I don’t know if it is the nostalgic theme or the exploration of days gone by but I found that to actually be for a “particular reason”.
Jerry Garcia became fascinated with bluegrass and “Old Timey” Hillbillly Mountain music. In "Going Down This Road Feelin Bad…you can hear the influence of Woody Guthrie and Doc Watson, of course with the blues and rock of Grateful Dead you get the long version.
I don’t know if you can play this music without having gone through it.
I can tell you that " the universe may or may not have meaning, but it sure seems to have a sense of humor." --John Gierach