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For a certain generation of high-school students, the knowing way to quote the Grateful Dead in one’s yearbook was not by naming the band. Rather, it was by attributing a line to its likely source—Robert Hunter, the group’s first principal lyricist. Hunter is now seventy-three, and two years ago he almost died. “I got really, really sick, with a spinal infection that put me in a hospital for a couple of months, and it was touch and go,” he said recently. “I had my guitar with me, and as soon as I got well enough to play there was nothing else to do in that hospital. The nurses would come in and request songs.”
One sunny afternoon in London, in 1970, Hunter wrote the words to three magical Grateful Dead songs, “To Lay Me Down,” “Ripple,” and “Brokedown Palace.” He is a lyricist with few equals, and, together with Jerry Garcia, he conjured up the majority of the Dead’s original songs… READ MORE
Check out this post about Robert’s performances with Roadhog on the blog Lost Live Dead.
“In the modern Internet age it is difficult to explain how mysterious Robert Hunter was to Deadheads in the early 1970s. His name was listed as lyricist on most Dead albums, and occasionally there was a quote in Rolling Stone magazine attributed to him. He was reputed to be one of the figures on the cover of Workingman’s Dead, and once in a while a picture had been published of him. Even if you had seen one, however, there was no way to easily access it, so he remained elusive. A few quotes from Jerry Garcia suggested that Hunter had played folk or bluegrass music with Garcia in the early days, but compared to even the late 1970s there was very little material circulating, so most people had never heard the ‘Wildwood Boys” tape fragment that is in wide circulation today. By all accounts, a distant presence was all Robert Hunter desired to be during that period.
Thus it was a great surprise in June 1974 when Round Records released a Hunter solo album, Tales Of The Great Rum Runners…READ MORE
BEYOND THE BLUE HORIZON TOUR – NEW DATES ADDED
A few more dates have been added to this Summer’s BEYOND THE BLUE HORIZON TOUR.
• The Suffolk Theatre in Riverhead, NY – July 27
• A 4th show has been added at City Winery NYC – August 2
Stay tuned for a few more additional dates to be announced soon!
Check out the complete video of Robert Hunter at the Americana Music Honors & Awards in Nashville in September 2013. The 9-minute video includes the heartfelt introduction and award presentation by Jim Lauderdale, and Robert’s acceptance speech and performance of “Ripple.”
ROBERT HUNTER @ CITY WINERY NYC – JULY 21, 22 & 23
City Winery New York will be hosting Robert Hunter for three special nights – July 21, 22 & 23. Don’t miss the chance to see Robert in such an intimate setting.
Tickets go on sale to City Winery VinoFile Members on 4/15, and to the general public on 4/17.
City Winery ticketing - www.citywinery.com/newyork/tickets.html
Become a VinoFile Member - www.citywinery.com/newyork/vinofile-premier-membership.html
This past September, Robert Hunter was graciously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting at the 2013 Americana Music Honors & Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. This performance of “Ripple” from the event at the Ryman Auditorium (aka Grand Ole Opry) was Robert’s first live performance of the song in over 8 years. Be the first to know when new videos are posted to Robert Hunter’s Official YouTube Channel. Please subscribe - http://www.youtube.com/roberthuntervideo
We are very excited to launch the official Robert Hunter YouTube Channel. Please subscribe so that you will be notified when new videos are released. http://www.youtube.com/roberthuntervideo We hope it will become the video archive for all the material we can dig up – past, present and future. Here is the first video to be released from last Fall’s “Let There Be Songs” Tour - “Bertha” from the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY (10/05/13). We’ve got a lot more material from the “Let There Be Songs” Tour, so stay tuned for more as we’ll be posting new tracks regularly. Also, be on the look…
Robert Hunter will playing at the Newport Folk Festival – July 25, 2014 in Newport, RI. “I am honored and humbled to be playing the Grandaddy of all festivals. Please make sure you check out the entire lineup of this amazing festival.” Complete festival and line-up info @ http://www.newportfolk.org.
This short tour was undertaken to discover if I had the wherewihtall to perform after recovering from a serious illness. Half-way through I can report I’m hanging in there and actually getting stronger. The loving reception of my audience no doubt accounts for this. My goal is to finish the tour and wish it were longer!
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