The best tracks here are keepers for the ages; but the duds have only withered over time. Originally released in the late 1980s, this tribute album offers the original covers by artists who followed up by keeping the Dead tracks in their performing repertoires. Los Lobos' "Bertha" is a classic. Dwight Yoakam's "Truckin'" stayed in his live shows for years. Lyle Lovett's "Friend of the Devil" likewise. And the all time keeper of this collection must be Burning Spear's "Estimated Prophet," which captures the spirit of the song in a way even the Dead never imagined. I remember hearing an NPR interview with Winston Rodney, Burning Spear's leader and founder, in which he said he'd never heard of the band much less heard the song before. But that learning it, playing it and recording it changed him. He still plays the song to this day. The midlin' tracks on the CD are Hornsby's "Jack Straw", " Dr. John's "Deal", Indigo Girls' "Uncle John's Band", David Lindley ("Casey Jones") and Elvis Costello ("Ship of Fools"). All are good, some reach for great. A few even make it. But the duds ... ouch! ... are Jane's Addiction's murderous misinterpretation of "Ripple", Midnight Oil's bewilderingly clueless "Wharf Rat" (they'd never heard of the Dead and were included by the producers to take full advantage of the band's popularity at that time), Suzanne Vega's whispy-voiced "China Doll", which reaches for tragedy and ends up just plainly annoying, and Cowboy Junkie's meandering "To Lay Me Down."