Decorated guitarist Eric Krasno and producer/multi-instrumentalist Otis McDonald have shared a recreation of Grateful Dead classic “Sugar Magnolia”. Rendered as a vintage soul-funk strut, the 1970 Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter gem takes on new life in the hands (and voices) of Kraz and Otis.
As Krasno explained of the cover, “During the pandemic I was asked to create a new version of ‘Sugar Magnolia’ to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the classic album American Beauty by the Grateful Dead. I had been working with the great Otis McDonald on my solo album and King Canyon projects at the time. Both Otis and I have spent time on the road with members of the Grateful Dead ([me with] Phil & Friends and Otis with the Mickey Hart Band) so it made perfect sense to pair up and make a funky version of this timeless classic.”
While the cover was first recorded back in 2020, the release arrives in timely fashion as Eric Krasno prepares to head out on a weekend run of shows in the Northeast with Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. The three-night Phil & Friends run, set to feature Phil Lesh and Eric Krasno alongside Jason Crosby, James Casey, Jennifer Hartswick, Grahame Lesh, and John Molo, will kick off on Friday, July 21st at Boston, MA’s Leader Bank Pavilion (Friday, 7/21) before heading to Patchogue, NY’s Great South Bay Music Festival (Saturday, 7/22) and New Haven, CT’s Westville Music Bowl (Sunday, 7/23). For ticketing information, head here.
Stream the Eric Krasno & Otis McDonald “Sugar Magnolia” cover on the platform of your choice here or watch the quarantine-style video for the track below.
Eric Krasno & Otis McDonald – “Sugar Magnolia” (Grateful Dead)