Holly Bowling’s Better Left Unsung is a collection of classical solo piano arrangements of the music of The Grateful Dead. A classically trained pianist, Bowling possesses one distinction that sets her apart from similarly studied musicians—a devotion to improvisational rock music and the vision to painstakingly transcribe “jam” masterworks note-for-note, arranging them for solo piano and improvising upon what was already written. Last year, Bowling released Distillation Of A Dream: The Music Of Phish Reimagined For Solo Piano to wide acclaim. So it only seems fitting that she turns her attention to the music of The Grateful Dead for her second album. Containing over two hours worth of music, Better Left Unsung is available as a triple-LP set.
“Franklin’s Tower,” “The Other One” and “China Doll,” are among the songs Bowling recorded for the album, in addition to an entire solo piano arrangement of the “Terrapin Station” suite. Bowling’s favorite version of “Eyes Of The World” from Louisville’s Freedom Hall in 1974 receives a complete transcription, as well.
Phish song, “Tweezer,” is what first inspired Bowling to begin transcribing and arranging the music of her favorite artists for solo piano. After witnessing a moving performance of the song at Lake Tahoe on July 31, 2013, Bowling sat down and transcribed the 37-minute performance note-for-note. When performing these pieces, Bowling uses her classical piano technique to make each song her own work of art.