Music of The Grateful Dead Arranged for Classical Solo Piano!
Holly Bowling’s ‘Better Left Unsung’ is a collection of classical solo piano arrangements of the music of The Grateful Dead. A classically trained pianist, Bowling possesses one distinction that sets her apart from similarly studied musicians—a devotion to improvisational rock music and the vision to painstakingly transcribe “jam” masterworks note-for-note, arranging them for solo piano and improvising upon what was already written. Last year, Bowling released ‘Distillation Of A Dream: The Music Of Phish Reimagined For Solo Piano’ to wide acclaim. So it only seems fitting that she turns her attention to the music of The Grateful Dead for her second album, which containins over two hours worth of music.
"Franklin’s Tower," "The Other One" and “Unbroken Chain," are among the songs Bowling recorded for the album, in addition to an entire solo piano arrangement of the "Terrapin Station" suite. Bowling’s favorite version of “Eyes Of The World” from Louisville’s Freedom Hall in 1974 receives a complete transcription, as well.
Phish song, "Tweezer," is what first inspired Bowling to begin transcribing and arranging the music of her favorite artists for solo piano. After witnessing a moving performance of the song at Lake Tahoe on July 31, 2013, Bowling sat down and transcribed the 37-minute performance note-for-note. When performing these pieces, Bowling uses her classical piano technique to make each song her own work of art.
"More reimaginings than covers, Bowling builds on these often highly improvised works with her own improvisations and suggestions, adding her own dialogue to conversations already in progress... Far more than tribute album, this is the type of studied, ambitious project that could only grow out of this scene's peculiar devotion to both its own history and spirit of exploration... Bowling's beautifully detailed and inventive reworking of this material transcends the instrumentation and carries the torch in a surprising new direction." - Timothy Monger, AllMusic, Rated 4/5
Review from The Absolute Sound for the 2-disc release:
"You don't have to connect with the Dead to connect with this lush and lively two-disc set. The 13 songs explored by Bowling... would be perfectly enjoyable for someone who's never heard a note of Grateful Dead music. On the other hand, one need not be a particular fan of solo piano songs to dig what Bowling is delivering... Bowling... finds something new and fresh in the classic tunes of America's cult favorite hippie godfathers." - Karen Bells, The Absolute Sound, April 2017, Music 3.5/5, Sonics 3/5
• 3LP Set
• Limited Time digital download of album plus 27-minute bonus track (Dark Star)
1. Help On The Way > Slipnot!
2. Franklin’s Tower
3. Cassidy Side B:
1. Bird Song
2. Wharf Rat Side C:
1. Unbroken Chain
2. Crazy Fingers Side D:
1. Cryptical Envelopment > The Other One
2. Row Jimmy Side E:
1. Terrapin Station (Suite) Side F:
1. Eyes Of The World (6/18/74 Louisville, KY)
2. China Doll