photo by Justin Bazdarich
On Sunday night at Brooklyn Bowl, Grateful Dead tribute outfit High Time offered a two-set performance filled with Dead classics, plus a special guest appearance from Yo La Tengo guitarist Ira Kaplan for several songs in the second set.
After running through favorites like “Jack Straw,” “Brown Eyed Women,” “Playing in the Band,” “Eyes of the World” and “Cumberland Blues” in the first set and kicking off the second frame with a seamless run of “Here Comes Sunshine,” “China Cat Sunflower,” “I Know You Rider” and “Scarlet Begonias,” High Time brought out Kaplan for two tunes co-written by recently deceased Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, “Dark Star” and “Wharf Rat,” followed by “The Other One” and “Not Fade Away.” (Kaplan also recorded “Wharf Rat” as part of The National’s 2016 Grateful Dead tribute compilation, Day of the Dead.) Below, watch a couple of videos from the collaboration.
On the same day that Hunter passed away last month, Kaplan and Yo La Tengo honored the late poet with their own debut of “Wharf Rat,” which came as part of a performance at The Chapel in San Francisco that featured singer-songwriter William Tyler as a guest throughout the evening. Listen to Kaplan’s Day of the Dead version of the song below, and read more about Kaplan and YLT’s Grateful Dead influence (Kaplan saw the band in the ’70s before becoming enamored with the punk-music scene) in this Relix feature from 2018.
Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn, NY
Set I: Jack Straw, Brown Eyed Women, Big Railroad Blues, They Love Each Other, Beat It on Down the Line, Playing in the Band > Eyes of the World > Playing in the Band, Cumberland Blues
Set II: Here Comes Sunshine > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Scarlet Begonias, Dark Star* > Wharf Rat* > The Other One* > Not Fade Away* > Going Down The Road Feelin’ Bad* > We Bid You Goodnight*
Notes: * w/ Ira Kaplan