Sage and Spirit

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Sage and Spirit

This is a Grateful Dead instrumental, transcribed from the version on the Blues for Allah album. Apparently Sage and Spirit are the daughters of Rock Scully. Rock and his daughters came to visit Bob Weir in his hotel room one day. He was playing the guitar while Sage and Spirit bounced on his bed and basically trashed his hotel room. The piece evolved from their high energy and childish joy.

I have heard several versions of it, but never did Bob and Jerry seem to hit it the way they do in this version. It is an awesome duet, and in 1978, as part of transforming myself from a classical guitarist to a bluesman, I transcribed it note for note, framed it as a guitar solo and learned to play it. The score is my transcription; but it gives no hint of the extremely loose tempo they maintained in performance. You just have to know where the slow-downs are and give it all the soul you got.

My version is laughable (ha, ha) compared to the original, but for me it’s pretty good. I do not pretend for a moment to be able to imitate Jerry Garcia or Bob Weir, but I am proud to be able to honor them by attempting this piece. I hope you enjoy it too!