The Bridge Session

The Bridge Session was a special HeadCount benefit show featuring Weir and members of The National, along with a few Brooklyn-based musicians who would eventually record and tour with Bob.

The Bridge Session was entirely conceived by HeadCount as a way of bringing together diverse musical and political perspectives (including a set-break panel discussion featuring the late John Perry Barlow). Its genesis began when members of The National were recording an album of Grateful Dead songs covered by indie rock artists (what became The Day of The Dead). At the time, they’d had no direct contact with Weir, but the National was already hosting HeadCount voter registration booths at their shows.

So HeadCount’s Executive Director reached out to both parties and suggested they collaborate. Months later, an ensemble of Brooklyn-based musicians including The National’s Bryan and Scott Devendorf and Aaron Dessner, plus bandleader Josh Kaufman, got on a plane and headed to Weir’s TRI Studios in San Rafael CA. 

The results were musically surprising, and splendid. Described as “The underlying Americana roots of the Grateful Dead, heard through an indie-rock lens,” it streamed live on Yahoo! Music, and at the time was one of the most-watched streamed music events ever (over 3 million views). But after a brief stint of being available on Yahoo!, the footage was never seen again… until now!

While you’re watching, please consider making a donation to HeadCount and support our voter registration efforts.

Bob Weir with members of The National and other Brooklyn Musicians, HeadCount Presents “The Bridge Session” at TRI Studios, March 24, 2012 © Dave Vann 2012