Nick Meriwether on “It’s a Hand-Me-Down”

Deadheads have heard their favorite band’s songs covered by a wide range of other musicians, from cover bands to artists as diverse as Jane’s Addiction and Patti Smith. David Gans has long been an accomplished performer of the Grateful Dead’s songbook, and It’s A Hand-Me-Down gathers thirteen of his most inspired performances in a beautifully sequenced release that will delight old friends and new fans alike. From impassioned electric takes to soulful acoustic impressions, Gans draws out subtle nuances and plumbs hidden depths in even the most familiar chestnuts, proving that the Dead’s music remains a vital wellspring for inspiration, innovation and improvisation. More than a cover album or even a tribute, It’s A Hand-Me-Down is a heartfelt interpretation that shines new light on a living musical tradition, one that will continue to inspire musicians and reward listeners for years to come.

Nicholas Meriwether
Grateful Dead Archivist, UC Santa Cruz

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