Suzanne Vega is the first featured artist for Relix‘s new ‘Tunes for the Tongass’ video series. A new performance video will premiere for the next several Thursdays on the Relix YouTube channel. The footage is culled from KEEN and Jerry Garcia Family’s recent Rainforest Benefit Concert, which aired on Apr. 22.
For her part, Vega performed the Grateful Dead’s “Cassidy” and “China Doll.” She was joined by guitarist Jerry Leonard for accompaniment. Prior to her performance, the singer reminisced about the 1988 benefit concert for the rainforest at Madison Square Garden. Her band performed a set that evening prior to the Grateful Dead’s performance, and Vega herself joined the Dead on stage for their first and only versions of “Chinese Bones” and “Neighborhood Girls.”
“Back in 1988, I was invited to perform at Madison Square Garden with the Grateful Dead. How could I say no?” Vega said prior to her Tongass performance. “I’m going to do not the two songs I did at the event, but I’m going to do two Grateful Dead songs that came out later on an album called Deadicated.” (Vega’s performances of “Cassidy” and “China Doll” were included on the 1991 album Deadicated: A Tribute to the Grateful Dead.)
“I really like them, especially ‘China Doll,'” Vega says of the two selections. “They’re such beautiful songs. And I must say I think of Jerry Garcia very fondly when I do them.”
Watch the video below.