I’ve been listening to a lot of classical guitar these past few months. Mostly Bach, some Vivaldi but I’ll leave that for another post.
Anyway, given my listening habits I guess that it was inevitable that the Great YouTube Algorithm would direct me to a You Tube playlist named “Jerry’s Smilin – A Guitar Tribute To The Grateful Dead’ by nylon string guitarist-composer Damia’ Timoner.
Side Note: I’m of two minds regarding You Tube’s recommendation of this channel. It’s creepy that it tracks my viewing habits so it knew that I would like this but on the other hand . . It was right, I do like it.
I don’t know much about Mr. Timoner. Beside his Grateful Dead covers. I’ve heard great fingerstyle guitar renditions of David Bowie’s Space Oddity and The Pogues’ Fairytale In New York but I want to talk specifically about “Jerry’s Smilin”.
First off, to me it’s apparent that he “gets it”. You can tell he’s a deadhead who plays classical guitar, not a classical guitarist that thinks an album of dead covers would be a good marketing hook. He knows the music and his attention to little things in the music show it. His quoting of Garcia’s opening guitar line in his version of Dark Star immediately made me take notice.
Dark Star (Grateful Dead cover) by Damià Timoner
Listening to the instrumental covers of these dead tunes once again reminds me that these are strong melodic songs. When you hear the vocal melody played by an instrument, you can appreciate how well these melodies hold up.
Cassidy -DeadCoversProject by Damià Timoner
#DeadCoversProject 2022 – Ramble on rose (Grateful Dead cover) by Damià Timoner
Most impressive is Timoner’s take on Terrapin Station, one of the Dead’s most elaborate compositions. Given that the song is very orchestral in itself, Timoner does a great job of adapting it all to solo classical guitar.
Lady with a fan / Terrapin station (Grateful Dead cover) by Damià Timoner
Listen to Damia’ Timoner’s album, “Jerry’s Smilin – A Guitar Tribute To The Grateful Dead” on Spotify here.
Jerry’s Smilin – A Guitar Tribute To The Grateful Dead on Spotify