First Songs

Donna Jean Godchaux

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First Songs Review

by William Ruhlmann

Former Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay teams with second-generation jam band the Zen Tricksters as Donna Jean & the Tricksters on this promotional EP, which gives an advance hint of a full-length CD. The slinky midtempo track "All I Gotta Say" and the delicate ballad "Shelter" are scheduled for that release; a nine-minute workout on "No Better Way," recorded live at the Mexicali Blues Café in Teaneck, NJ, apparently will remain exclusive to this disc. Godchaux-MacKay remains a powerful singer with a rhythmic, bluesy voice, which makes her a good frontwoman for the Zen Tricksters, whose shuffling style owes much to the Grateful Dead.

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