Four months after Jerry Garcia's death in August 1995, the Grateful Dead officially disbanded. However, band members continued to perform over the subsequent years in other bands such as RatDog, Phil Lesh & Friends, the Rhythm Devils, the Other Ones, and the Dead. After a four-year hiatus following their "Wave That Flag" summer tour in 2004, the Dead performed two 2008 shows supporting the Obama campaign, billed as "Deadheads for Obama" and "Change Rocks", as well at one of the Obama inaugural balls in 2009, ultimately giving rise to a 2009 spring tour. During this reunion, Weir and Lesh, who admitted having great fun playing together again, decided to form a new band. In August 2009, the musicians announced that they had formed a new band, Furthur, with Kadlecik, Chimenti, Lane, and Russo.
The band was named after the 1939 International Harvester psychedelic multicolored bus used by novelist Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters to tour America in 1964 when they attended the New York World's Fair for the debut of Kesey's second novel, Sometimes A Great Notion. "Furthur" was the inscription on the destination placard of the bus and was also the name given to the multicolored bus. "In many ways, the 'Furthur' destination of the bus—piloted by Neal Cassady, inspiration for the character Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac's On the Road—represented the mind-set of the transition from Beat Generation culture to the more heavily drug-infused hippie culture and the LSD-based psychedelic culture, with Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, the Merry Pranksters, and the Grateful Dead—all alumni of the Acid Tests—as ambassadors and guides on that cognitive and conceptual journey". The Grateful Dead performed as the house band for many of the Acid Tests, which ran from 1965 to 1966.
Furthur retained much of the characteristic style and texture of the Dead. In addition to performing many of the songs regularly played in concert by the Dead, Furthur tried to "keep it fresh" by routinely adding new material to their setlists. This included many songs resurrected from the Grateful Dead's extensive songbook, including several rarely or never performed live, like "Alice D. Millionaire", as well as several cover songs from bands including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Band, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Ryan Adams, Van Morrison and the Clash. They also regularly performed some new, original material.
Futhur has performed the following songs of Bob Dylan