Tribute to Deadhead
The wide range of music on Fennario draws from the same American palette that inspired Garcia and Hunter, from the sweet country of “It Must Have Been the Roses” to the Memphis rock and roll of “Tennessee Jed” to the Muscle Shoals soul of “Sugaree.”
To produce the album, Joseph enlisted the core group of top-shelf multi-instrumentalists he’d used on his critically acclaimed debut album, Labor & Spirits: Tom “T-Bone” Wolk (Hall and Oates, The SNL Band), Duke Levine and Jon Carroll (Mary Chapin Carpenter), and vocalist Soozie Tyrell (The E-Street Band). The album’s other principles are Larry Campbell (who was coming off eight years touring with Bob Dylan and who now plays with the Dead’s Phil Lesh), and drummer Dennis McDermott (Marc Cohn). Fennario’s twelve tracks were recorded in five ‘round-the-clock days at New York’s legendary Legacy Recording Studios. There are two guest performances, bassist Lincoln Schleiffer (on “Mission in the Rain”) and long-time Garcia associate, mandolinist David Grisman (on “Brown-Eyed Women”).
“I produced Fennario to be something that Deadheads and non-Deadheads alike could love.” says Joseph. “I absolutely wanted it to be a respectful tribute to a beautiful working partnership, and something that could maybe help to explain to the world why so many kids spent so many years of their youth following these songs around the country and back. Fennario is a long overdue letter to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter for having written songs that have inspired, amazed, and informed me since I was twelve.”