The song was commissioned by none other than The National for their new Grateful Dead tribute album project entitled Day Of The Dead, which features over 60 artists covering a range of classic Dead songs.
Each tune has also been reinterpreted in the style of its cover artist, and New Speedway Boogie is no exception.
The rollicking Workingman’s Dead cut gets stripped back by Barnett, who also slacks off on the tempo and delivers the vocals with her trademark deadpan ocker style.
It’s one of a jaw-dropping 59 Grateful Dead songs to feature on the Day Of The Dead covers LP, totalling over six hours worth of music from the likes of The War On Drugs, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear, Phosphorescent, Wilco, Mumford and Sons, The Flaming Lips, Anhoni, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and the brilliantly named Marijuana Deathsquads among scores of others including, of course, The National themselves.
Their cover of Morning Dew has also been unveiled today, alongside The War On Drugs’ take on Touch Of Grey, Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis & friends teaming up for Sugaree, and Dead vet Bruce Hornsby covering Black Muddy River with DeYarmond Edison.
Listen to them all – alongside Barnett’s cover of New Speedway Boogie – below.
Meanwhile, after five years of production, Day of the Dead is finally due out on May 20th, with all profits benefitting the Red Hot Organization for HIV/AIDS prevention.
Listen: Courtney Barnett – New Speedway Boogie
Listen: The National – Morning Dew
Listen: The War On Drugs – Touch Of Grey
Listen: Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis & friends – Sugaree
Listen: Bruce Hornsby & DeYarmond Edison – Black Muddy River