You’re listening to Deep Elem blues, performed by Dick Stabile and His Orchestra, with vocal chorus by Billy Wilson. Deep Elm is a real town near Houston, Texas but the local pronunciation led to that Deep El-um branding.
It was admittedly rough and tumble, and an early jazz and blues hotspot. In the 1920’s, Elem would attract the likes of Bessie Smith, Leadbelly and Blind Lemon Jefferson.
The song was a Grateful Dead favorite, and Jerry Garcia was especially fond. He made it a regular with his side projects…of which there were many. At one time or another, Garcia played with, well, the Jerry Garcia Band, Old And In The Way, The New Riders of the Purple Sage…the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band…and don’t forget the seminal rock group listing him as spiritual advisor. Which one?