Alabama-born Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay is best known for her vocal contributions to legendary Muscle Shoals Studios recordings by the likes of Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and, later, the Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band. In 1980, shortly after leaving the Dead, she lost her first husband in a car accident. She eventually remarried, formed the Heart of Gold Band and continued singing the soulful blend of gospel, blues, country and rock on which she cut her teeth. Judging from her latest project, Kettle Joe's Psychedelic Swamp Revue, Godchaux-MacKay's tie-dyed voice is still in fine form. The windily titled band, which started as a one-off collaboration for a charity event, has grown into a full-time endeavor comprising alumni of the David Nelson Band and Phil Lesh and Friends, along with members of New York's Zen Tricksters. Revisit the heady days of roots rock with the Dead's first lady as she and her band fuse Grateful Dead standards, choice covers and Kettle Joe originals.
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