Devendra Banhart put his own spin on the Grateful Dead classic “Franklin’s Tower” in a single released on Amazon Music last week. The cover comes as the Dead celebrates the 45th anniversary of Blues For Allah.

The cover arrived just a little over a month since the release of the Venezuelan-American singer-songwriter’s latest EP, Vast Void. Banhart’s rendition of “Franklin’s Tower” features his touring band, with Nicole Lawrence (guitar), Jeremy Harris on (synths), and Gregory Rogove (drums, percussion).

Related: Grateful Dead Studio Albums Ranked Worst To Best

While Banhart may not be a familiar name to many in the sphere of improvisational music most closely associated with the Dead, it is clear he shows reverence for the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter tune. Although the runtime is a thorough nine-minutes flat, don’t expect any improvisation or long instrumental passages. Instead, Banhart slows the entire song down to at least half the speed of the Blues For Allah studio cut. The dreamy, synth-driven track ends up with the effect of a Grateful Dead lullaby album, in the best possible way.

Listen to Devendra Banhart’s take on “Franklin’s Tower” via the player below or on Amazon Music. Scroll down to read his poetic statement that came with the cover.

Devandra Banhart – “Franklin’s Tower” (Grateful Dead)

More than ever
I find myself
Fighting dread
With the dead…

We chose “Franklin’s Tower” for its opening line, one of my favorite opening lines of all time:
“In another time’s forgotten space
Your eyes looked through your mother’s face”

This is the gift of the Dead,

The paradox of personal universality…

Wisdom found at the end of a maze,

The bliss of unconditional love and acceptance…

There’s a Dead for everyone…

Through the pandemic, I go on daily immersions into Blues for Allah, marveling at Phillip Garris’s eerie and alluring cover art,
Help/Slip/Frank guiding me through the weird underworld that the day has become, & I feel at once remarkably insignificant and the most precious thing in the universe, A wave, held in the ocean of my mother’s eyes… a child dancing, rolling away the dew…
Knowing Help is indeed on the way…

View Statement

[H/T Pitchfork]