Shalom Life | April 26, 2015

Yes, There's A Grateful Dead Album Entirely in Hebrew

Released by Sagol 59 and Ami Yaris, “The Promised Land” features songs from the revered jam band beautifully translated into Hebrew

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: April 24th, 2015 in Culture » Music » News

Yes, There's A Grateful Dead Album Entirely in Hebrew

Just hours ago we learned that The Grateful Dead is going on a full-length tour with John Mayer (to replace Phish's Trey Anastasio who's been filling the void for Jerry Garcia), and if you're an Israeli fan, this will certainly intrigue you as well.

Some of their songs have just been translated into Hebrew. In fact, there's a whole album.

Sagol 59 and Ami Yares have recently released a new project entitled The Promised Land; The Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia Hebrew Project, and it’s exactly what it sounds like it is. The two have taken beloved songs by The Grateful Dead and Garcia, translated them into Hebrew, and then performed them to the delight of Hebrew speaking Grateful Dead/Garcia fans.

“What happens when an Israeli Hip Hopper and a New Jersey Folkie meet to jam in Jaffa?” the album’s webpage asks. “They discover their mutual admiration for the music of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia. This album is a result of a chance meeting-turned-musical project, stuff that can possibly only take place in the anything-is-possible GD frame of mind. Enjoy.”

“Sagol 59 and Ami Yares present: The Promised Land, the first ever Grateful Dead / Jerry Garcia project in Hebrew. Carefully translated over a two-year period and recorded in Israel and the U.S, the project was authorized by the band’s publishing company and completed just in time to celebrate Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary. Enjoy our labor of love! Keep truckin’…” it concludes.

Also an FYI, the songs aren't a word-for-word translation. According to liveformusic.com, “Rotem and Yares take some liberties in their translations, such as changing the names of US cities to popular Israeli ones, and skewing certain words to fit the proper number of syllables. While the language translations are not exact, the musical compositions are distinctly recognizable."

According to Sagol 59, the two didn't "try to copy the Dead," but they "didn’t go for a post-punk industrial hip-hop angle, either."

Buy the full album online online for only $7, and/or stream it below. Their version of "Black Muddy River" is actually pretty bad-ass.


Daniel Koren contributed to this report as well.

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