Now Playing…

The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia It’s official… what was flu is pneumonia, so I am on doctor-enforced bedrest, covered in blankets, sipping tea, and recuperating to the sounds of Grateful Dread Radio through the laptop (thanks again, Santa, er, Mom). It occured to me that I haven’t pimped GDR in a while, and shame on me for the oversight. In all seriousness, this is good stuff: If you haven’t given it a listen, what are you waiting for?

Burning Spear Grateful Dread Radio (whose music I program via Launchcast) is an eclectic mix of what I call kynd genres, including reggae, jamband, folk, blues, country, rock (old and new; psychedelic; progressive), world beat, jazz, and more. Over the past two hours or so, this is what has spun:

Culture, “Freedom Jam”
Beres Hammond, “Interlude”
Deep Purple, “Never a Word”
Lucinda Williams, “Jackson”
John Prine, “Humidity Built The Snowman”
Moxy Fruvous, “B.J. Don’t Cry”
Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Wooden Ships”
Neville Brothers, “Fearless”
David Bowie, “Outside”
Jimi Hendrix, “I Don’t Live Today” (a live performace from the LA Forum from April 26, 1969)
India.Arie, “Brown Skin”
Tom Waits, “Hoist That Rag”
Bob Dylan, “Gates Of Eden”
Traffic, “Every Night, Every Day” (more like Winwood-Capaldi)
Buckwheat Zydeco, “People’s Choice”
Joan Armatrading, “Mercy Mama”
Keb’ Mo’, “I Was Wrong”
Bob Marley, “Slave Driver”
Burning Spear, “Marcus Children Suffer”
Toots & The Maytals, “Never You Change”
Yellowman, “Yellow Like Cheese”
Lee “Scratch” Perry, “Dread At The Mantrols”
Kate Bush, “Room for the Life”
Grateful Dead, “Every Day”
Joni Mitchell, “Carey”
Melissa Etheridge, “Breathe”
Phish, “Union Federal”
Little Feat, “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now”

Kate Bush Even I am stunned at just how good the quality of the broadcast is. And the music mix of almost always excellent songs flows well for the most part (though the segue from Melissa Etheridge into Phish was a little funky). But it’s a real adventure — you never know what you’re going to hear or when you are going to hear it. I can guarantee, however, that you won’t hear Usher or Nickelback in heavy rotation. And it’s free unless you want to pay Launch $3 a month for the commercial-free variety (hey, nothing’s perfect).

Trust me, if you’re tired of mindless ClearChannel horsehockey or you’re sick of being force-fed mass-market, formulaic “product,” try Grateful Dread Radio. Immerse yourself in artistic, imaginative, passionate kynd sounds for a change. And let me know what you think of it. Also, if you have musical suggestions, please tell me; I am always adding to the playlist.

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