Hot on the heels of last week’s live performance together at the iconic Fillmore in San San Francisco, Wynonna and the Big Noise have teamed up with Grateful Dead founder and guitarist Bob Weir for a refreshingly potent studio version of the Dead’s “Ramble on Rose.”
With lyrics from the late Robert Hunter and music by Jerry Garcia, the words of the slow-rolling tune are packed with literary and pop-culture references, from Frankenstein author Mary (Wollstonecroft) Shelley and pioneering rock & roll DJ Wolfman Jack to a line that calls to mind the Johnny Cash classic “I Walk the Line.” Anchored by Wynonna’s honey-sweet blues-country vocal, this take on the song, which was first performed by the Dead at a Minneapolis show in October 1971, mostly features Weir on harmony vocals until the final verse, when he steps into the lead for a few memorable seconds.
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“They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears,” Wynonna says of the collaboration with Weir, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with 10 of his bandmates and Hunter. “Robert Weir showed up in my life just in time. And I am so very thankful to have yet another opportunity to celebrate our musical gifts together!”
The debut LP from Wynonna and the Big Noise was officially released exactly four years ago today, but little is currently known about the group’s follow-up project from Anti- Records. The band continues to tour throughout the year, with the singer and her husband, drummer Cactus Moser, set to launch the Wynonna & Cactus: Party of Two Acoustic Tour February 28th in Jackson, Mississippi. That trek currently runs through April 24th, after which the band tour resumes.
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