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Thursday, July 27

Speak with wisdom like a child, Directly from the heart. The Barton Hills Choir release Dead Songs Volume 1. Get all the 411 thanks to Heather

Speak with wisdom like a child, Directly from the heart. The Barton Hills Choir release Dead Songs Volume 1. Get all the 411 thanks to Heather 

The Barton Hills Choir is growing a following in the Grateful Dead community. An elementary school choir that covers music from the Grateful Dead, David Bowie, The Foo Fighters and everything in between is becoming a Facebook and YouTube sensation. With some of the videos garnering over 3.4 million views, the group has enjoyed its share of the limelight over the past couple of years. They have earned multiple appearances at the Austin City Limits Music Festival and SXSW. In 2012 they appeared with Roger Waters performing The Wall at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.
Choir director Gavin Tabone has taken his students on an educational and creative journey and now they’re ready to release their first CD. The aptly titled “Dead Songs Volume 1” is available now via the choir’s Facebook page.

“Dead Songs, Volume 1” covers some of the best of the Grateful Dead, artfully arranged by Tabone and beautifully performed by the choir, with grades ranging from 3rd-6th. A number of the tunes feature the instrumental parts being “sung” by the children. In this way, their clear voices are highlighted to the fullest, and they quite obviously have fun with the songs. This interpretation of the Dead’s favorite anthems will make you hear them in a whole new light. It hearkens back to a simpler time, with the innocence of childhood capable of bringing some tears and more than a few goosebumps. From Touch of Grey to Fire on the Mountain to Ripple, and ending with a haunting rendition of Going Down the Road Feeling Bad into I Know You Rider, this release has a little something for everyone on it. It’s like the KidsBop for the Jam Band scene. But better.

Watch their take on Ripple here:

The album consists of nine tracks, sung by current members of The Barton Hills Choir and also some alumni.  A number of the tracks have vocal and instrumental accompaniment by some or all of the members of local Grateful Dead cover band DeadEye and Tabone. The focus though, remains primarily on the kids.
Watch Their Take on Brokedown Palace 

Dead Songs, Volume 1 is available for a small fee that only covers manufacturing, packaging and shipping. For more information, check them out on Facebook, or go to 
In reality, Gavin Tabone is doing what every Deadhead dreams of when handed a blank canvas: he (and about 150 talented students) is painting his masterpiece.
Words Heather Mott 
Thanks to Gavin Tabone and his Students.