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The Core: Mickey Hart on Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter and the New RAMU

Mike Greenhaus | October 31, 2017

For RAMU, his first studio album since before Fare Thee Well, the Grateful Dead’s global-music scholar fuses his trademark percussive dance beats, a set of fresh Robert Hunter lyrics and some lost Jerry Garcia recordings with the help of Tank and the Bangas’ Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Animal Collective’s Avey Tare and many others


With RAMU, it feels like I’ve been out on the high seas for three and a half years. The winds, the rain, the laughter— all of that goes with longdistance recording. And it was eventful, quite a journey. It started off as a dance version of a percussion record with these exotic instruments and wound up differently as a song record. I don’t think I’ve worked on a recording this intense before and I’ve been part of a lot of them. This one is filled with lots of detail, lots of wonderful grooves.

And then, [Robert] Hunter delivered what I consider the motherload. Once he started throwing these lyrics across my bow, there was no way I could look back. They were so there; they said everything I wanted to say. This was through all of the Trump madness and all of that leading up to it. And when Trump came along, well, that was my greatest inspiration.