Art Credit: Andrew Sax

The Infamous Stringdusters have shared their rendition of the Grateful Dead’s “Black Muddy River” via Americana Vibes. The cover has been released on YouTube and sees the ensemble performing the beloved track during a day session in New Orleans last fall, with guest accompaniment by Anders Osborne.

Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia penned “Black Muddy River,” which initially appeared on the Grateful Dead’s 12th studio album, the chart-topping In The Dark, which featured popularly recorded tunes like “Touch of Grey,” “Hell in a Bucket” and “Throwing Stones.” The new take on “Black Muddy River” carries Garcia’s haunting lyrics as the perfect melancholy summer sendoff.

In a press release, the process behind tracking the cover with Osborne was described as a no-brainer, as the tune naturally found its place in the ensemble’s repertoire with a sense of organicness and destiny. “Black Muddy River” is harmoniously carried with the same raw emotion and intenseness as Garcia by the track’s contributors and is a must-listen for fans of the Dead.  

The release of “Black Muddy River” comes with the intent and knowingness of Garcia’s 80th birthday, which occurred on Monday. The decision to drop the song during the time that spans from the Grateful Dead icon’s birth and death date, Aug. 9, known as the Days Between, points to tribute and nod toward Garcia. 

Watch The Infamous Stringdusters’ cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Black Muddy River” below.