By Amanda Wicks
Bob Weir has been busy touring with Dead & Co this year, but in September fans will get to hear the musician’s first new material in a decade. Weir is set to release Blue Mountain, his first solo album in 10 years and the first project featuring all new material in 30 years.
Today (August 18), Weir shared a preview of what’s to come when he premiered the track “Only a River.” “Well, I was born up in the mountains/ Raised up in a desert town/ And I never saw the ocean/ ‘Til I was close to your age now,” he sings in the opening verse, his wistful lyrics coming across in the quiet, acoustic way the song begins with a guitar, keys and slide guitar.
The song builds in emotion and instrumental strength, as more lend their voices to the tune. A ripping electric guitar solo breaks in at the halfway mark.
In the song, Weir shows that he hasn’t shed his past. Like many Grateful Dead songs, he references the folk tradition, this time by invoking the name “Shenandoah.” The traditional American folk song “Oh Shenandoah” became popular in the 19th century, and here it arises once again in a new form.
Blue October will be available September 30. Listen to “Only a River” on Radio.com.