Bob Weir to Release New Solo Album ‘Blue Mountain’

August 4, 2016

photo by Jay Blakesberg

Bob Weir will release his first solo album in 10 years and his first album comprised of entirely new music in 30 years with Blue Mountain, due out September 30.

Word of Weir’s “cowboy album” began to surface in 2015 when the Grateful Dead guitarist spoke to Relix about the project, saying that he was recording with many musicians including The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Scott Devendorf, Josh Ritter, Yellowbirds’ Josh Kaufman, who produced the album, The Walkmen’s Walter Martin and Furthur bandmate Joe Russo. Also collaborating on the album are Ray Rizzo, Jon Shaw, Rob Burger, Sam Cohen, Nate Martinez, Jay Lane, RatDog bassist Robin Sylvester and Steve Kimock, along with backing vocals from The Bandana Splits. Many of those musicians also appeared on the Dessners massive Day of the Dead release that included a pair of live tracks featuring Weir teaming up with The National and Wilco. 

In December of 2015, John Perry Barlow posted a photo of himself with Weir and Lukas Nelson, saying, “Three wise men came together to write a cowboy song today.” 

“The idea came from Josh Kaufman and his circle of friends, particularly Josh Ritter,” Weir told Relix in 2015 prior to the Fare Thee Well shows. “It’s, for the most part, all new songs. I’ve been working with Josh Ritter a fair bit on some ideas, and I’m going to also drag in John Barlow and Gerrit Graham as well.” 

Ritter also added, “I have no words to describe what an honor and privilege it is getting to work with one of the defining figures in American music. Bob Weir’s voice is like a lion, his bearing is wise. Being in the room with him is like being on the range somewhere in Wyoming. He expands the space he’s in until it’s all big-sky country. I hope that I managed to get some of that big sky into these songs, but if I didn’t, Bob will.”

“We have the same instincts, musically speaking,” Weir said. “We’re looking for a story with music and the spirit in that regard, and so we enjoy working together.” He also added, “Cowboy songs have always been an aspect of what I have done. The idea is to draw them down to the essence of where they came from. Why did I start singing cowboy songs? Well, that’s because—when I was a kid—that’s what I did. I worked on a ranch. I worked with cowpokes, and I learned a little of that culture. I spent time in a bunkhouse with guys who had grown up before radio had made its way into people’s lives in that neck of the woods. The culture was such that they would sit around at night and tell stories and sing songs. I picked up a little of that, so I’m sort of chasing that down a little bit right now.”

Blue Mountain can be pre-ordered on CD here and digitally here, and the tracklist can be seen below, along with the album art.

Weir will support the album with an 11-day “Campfire Tour” that will span both coasts as he starts out close to home in San Rafael, CA and heads east, making stops in Pennsylvania and New York before a closing stint at the famed Ryman Auditorium. Pre-sale for the tour starts August 9, with general ticket sales beginning August 12 here. Each ticket comes with a physical copy of Blue Mountain

Bob Weir Tour Dates:

October 7 San Rafael, CA–Marin County Civic Center
October 8 Oakland, CA–Fox Theatre
October 10 Los Angeles, CA–The Wiltern
October 12 Upper Darby, PA–The Tower Theatre
October 14 Brooklyn, NY–Kings Theatre
October 15 Brooklyn, NY–Kings Theatre
October 16 Port Chester, NY–Capitol Theatre
October 19 Nashville, TN–Ryman Auditorium 

Blue Mountain Tracklist:

1. Only A River
2. Cottonwood Lullaby
3. Gonesville
4. Lay My Lily Down
5. Gallop On The Run
6. Whatever Happened To Rose
7. What The Ghost Towns Know
8. Darkest Hour
9. Ki-Yi Bossie
10. Storm Country
11. Blue Mountain
12. One More River To Cross