10 Songs, 2 Hours 25 Minutes


About Circles Around The Sun

Circles Around the Sun was formed for a very specific purpose: to create intermission music for Fare Thee Well, a series of reunion concerts played by the surviving members of the Grateful Dead during 2015. The shows celebrated the band's 50th anniversary and served as their official sendoff. Video director Justin Kreutzmann (son of GD drummer Bill) approached guitarist/composer Neal Casal (Ryan Adams' Cardinals, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Phil Lesh & Friends) about creating five hours of music to accompany his biographical visuals to be shown during the Fare Three Well concert intermissions. Casal enlisted keyboardist Adam MacDougall (a fellow member of the Robinson Brotherhood and Lesh's Friends bands), bassist Dan Horne (Beachwood Sparks, Jonathan Wilson), and drummer Mark Levy (the Congress). Casal explained that "...the idea was to not only show reverence for the past but to ultimately move it forward," adding "If there's anything to be learned from the Grateful Dead, it is to dissolve your boundaries, push your limits, and discover your own voice in this world."

To that end, this new band entered the studio without having prepared any material. They composed on the spot and recorded live for two days with engineer J.P. Hesser. They kept the process pure by not adding anything during post-production. While most involved with the project assumed these sessions would just end up as background music that concertgoers would pay little attention to, they were wrong. The response by attendees was so positive that Rhino Records decided to issue a proper release. A two-disc set culled from the original five hours of music was released independently as Interludes for the Dead in late November 2015. The complete recordings were made available in a triple-disc set included inside the Dead's mammoth 19-disc (audio and video) box set document of the complete run of shows entitled, appropriately, Fare Thee Well. ~ Thom Jurek




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