The Grateful Dead in their prime were superb interpreters of a variety of musical genres, from R&B to country and blues. Jerry Garcia on lead guitar along with Bobby Weir on rhythm guitar and innovative bass guitar player Phil Lesh melded well; from Wikipedia:
“I Know You Rider” (aka “Woman Blues” and “I Know My Rider”) is a traditional woman’s blues song that has been adapted by numerous artists. Modern versions can be traced back to the song’s appearance in the 1934 book, American Ballads and Folk Songs, by the noted father and son musicologists and folklorists, John Lomax and Alan Lomax. The book notes that “An eighteen-year old black girl, in prison for murder, sang the song and the first stanza of these blues.” The Lomaxes then added a number of verses from other sources and named it ‘Woman Blue’
These songs were performed back in 1972:
This one is from the band’s psychedelic era; the lyrics don’t really make sense, but I’ve always liked them:
Look for a while at the china cat sunflower,
Proud walking jingle in the midnight sun.
Copperdome bodhi drip a silver kimono,
Like a crazy quilt stargown through a dream night wind.
Crazy cat peekin through a lace bandanna,
Like a one-eyed cheshire, like a diamond-eye jack.
A leaf of all colors plays a golden-string fiddle,
To a double-e waterfall over my back.
Comic book colors on a violin river cryin leonardo,
Words from out a silk trombone.
I rang a silent bell, beneath a shower of pearls,
In the eagle-winged palace of the queen chinee.
I saw this band live three times years ago and I still cherish the memories.