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The release of 1970's Workingman's Dead marked a departure from the psychedelic rock that the Grateful Dead helped define in the 1960s to a more acoustic sound. Emphasizing structured tunes over improvised jams, Workingman's Dead is loaded with powerfully imagistic songs and strong vocal harmonies that harken back to the band's folk roots. The album kicks off with "Uncle John's Band," a sweetly sung Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter composition that became an anthem during the band's 30-year career. The bouncy, country-pickin' coal-mining classic "Cumberland Blues" continues the vocal bliss, bringing forth the unique three-part singing of guitarists Garcia and Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh. Original keyboardist and bluesman Ron "Pigpen" McKernan takes command of the back-busting, down-to-earth grit of "Easy Wind," and Garcia's newfound finesse on the pedal-steel guitar sleeks and shimmers it's way through the gorgeous "High Time" and the life-fearing "Dire Wolf." "Casey Jones," the fast-chugging, anticocaine anthem, which also became one of their most popular songs, serves as a perfect closer. Deemed one of the classics in their recording catalogue, Workingman's Dead successfully captures a dramatic shift of style and clearly helped establish the Dead as an essential American musical-roots ensemble. This vinyl version is pressed on 180 gram vinyl.



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