From the #1 charting Billboard Reggae album, Grateful Dub: A Reggae-Infused Tribute To The Grateful Dead, singer/guitarist/producer Brett Wilson, and his band Roots of Creation, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Grateful Dead release of “Casey Jones” by premiering an official music video of the song that was originally penned by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia, and released by the Grateful Dead 50 years ago this month in June 1970 from the album Workingman’s Dead.
For their version of the song, Roots of Creation is joined by guest vocalist Dan Kelly of the Southern California Reggae band Fortunate Youth, while the track is complemented by the tight production of original Bob Marley engineering legend Errol “Tuff Sound” Brown. The recording has a spirited upbeat funky vibe, with explosive guitars and a unique Reggae tinge that would probably make both Bob and Jerry “smile smile smile….”
The video was shot by Jeff Pliskin (Raised Fist Propaganda), a New York street-based creative photography and video collaborator whose work includes music videos and photos of artists like Method Man and Redman, Slightly Stoopid, members of Wu-Tang Clan and Tribe Called Quest, Collie Buddz, Bad Brains, G. Love, street and skate brands Zoo York, Supreme, Plan-B, and the official Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign. The video was shot on 2 coasts with Wilson’s performance taking place both on the streets of Brooklyn with the backdrop of the iconic handpainted “CHANGE” mural, and from within the Relix Magazine studio, in downtown Manhattan. Dan Kelly of Fortunate Youth was filmed in typical Raised Fist “no-permit” guerilla style fashion at the nostalgic Travel Town train museum in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park. Additional special FX train footage was later provided by Robert Couvillion (VR360 Entertainment).
Casey Jones was a locomotive engineer who became a folk hero after his death in a train crash in 1900 was commemorated in a number of songs. According to legend, Jones died with one hand on the train’s whistle and the other hand on its brake. Following Jones’ death, Wallace Saunders, an African-American railroad worker in Mississippi, developed a ballad about the fallen engineer that became popular with other men in the railroad yards. From there, a version of the tune was performed on the vaudeville circuit. In 1909, a pair of songwriters published “Casey Jones” based in part on the earlier melodies.
Wilson and Roots of Creation, based in New Hampshire, dropped the album on their own Bombshelter Records imprint in association with Silverback Music & Controlled Substance Soundlabs, the influential label and management company whose notable work includes Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, Fishbone, Dumpstaphunk, Fortunate Youth, and Stephen Marley amongst others. The official “Casey Jones” music video is slated for official international release on July 3rd, 2020 on Amazon Prime, VEVO, iTunes/Apple Music, Tidal & more!