Dusty Wright’s musical biography is a storied one – from folk bands singing kids’ songs for adults, through the garage-punk of Bastards of Execution and onwards through The Dusty Diamonds, who were inspired by a love for all things Jefferson: Airplane and Starship. The country folk of the Wright Brothers saw the man born Mark J. Petracca reborn as Dusty Wright – who would get his first eponymous solo album in 1997. Layer on years of solo material, side-bands and radio concerts backed by John Prine’s band and you have a rich musical heritage.
So why a cover of The Dead’s ‘Friend of the Devil’? It’s another of those sidetracks, which sees Dusty Wright covering classic americana songs. It’s also a return to the start – the real start, the time before the first folk band – all the way back to when he was three and got his first record player, and a youth spent listening to a radio soundtrack of Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Byrds, Todd Rundgren, Dylan, Roxy Music, Joni Mitchell, The Band, Elton John, CSN&Y, Warren Zevon. And, presumably, The Grateful Dead.