The Trichromes

Trichromes

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Robert Hunter, lyricist for the Grateful Dead, used to complain that the band made sparing use of his services in its latter days and then sometimes went years before it got around to recording songs of his it had been performing in concert. Since the band's demise, however, Hunter has gotten a lot more work as the individual members have turned to him for material. Hunter wrote the lyrics for eight of the 11 songs -- which is all but one of the songs that have lyrics -- on the debut album by the TriChromes, featuring former Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. Hunter's words are typically allusive and aphoristic, offering kernels of wisdom on such tunes as pop-sounding leadoff track "None So Blind" and the single Dice With the Universe, though he can offer friskier sentiments on such songs as "Kickin' Ass on the Avenue." It's a shame that Hunter's old writing partner, Jerry Garcia, never got a chance to work with these lyrics, but TriChromes guitarist Ralph Woodson and such guests as Pete Sears and Neal Schon do fine by them, creating songs that sound like they could have fit into the Dead's repertoire. And the band's jamming style is also reminiscent of the Dead, especially on the ten-and-a-half-minute closer, "Knot of Eternity," which takes off for the regions of space Deadheads will remember from the middle of the late band's shows. The Dead may be dead, but with successors like the TriChromes around, Deadheads still have familiar music to listen to.

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