped propel the Grateful Dead into superstardom when it was released in November of 1970. The track was featured on their album “American Beauty,” which eventually hit No. 13 on the Billboard 200 charts. The song is allegedly about Bob Weir’s former girlfriend Frankie, whom he met after the group’s first show in 1968.
‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’
Aside from all the great Grateful Dead tracks, this weekend’s concerts will also feature the musical stylings of Connecticut native and one-time Berklee College of Music student John Mayer. While he’ll be helping the band belt out their classics, expect him to infuse his blues rock guitar licks into the performance. If you’re not familiar with his B.B. King-inspired bluesy background, check out his hit track “I Don’t Need No Doctor.”
Although “Hey Jude” is a Beatles song, the Grateful Dead previously performed a rendition of the hit during their 1989 show at the now defunct Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro. Dead and Company has performed George Harrison’s “Here Comes Sunshine” on their latest tour, so don’t be surprised if they break out another Beatles classic while their in Boston.
Check out all of these songs and a few more Grateful Dead/John Mayer tracks in our Spotify playlist below.