Photo by Jesse Bell
Piano virtuoso Holly Bowling is proud to announce a beautiful new album featuring solo piano renditions of the music of the Grateful Dead. Seeking All That’s Still Unsung arrives everywhere on Friday, November 20. The evocative collection features nine instrumental piano interpretations of songs spanning the Grateful Dead’s extensive catalog — both classics and deep tracks — and is heralded by today’s release of “St. Stephen,” available on all DSPs and streaming services.
“With this being my second album of solo piano Grateful Dead music, there was a sense of trying to look for what I hadn’t said on the last album,” says Bowling. “After a few more years of exploring these songs in the solo piano context, I felt free to take more liberties with how I approach the arrangements and improvisation. The album keeps the exploratory energy of a live performance but accomplishes things that would be impossible outside of the studio, including the use of overdubs and exploring piano-on-piano improvisation as a conversation with my own playing.”
September saw Bowling embark on a groundbreaking virtual concert tour, featuring extraordinary solo performances filmed at some of America’s most spectacular natural locations. The Wilderness Tour has featured performances from California’s glistening Lake Tahoe, Idaho’s epic Bruneau Canyon and Utah’s extraterrestrial Salt Flats. The first leg of the tour will conclude at South Dakota’s rugged Badlands on Thursday, October 8.
“There’s plenty of time to do something different,” says Bowling. “And I desperately wanted to get outside – that’s where I’ve been feeling most okay during all this. So we’re taking this crazy road trip in a self-contained little camper van and driving my gear out to these wild places and setting up and playing in settings I never in a million years thought I’d get to play music in.”
All performances will continue to be broadcasted for free via Bowling’s official Facebook page and Youtube channel every Thursday at 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET; viewers are invited to contribute to the San Francisco-based pianist’s Virtual Tip Jar. Stay tuned for the second leg of the Wilderness Tour, which will be announced soon
Hailed by Rolling Stone for her “heady, layered improv-rock excursions distilled into crystalline solo piano pieces,” Holly Bowling has earned widespread applause for her innovative and technically advanced, emotionally rich style. After studying piano performance at SF State University, Bowling turned her agile mind and interpretive prowess towards painstakingly transcribing and then performing a wildly improvisational 2013 live version of Phish’s epic “Tweezer.” The 37-minute performance – dubbed “The Tahoe Tweezer” – proved a sensation, inspiring a pair of remarkable LPs in 2015’s Distillation Of A Dream: The Music Of Phish Reimagined For Solo Piano and 2016’s Better Left Unsung, the latter a triple-LP collecting classical solo piano arrangements of the music of the Grateful Dead.
Her innovative approach and remarkable virtuosity earned Bowling attention from the devoted jam band community as well as such legends as Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Warren Haynes, Jim James, Page McConnell, John Scofield, Ivan Neville, Steve Kimock, Oteil Burbridge, Branford Marsalis, Duane Trucks, Greensky Bluegrass, Umphrey’s McGee, Railroad Earth, Don Was, and Robert Randolph, all of whom invited her to perform alongside them at multiple, concerts, festivals, and events like Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads and Haynes’ annual Christmas Jam.
Last year saw Bowling release her first official concert recording, Live from the Old Church, featuring stunning renditions of Phish and Grateful Dead classics including “Theme From The Bottom,” “Dark Star,” and “Let It Grow.” Bowling recently released the eight-volume series, Alone Together: The Living Room Sessions, collecting remastered audio of her popular livestream concerts presented during quarantine earlier this year. The repertoire featured on Alone Together includes favorite songs by Phish and the Grateful Dead along with visionary solo piano versions of Radiohead’s “Idioteque” and Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt,” both joined by equally powerful performance videos streaming now at Bowling’s official YouTube channel.
As if that weren’t enough, Bowling’s full-length Live From Out There performance aired live from her San Francisco living room in late March and is streaming now via YouTube. The concert – also available as Alone Together, Vol. 2 – is highlighted by Bowling’s first-ever performance of The Youngbloods’ “Get Together.”