With the long-awaited Fare Thee Well gigs now just a Fourth of July weekend memory, the Grateful Dead have wrapped up their live performances, for now. Guitarist and lyricist Bob Weir, on the other hand, is ready to jump into his next musical venture. The 67-year-old founding member of the Dead has shifted his focus to crafting "an album of cowboy songs," offering an extensive lineup of musicians including songwriter Josh Ritter.
"It's, for the most part, all new songs. I've been working with Josh Ritter a fair bit on some ideas, and I'm going to also drag in [lyricists] John Barlow and Gerrit Graham as well," Weir told Relix, notes Jambase. "We're going to downplay the emphasis on the playing and play up the emphasis on the storytelling."
— Relix Magazine (@RelixMag) July 29, 2015
"I have no words to describe what an honor and privilege it is getting to work with one of the defining figures in American music," Ritter vexplained in a conversation with NPR. "Bob Weir's voice is like a lion, his bearing is wise. Being in the room with him is like being on the range somewhere in Wyoming. He expands the space he's in until it's all big-sky country. I hope that I managed to get some of that big sky into these songs, but if I didn't, Bob will."
The title and release date for the project is still up in the air, but whenever its decided, it'll give Weir the push he needs to get back into the studio which he's spent quite some time away from. To get a closer look at Weir's life and rise to fame alongside Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, check out the documentary film The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir.