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Cool to play Dead songs at bar gigs?

Scott SG

Silver Supporting Member
I’ve played Dark Hollow a number of times

I would agree you need the right singers to pull some of the songs off


Silver Supporting Member
We have a fun loving, loose and relaxed cover band - we do a lot of songs ranging from Flaming Groovies to Portugal. The Man. We play many that no one seems to play and some that are super common. Nothing is off limits for us...LOL, it's really great fun.

I am a Grateful Dead fan, tho' I wouldn't say a Dead Head. But I really like a great deal of their music. Our bass player digs The Dead too. No one else in the band likes them...lol, and our drummer hates them.

I am always trying to get Dead songs into the mix. A lot of the band thinks they aren't good bar songs. What do you guys think? Do any of you cover any Dead songs in your bar gigs?

Right now, we only do "Deal" and "New Speedway Boogie".

I'm dying to work in "Sugaree" now that we have a solid female vocalist - the Warren Haynes/Joan Osborne version is killer and my inspiration for it. Also "Scarlet Begonias" - I'll admit I love the jamming! And, "Shakedown Street".

Am I going off the rails with this stuff ?
We added "Friend of the Devil" after some Dead was requested at a gig and my bass player knew all the words. It has worked it's way into the set, I would say it's "just ok".


Silver Supporting Member
We added "Friend of the Devil" after some Dead was requested at a gig and my bass player knew all the words. It has worked it's way into the set, I would say it's "just ok".
I never get tired of hearing the dead play FOTD, and I never enjoy hearing anyone else play it, including any act I’m in. Same way about Sweet Home Alabama.


Platinum Supporting Member
Well, technically you're correct--the Dead did not cover Picasso Moon or Corrina. They were GD originals...not among their best (or most memorable obviously, lol).
No audience should have to suffer through Picasso Moon. Not even if it’s being played by Weir & the GD.


Gold Supporting Member
Just form a side project that plays Dead tunes! If you force the issue you'll be auditioning drummers soon!

I do a solo restaurant gig and used to play a couple Dead tunes, except for the occasional Dead fan they really didn't go over that well! It really depends on the room!


Gold Supporting Member
A couple of decades back one dad band outing for New Year's Eve had a booking at a yacht club full of mostly Boomer age members. A couple of Jerry devotees in the band decided that the entire club would find it moving to all sing "Ripple" at the stroke of midnight, and printed a couple of hundred copies of the lyrics to place in a stack at each table. Midnight came and everyone in the club rushed out dockside to watch the fireworks and nobody watched us play "Ripple" in the open air pavilion as the wind blew all 200 copies of the lyric sheet all over the place. The band member who came up with the idea was pretty close to crying.

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