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Video: Ryan Adams Plays “Wharf Rat” For Kids

by Rob Slater on August 01, 2014

Ryan Adams and the Grateful Dead have a long history together. Along with Adams being a fan (as he discusses in the video below), the singer/songwriter also befriended Phil Lesh in 2005, leading to a few shows as a Friend of Lesh's. Adams first joined Lesh at the 2005 Jammys performing "Wharf Rat" and played with the band at Red Rocks and on New Year's of '05 in San Francisco. To this day, Lesh (as well as many projects affiliated with Lesh) still mix in some of Adams' tunes including "Let It Ride," "Cold Roses" and more.

Following his performance at the Newport Folk Festival, Adams and his acoustic guitar visited some kids at MyMusicRX for a take on "Wharf Rat." The singer says he listens to the Grateful Dead whenever he "feels out of place" or isn't "feeling great." It's fitting that this beautiful cover surfaces on Jerry Garcia's birthday. A wonderful tribute, indeed. Watch it below.



Nice! Did you catch him gliding over “some other fucker’s” crime? For the kids, you know.

By Randall - 08/01/14

Where was this?

By A. St. Pierre - 08/01/14

He kills (in a good way) this song every time he plays it.

By AP - 08/01/14

one of, if not the best dead songs

By cole - 08/01/14

I saw him play this at the Jammy’s in ‘05 with Phil and Mike Gordon and, although it was awesome, he was the one “stumblin’ around drunk on burgandy wine” (actually he had a can of Bud in his hand during the whole performance). Even though he was a mess, I remember thinking to myself “Who IS this guy?” Obviously he’s very talented but I think his talent shines much brighter now that he’s clean and sober (I’ve heard).

By Tom S. - 08/01/14

I saw him at the first Austin City Limits festival in 2002, and he covered Wharf Rat there as well - after saying “the Grateful Dead are punk as fuck!”  Can’t disagree with the man!!

By TacoBoy - 08/01/14

This is a beautiful version. Thanks for sharing. I love it!

By jbrighamma - 08/01/14


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