Writings about Music

Dark Star Reborn

Jerry Garcia has been in my thoughts recently having come to the realization that he is the rock guitarist who sounds closest to sitarist Ravi Shankar. Indeed, the melody of Dark Star follows Khammaj Thaat with hints of Kafi Thaat, both from the Hindustani music which spawned Shankar. And the brilliant bass counterpoint improvised by Phil Lesh along with Garica mirrors the emancipation of that instrument heralded by jazz bassists like Richard Davis. Powerful influences from jazz, Indian classical music and bluegrass because a potent amalgam with the Grateful Dead, and I agree that the live recording of Dark Star from February 27, 1969 is one of their greatest achievements. Their love of Indian classical music accounts for much of the wondrous poetry found in the music and lyrics of Dark Star.



Kaunsi Kanada has a mood related to Dark Star.


- Michael Robinson, February 2019, Los Angeles


© 2019 Michael Robinson All rights reserved


Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).