“Blues for Allah,” was designed by Phillip Garris for the eighth studio album by the Grateful Dead which was released on September 1, 1975. This beautiful piece was printed in a signed and numbered edition of 1,500, along with 50 signed artists’ proofs. Garris painted what he called, “The Fiddler” in the summer of 1974 and has been reproduced in numerous books of art. The painting was awarded the Gold Medal and Award of Merit in 1975 from the Society of Illustrators in New York.
Blues for Allah was recorded between February 27 and May 7, 1975. It was the first album with Mickey Hart in over four years, and the band's first album since their short hiatus from touring in 1974. Hart had left the band in February 1971 after it was discovered that his father had embezzled funds from the band as their manager. He sat in at the band's "farewell" concert on October 20, 1974 and was invited to the Allah sessions by Garcia and Lesh. Following the release of the album, he was officially reinstated as a band member shortly before the group resumed touring in 1976.