Since 2011, The National has been working on a Grateful Dead tribute album, and now their passion project, titled Day of the Dead, is finally being released with the help of some of the biggest names in indie rock!

The tribute features over sixty artists, fifty-nine tracks, and lasts almost six hours. The National has enlisted the help of such acts as Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon, The War On Drugs, Bruce Hornsby, The Lone Bellow, Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Tallest Man On Earth for the album.

The National’s own Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner produced the record because “the songwriting of The Dead has always inspired us and this record is meant to celebrate their legacy,” according to the band.

“Growing up, The Grateful Dead was the first music that Aaron and Bryce bonded over. Their first-ever jam session was with Bryan, playing The Dead’s ‘Eyes of the World’ in Bryan’s parents’ attic in Ohio.” Now, so many years later, Aaron, Bryce, Scott, and Bryan make up part of the house band featured on many of the record’s songs.

Five songs have been released from the upcoming tribute album. Take a listen to another track, Phosphorescent and Jenny Lewis’ cover of one of my favorite Dead songs, “Sugaree.”

The album will be released digitally, as a five CD package, and as a limited-edition vinyl boxed set, with all profits going to the Red Hot Organization’s mission to fight AIDS/HIV and related health issues around the world. See below for a complete tracklisting of the sprawling three-album Day of the Dead, and look forward to the album’s release on May 20th.


Volume One: Thunder
1. The War on Drugs, “Touch of Grey”
2. Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis & Friends, “Sugaree”
3. Jim James & Friends, “Candyman”
4. Moses Sumney, Jenny Lewis & Friends, “Cassidy”
5. Bruce Hornsby and DeYarmond Edison, “Black Muddy River”
6. Ed Droste, Binki Shapiro & Friends, “Loser”
7. The National, “Peggy-O”
8. Kurt Vile and the Violators, “Box of Rain” (feat. J Mascis)
9. Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Friends, “Rubin and Cherise”
10. Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten & Friends, “To Lay Me Down”
11. Courtney Barnett, “New Speedway Boogie”
12. Mumford & Sons, “Friend of the Devil”
13. Lucius, “Uncle John’s Band”
14. The Lone Bellow & Friends, “Me and My Uncle”
15. Lee Ranaldo, Lisa Hannigan & Friends, “Mountains of the Moon”
16. Anohni and yMusic, “Black Peter”
17. Bryce Dessner: “Garcia Counterpoint”
18. Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear and the National, “Terrapin Station (Suite)” (feat. Josh Kaufman, Conrad Doucette, So Percussion and Brooklyn Youth Chorus)
19. Angel Olsen, “Attics of My Life”
20. Wilco and Bob Weir, “St. Stephen (Live)”

Volume Two: Lightning
1. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, “If I Had the World to Give”
2. Phosphorescent & Friends, “Standing on the Moon”
3. Charles Bradley and Menahan Street Band, “Cumberland Blues”
4. Tallest Man on Earth & Friends, “Ship of Fools”
5. Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Friends, “Bird Song”
6. The National, “Morning Dew”
7. Marijuana Deathsquads, “Truckin’”
8. Cass McCombs, Joe Russo & Friends, “Dark Star”
9. Nightfall of Diamonds, “Nightfall of Diamonds”
10. Tim Hecker, “Transitive Refraction Axis for John Oswald”
11. Lucinda Williams & Friends, “Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad”
12. Tunde Adebimpe, Lee Ranaldo & Friends, “Playing in the Band”
13. Local Natives, “Stella Blue”
14. Tal National, “Eyes of the World”
15. Bela Fleck, “Help on the Way”
16. Orchestra Baobab, “Franklin’s Tower”
17. Luluc With Xylouris White, “Till the Morning Comes”
18. The Walkmen, “Ripple”
19. Richard Reed Parry with Caroline Shaw and Little Scream, “Brokedown Palace” (feat. Garth Hudson)

Volume Three: Sunshine
1. Real Estate, “Here Comes Sunshine”
2. Unknown Mortal Orchestra, “Shakedown Street”
3. Hiss Golden Messenger, “Brown Eyed Woman”
4. This Is the Kit, “Jack-a-Roe”
5. Daniel Rossen and Christopher Bear, “High Time”
6. The Lone Bellow & Friends, “Dire Wolf”
7. Winston Marshall, Kodiak Blue and Shura, “Althea”
8. Orchestra Baobab, “Clementine Jam”
9. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, “China Cat Sunflower – I Know You Rider”
10. Bill Callahan, “Easy Wind”
11. Ira Kaplan & Friends, “Wharf Rat”
12. The Rileys (Terry and Gyan Riley), “Estimated Prophet”
13. Man Forever, So Percussion and Oneida, “Drums – Space”
14. Fucked Up, “Cream Puff War”
15. The Flaming Lips, “Dark Star”
16. s t a r g a z e, “What’s Become of the Baby”
17. Vijay Iyer, “King Solomon’s Marbles”
18. Mina Tindle & Friends, “Rosemary”
19. Sam Amidon & Friends, “And We Bid You Goodnight”
20. The National With Bob Weir, “I Know You Rider (live)”

For more information:

Day of the Dead Official Site