The National Goes Truckin’, Dead Style

Putting together
indiecentric Red Hot charity album of covers from Jerry G & Co.


By Max Blau


Following the success of their brilliant 2010 record High
Violet, The National have kept themselves busy with a variety of things
including playing ACL live including writing songs for films and video games,
contributing to Booker T. Jones’ upcoming record, making a star-studded
“Conversation 16” video, covering The Clash and dominating their at
Coachella. Now, the dynamic New York
indie rockers are reportedly in the early stages of putting together a Grateful
Dead cover album to benefit the AIDS charity Red Hot–an organization that The
National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner worked with to curate the 2009 mega-charity
effort Dark Was The Night


“We’re actually working on a new compilation record,
like we did the ‘Dark was The Night’ record, that’s going to be a Grateful Dead
covers record,” bassist Scott Devendorf recently explained in an interview
with It’s not going to be like jam bands cover the Dead. There are
so many cover bands. I think half of the record will be reinterpreting it.


When asked what Dead song The National will play, Devendorf
replied, “We’re just figuring that out right now. Matt [Berninger,
frontman] has got to sing it, so we’re thinking a Phil [Lesh] song, ‘Box of
Rain’ or ‘Unbroken Chain,’ something like that. For us, the frontrunner right
now is ‘Box of Rain’ I think, but we’ll see.”



Although the compilation may not be released for another year
or two, the band has already lined up some artists for the tribute album.
“I think Steve Reich is on it as far as doing some things. He’s actually
an old friend of Phil Lesh. They go back to younger days,” Devendorf
added. “Then there are newer, folky bands like Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver that
are interested.”




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