Long Strange Trip

Almost finished watching Long Strange Trip, a story on the Grateful Dead. The film does a fantastic job capturing the band’s essence.

In the early-mid 1980’s, a 5 year old me would go into my oldest sister’s bedroom to listen to American Beauty on vinyl. To this day, it continues to be one of my favorite albums. American Beauty is one of those records that I have to listen to from start to finish, because to start anywhere in the middle just doesn’t feel right. To only listen to one track misses the point entirely. As I grew older I started exploring more of The Grateful Dead music, soon discovering the joy of The Jerry Garcia Band.

Everything from Robert Hunter’s lyrics to the experimentation of the limitless boundaries of the Dead’s sound fascinated me. Jerry Garcia’s influence on my musical interests was so profound that by age ten I started taking guitar lessons, with one of the goals of learning how to play Box of Rain. The Grateful Dead’s improvisational style smacks a strong resemblance to jazz, another big influence on me musically. These fearless and playful approaches, combined with the acceptance that mistakes happen often, transform rhythm and melody into masterpieces.

Leah Cunningham @leah