As a classic rock level fan of the Grateful Dead, I never dug into who did what when where why and on which album tour tape whatever.  Beyond recognizing Jerry Garcia in photos, I didn’t really know much about the band or its evolution.  The first time I gave any thought to the creation of their songs happened in Nashville at the Ryman.

During the Americana Awards show one year, Robert Hunter won a lifetime achievement award.  I had no idea who he was.  Well, by the end of the night, I knew he was the Grateful Dead lyricist for almost every song I liked from the band, and he made me cry my eyes out in the balcony while he sang “Ripple.”  Hunter got me.  Gutted me.  What a beautiful song!

Since that night, I dug in a bit more to the Dead.  Specifically, I realized that Robert Hunter lyrics are the ones that grab me.  While I’ll never call myself a Deadhead, I absolutely love a heckuva lot of their songs.

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