Mundi.News

Bolívia, El Diario, Espanhol

Bolívia, El Diario, Espanhol

Bolívia, Opinión, Espanhol

Bolívia, Opinión, Espanhol

Colômbia, El Mundo, Espanhol

Colômbia, El Mundo, Espanhol

Equador, El Mercurio, Espanhol

Equador, El Mercurio, Espanhol

Equador, La Hora, Espanhol

Equador, La Hora, Espanhol

Paraguai, Popular, Espanhol

Paraguai, Popular, Espanhol

Uruguai, El Observador, Espanhol

Uruguai, El Observador, Espanhol

Bósnia Herzegovina, Oslobodenje , Bósnio

Bósnia Herzegovina, Oslobodenje , Bósnio

Chipre, Kribus Gazetezi, Turco

Chipre, Kribus Gazetezi, Turco

Chipre, Dialogos, Grego

Chipre, Dialogos, Grego

Holanda, Volkskrant.nl, Holandês

Holanda, Volkskrant.nl, Holandês

Holanda, Dse.nl, Holandês

Holanda, Dse.nl, Holandês

Guiana, Guyana Chronicle, Inglês

Guiana, Guyana Chronicle, Inglês

Guiana, Guyana Times, Inglês

Guiana, Guyana Times, Inglês

Suriname, Stabroeck News, Inglês

Suriname, Stabroeck News, Inglês

Suriname, Waterkant, Holandês

Suriname, Waterkant, Holandês

Bósnia Herzegovina, Avaz , Bósnio

Bósnia Herzegovina, Avaz , Bósnio

Espanha, El Mundo, Espanhol

Espanha, El Mundo, Espanhol

Inglaterra, The Guardian, Inglês

Inglaterra, The Guardian, Inglês

Inglaterra, The Sun, Inglês

Inglaterra, The Sun, Inglês

Notícias
Bolívia, El Diario, Espanhol

Bolívia, El Diario, Espanhol

Bolívia, Opinión, Espanhol

Bolívia, Opinión, Espanhol

Colômbia, El Mundo, Espanhol

Colômbia, El Mundo, Espanhol

Equador, El Mercurio, Espanhol

Equador, El Mercurio, Espanhol

Equador, La Hora, Espanhol

Equador, La Hora, Espanhol

Paraguai, Popular, Espanhol

Paraguai, Popular, Espanhol

Uruguai, El Observador, Espanhol

Uruguai, El Observador, Espanhol

Bósnia Herzegovina, Oslobodenje , Bósnio

Bósnia Herzegovina, Oslobodenje , Bósnio

Chipre, Kribus Gazetezi, Turco

Chipre, Kribus Gazetezi, Turco

Chipre, Dialogos, Grego

Chipre, Dialogos, Grego

Holanda, Volkskrant.nl, Holandês

Holanda, Volkskrant.nl, Holandês

Holanda, Dse.nl, Holandês

Holanda, Dse.nl, Holandês

Guiana, Guyana Chronicle, Inglês

Guiana, Guyana Chronicle, Inglês

Guiana, Guyana Times, Inglês

Guiana, Guyana Times, Inglês

Suriname, Stabroeck News, Inglês

Suriname, Stabroeck News, Inglês

Suriname, Waterkant, Holandês

Suriname, Waterkant, Holandês

Bósnia Herzegovina, Avaz , Bósnio

Bósnia Herzegovina, Avaz , Bósnio

Espanha, El Mundo, Espanhol

Espanha, El Mundo, Espanhol

Inglaterra, The Guardian, Inglês

Inglaterra, The Guardian, Inglês

Inglaterra, The Sun, Inglês

Inglaterra, The Sun, Inglês

Canadá, Ottawa Citizen, Inglês


Toronto author Ray Robertson explores the history of the Grateful Dead through their music in his new book.

Article content

All the Years Combine: The Grateful Dead in Fifty Shows

By Ray Robertson

Article content

Ottawa book launch: 8 p.m. Feb. 22, Red Bird Live, 1165 Bank. St, featuring the author in conversation with David O’Meara, and live music by New Minglewood Station.

Tickets: $10 at redbirdlive.ca

The first thing about the Grateful Dead that appealed to Ray Robertson was the sound of Jerry Garcia’s guitar. 

Advertisement 2

Article content

The Canadian author was well into his 40s and definitely not a fan of endless guitar solos when he became enamoured with the late, great Garcia’s playing on a live recording of a show with organist Merl Saunders. 

But, as Robertson writes in his latest book, he was lured by the “ceaseless musical curiosity compelling (Garcia) to eschew guitar-solo clichés and squeeze out the full emotional range of almost every note he played.”

Robertson decided on the spot he had to hear every one of those notes emanating from Garcia’s guitar. 

That starting point is detailed in the final chapter of All The Years Combine: The Grateful Dead in Fifty Shows, a fascinating chronicle of the band’s history told in a series of essays Robertson wrote during the pandemic. Because he discovered the music later in life, he had never actually seen the Dead play with Garcia (who died in 1995); instead, his list of shows was compiled through intensive listening. 

“What I call myself is a Headphone Head,” Robertson, who’s now 57, said in a recent interview. “There was a lot of time sitting in my shed out back, listening to the Grateful Dead and making notes. It’s not the 50 greatest shows, it’s a biography of the music. I’m using my day job as a novelist to tell the story, but to tell it through the music.

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

“Because the Dead recorded everything and we have access to almost everything,” he added, “it’s a unique opportunity to hear how the music changed. My book (talks about) how they started as an R&B cover band, then moved to this more spacey thing and then on to songwriting. I think you can hear the changes.” 

Headshot of Canadian author Ray Robertson in a ball cap.
Toronto-based author Ray Robertson will be in Ottawa on Feb. 22 for the launch of his latest book, All the Years Combine: The Grateful Dead in Fifty Shows. ott

It’s not the first time the Dead have made it into Robertson’s writing. His ninth novel, Estates Large and Small, features a book-selling protagonist who listens to the Dead. The tale drew the attention of none other than David Lemieux, the Ottawa-raised Deadhead who’s been the band’s chief archivist/legacy manager for 25 years and compiles the best-selling “Dave’s Picks” album releases. 

Robertson had his book of 50 shows in progress when he heard from Lemieux, who had enjoyed the novel, and the two men became friends. Lemieux soon recruited Robertson to write liner notes for Dave’s Picks 45 and last year’s multi-disc box set. 

The connection with Lemieux, a key member of the Dead’s inner circle, also helped raise Robertson’s profile, a development he says is a refreshing change from the usual state of obscurity faced by Canadian authors. He’s also been having fun finding Dead cover bands to perform at his book launches. (This week’s Redbird show features tunes by a fairly new Ottawa-area Dead cover band called New Minglewood Station.)

Advertisement 4

Article content

Of course, Deadheads are an opinionated group, and not all of Robertson’s views on the music are widely shared. He believes the band’s most formative period was the early-to-mid 1970s, although the book covers shows between 1966 and ‘95, and has no time for the stadium-filling Dead and Company lineup with John Mayer covering Garcia’s role. 

At the same time, Robertson recognizes the role of tribute bands in keeping the music alive.

“In 25 or 30 years, no one who saw the Dead will be around,” he said. “I find that kind of sad, but on the other hand, the music will survive, and that’s an equally fascinating part of the journey of being a Deadhead: The music impacts life, and life impacts music, and the world changes but the music is still there.”

[email protected]

Want to stay in the know about what’s happening in Ottawa? Sign up for the Ottawa Citizen’s arts and life newsletter — Ottawa, Out of Office — our weekly guide to eating, listening, reading, watching, playing, hanging, learning and living well in the capital.

Recommended from Editorial

Article content



Ottawa Citizen

Notícias

Senegal, Le Quotidien, Francês

Aïssata Tall Sall, Minister of Justice  has encouraged all the political players concerned to take an active part in the national dialogue announced by President

Senegal, Walf, Francês

(OPINION) En annonçant, ou plus exactement en faisant annoncer, qu’il prend acte du verdict rendu par le Conseil Constitutionnel retoquant le décret par lequel il

Tunísia, La Presse, Francês

Pus de 140 workshops et manifestations scientifiques dédiés au grand public, et notamment aux élèves, sont programmés par la Cité des Sciences de Tunis (CST)

Tunísia, Alchourouk, Árabe

انهى المنتخب التونسي لكرة السلة حامل لقب النسختين الاخيرتين سلسلة مقابلاته ضمن النافذة الاولى من تصفيات كاس امم افريقيا (افروباسكيت 2025) بالعلامة الكاملة بفوزه على