Whether on the festival circuit, performing at jam and reggae-rock favorites like Camp Bisco, Gathering of The Vibes, California Roots, Jungle Jam and Closer to the Sun, or sharing the stage at sold out shows with some of their diverse influences including Slightly Stoopid, The Wailers, and Michael Franti, reggae/rock/dubtronica band Roots of Creation (RoC) offers up a high-energy, infectious live music experience. Their mix of reggae riddims, conscious lyrics, spirited horn lines, and electronic beats makes crowds move and has their loyal underground fan base (RoC Family) and street team (Universal Soldiers) travelling the distance to pack venues from coast-to-coast.
Now RoC has taken on a unique new project: Grateful Dub. Combining their longtime love for reggae-dub style music and the Grateful Dead, RoC reworked some of the world's favorite Dead tunes into a new studio album. RoC had the pleasure of working in the studio with the legendary 5-time Grammy winner Errol Brown who was Bob Marley's engineer and now Rebelution's live sound engineer for this project. Grateful Dub is also being performed live in its entirety at festivals, theatres, and clubs around the country, and features rotating special guests including Melvin Seals (JGB), Scott Guberman (Phil Lesh) full horn sections, and others. Grateful Dub captures the spirit and magic of the Grateful Dead, while laying it down reggae-dub style.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the band's cover of the Grateful Dead's classic song "Standing on the Moon" off their album Grateful Dub and its accompanying video. The new video is an acoustic version of the cover with liquid visuals performed live to original audio and overlaid atop original video by Brian Davidson, a nod to the acid light shows that the Dead became known for in the 60's. The stripped down version of the song captures the emotional impact of a song that was always a powerful part of the Grateful Dead's canon. Brett Wilson serves up emotionally poignant vocals that would make Jerry Garcia smile, singing with passion and soul while layering in tasteful acoustic guitar.
Brett Wilson describes the personal connection to the song and the process behind recording it:
"Standing on the Moon" holds a special place in my heart. I always have to choke back tears when I perform it. If I close my eyes when I belt it out, I always envision Jerry Garcia standing on the moon looking down at humanity and smiling. If you look closely at the album cover, you might find him doing just that.
For this alternate mix version of "Standing on the Moon," we stripped out the band and Melvin Seal's organ and left it what it was in the beginning.... Raw... one take... vocals and guitar. Errol Brown (who co-produced and mixed the record) was responsible for recording Bob Marley's classic "Redemption Song" and wanted to take a similar approach to this song. Since that song wasn't working with the band. He and the team suggested to Bob to do it solo acoustic ... and history was made. He gave us the same advice for this song however we ended up adding layer by layer in the album version at the halfway mark. For this version, I wanted to go back to the basics and show the original vision for the song. So we released the song for Jerry Garcia's birthday earlier this year.
The video was recorded on my iPhone on the ground in the studio live and then we added the alternate audio mix on top. Live Liquid Light artist Brian Davidson really brought this project to life combining his skill with animated visuals we already had in the archive of GRATEFUL DUB album artist Catt Gould's incredible work. After watching a couple of quarantine live streams of me jammin' for my "Friday Night Live Sessions" Brian reached out on Instagram with some ideas and we gave him full reigns to add his authentic art form to the music video. We hope you enjoy this special tribute to one of my favorite grateful dead songs!
Animator Brian Davidson describes the creative process behind the psychedelic visuals:
This was a fun and personally meaningful project for me. My goal was to create a liquid lightscape that would connect not just with the subject but also the emotion and aesthetic of the song. Above all though I wanted to do justice to Brett's stunning vocal performance. You can hear how genuinely he connects with Hunter's words. You've got to have a certain soulfulness to pull off a Jerry ballad and Brett's got that Jerry soul for sure. It was an honor to collaborate with him on a song so near and dear to my heart.