March 11, 2010 – 11:42 am

A good selection of Ryan Adams covering the Grateful Dead with a lot of help from Phil Lesh.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Ryan Is Dead: Ryan Adams performs The Grateful Dead [no label, 2CD]

Selection compiled by Chris Goodwin ([email protected]). More good stuff at Almost all soundboard.

When we first laid eyes on this set, we thought the title inappropriate - “condolences to the Adams family for their bereavement, etc”. Yet if you want a quick summary of Ryan Adams over past 10 years, it reads like a train wreck - fights with his label, numerous unreleased completed albums, critical success but commercial flop, hanging out with the stars from Elton John to Willie Nelson and perhaps the most lamentable forming a secret punk band to record two EPs repackaged as one CD called We Are Fuck You. He has released 10 albums/EPs since 2000 and that’s not counting at least four other completed and unreleased albums.

At the beginning of 2009, Ryan Adams, recording artist, was practically “dead”. He’d announced his departure from his band The Cardinals. Currently, Adams is on his own recording anything from hard rock to metal to singer-songwriter fare and releasing music through the net on his own online label, PAX AM.

Like the Grateful Dead, Adams has decided to go it alone, without a safety net. Like the Dead, Adams is close to his fans online and encouraging with the sharing of his live recordings.

So here’s when he met the Dead. Wiki:

“Adams befriended Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, after first meeting him at the Jammys awards in New York in 2005. The two performed Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter’s Grateful Dead classic, Wharf Rat. Adams performed at subsequent outings of Phil Lesh and Friends, including a two-night stand at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver, Colorado and on New Year’s Eve 2005 at the Bill Graham Event Center in San Francisco. Throughout 2006, Lesh’s live performances included compositions by Adams, including several from Cold Roses (Cold Roses, Let It Ride, and Magnolia Mountain).”

The admiration was mutual.

When they jam, that’s Phil Lesh’s band. The Dead’s music is akin to twin drills boring into the left and right temples of your head with the guitarist picking butterfly notes that float into space. Head music. Ryan Adam’s singing brings the warmth. That’s always been his strongest attraction, an affecting voice that allows for happy, sad, angry and hurt. Adams doesn’t sound like Jerry Garcia or Bob Weir. He sings Bertha or Friend Of The Devil meaningfully and brings the songs back into an emotional place. What moved Elton John to call him an inspiration for John’s Songs From The West Coast album.

There are three or four songs here without Phil Lesh. When Adams do these Dead tunes, his band the Cardinals’ enthusiasm make them different from the Dead’s style of controlled majesty, knowing how to build a song quietly until it reaches maximum intensity. Franklin’s Tower departs from Dead territory and sounds like an indie rock song.

This is a splendid collection with great sound. Thanks go to Chris Goodwin who made this compilation and xxxballion who shared it.
- The Little Chicken

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.


Track 101. Cold Rain & Snow (14.5MB)
w/Phil Lesh & Friends
Date: 7/16/2005
Location: Red Rocks Amphitheater-Morrison, CO

Track 102. Friend Of The Devil (8.9MB)
w/Phil Lesh & Friends
Date: 7/16/2005
Location: Red Rocks Amphitheater-Morrison, CO

Track 103. Bird Song (11.6MB)
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Click here if you reside outside the United States
Date: 6/3/2005
Location: Northern Lights-Clifton Park, NY

Track 104. Truckin’ (17.1MB)

Track 105. Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad (5.7MB)

Track 106. Not Fade Away (3.1MB)
w/Phil Lesh & Friends
Date: 7/15/2005
Location: Fillmore Auditorium-Denver, CO

Track 107. He’s Gone (8.8MB)
Date: 7/22/2006
Location: Norva-Norfolk, VA

Track 108. It Must Have Been The Roses (9.3MB)
w/Phil Lesh & Friends
Date: 7/15/2005
Location: Fillmore Auditorium-Denver, CO


Track 201. Wharf Rat (11.7MB)
Date: 7/23/2006
Location: Charlottesville Pavilion-Charlottesville, VA

Track 202. St. Stephen (13.7MB)
w/Phil Lesh & Friends
Date: Track 212/29/2005
Location: Fillmore Auditoium-San Francisco, CA

Track 203. Bertha (10.4MB)
w/Phil Lesh & Friends
Date: 7/16/2005
Location: Red Rocks Amphitheater-Morrison, CO

Track 204. Franklin’s Tower (8.9MB)
Date: 7/25/2006
Location: Bijou Theatre-Knoxville, TN

Track 205. China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider (15.7MB)
w/Phil Lesh & Friends
Date: Track 27/16/2005
Location: Red Rocks Amphitheater-Morrison, CO

Track 206. Stella Blue (9.0MB)
Date: 10/16/2006
Location: Muffathalle-Munchen, Germany

Track 207. Ripple (8.7MB)
w/Phil Lesh & Friends
Date: 12/31/2005
Location: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium-San Francisco, CAThe band for July 15-16, 2005 are
Phil Lesh, Ryan Adams (guitar+vocals), Jimmy Herring (guitar), Jeff Sipe (drums), Rob Barraco (keys), Barry Sless (guitar+pedal steel)

The band for Dec 31, 2005 are
Phil Lesh, Joan Osborne (vocals), Ryan Adams (vocals, guitar), Larry Campbell (guitar & more), John Molo (drums), Rob Barraco (keys), Barry Sless (guitar+pedal steel)

The rest of the tracks are Ryan Adams and the Cardinals.

Never heard of Ryan Adams? A good introduction would be his debut solo album, Heartbreaker, with guests Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Released in 2000, it remains a fan favourite. Click on the link to order Ryan Adams albums.

Cold Roses, the double CD, is said to be Ryan Adams’ Neil Young meets the Grateful Dead album. It’s also his first with the Cardinals. Click on the link to order the album.

  1. 10 Responses to “THE ADAMS EXTENDED FAMILY”

  2. Do we know the source (date & location) of tracks 104 and 105?
    Thanks - great set!

    By rick on Mar 11, 2010

  3. Oops - I see it’s all one long track 104>105>106. Sorry to bother…

    By rick on Mar 11, 2010

  4. A collection of brave & contending covers from whom can only be described as a student of Gratefullness… THANX!

    By Timmy on Mar 12, 2010

  5. Great Stuff more from this!

    By udo on Mar 12, 2010

  6. As a Grateful Dead enthusiast, “Thank You” for this. Yesterday, I enjoyed Part One. Some very good interpretations.

    By Dennis on Mar 12, 2010

  7. Fabulous selection of songs with excellent playing and vocals! Thanks!! Ryan is gifted as long as he can keep his s**t together. Beautiful.

    By Lynne Preston on Mar 13, 2010

  8. after 300plus DEAD shows, what did one dead head say to the other when they ran out of drugs?????? This band sucks lets get out of here. Do we need people covering boring music as well?????????

    By Carolyn Sue King on Mar 17, 2010

  9. glad you guys are enjoying this compilation. I put it together a few years ago for the fans over at

    By Chris on Mar 19, 2010

  10. Just discovered this and LOVE it! Thanks for all you do.

    By Dave on Oct 31, 2012

  11. Better get this to Sean Hannity right away! More proof that Ryan Adams is a “libtard”. Those doped out anti-Americans in the Grateful Dead. Great job in the Twitter war Ryan.

    By Johnny Kinkdom on Aug 15, 2013

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