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Grateful Dead: Europe ‘72

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When asked the best introduction to the Grateful Dead for the uninitiated, I recommend Europe '72. That opinion has not changed in the intervening 40 years. This tour is one storied in the history of the band. It was the group's great bluesman, Ron “Pigpen" McKernan's last tour before he died of drink at the age of 27 in 1973. It sported the husband a wife teams of Keith and Donna Godchaux who brought a soulful presence to an already ...


Grateful Dead: Dick's Picks Volume 12

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Comprised of recordings in Providence RI and Boston MA from June of 1974, fairly early on in the Grateful Dead's use of their now legendary “Wall of Sound," Dick's Picks Vol. 12 documents a point in the iconic band's evolution where the pendulum of improvisation was swinging back toward more open-ended playing after the more structured approach they took at the turn of the decade, documented in the studio recordings of Workingman's Dead (Warner Bros., 1970) and American Beauty (Warner ...


Dave's Picks Volume 12 Colgate College 11/4/1977

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There's much that's distinctive about Dave's Pick's Volume 12, not the least of which are concert notes by the late Dick Latvala on the fold-out insert included in the 3CD digi-pak package. This inclusion in lieu of the customary essay by one esteemed Deadhead or another is particularly appropriate as the latter-day archive series, the followup to 'Dick's Picks,' the original project in the same mold, wends its way to its third year of existence, simultaneously moving one step closer ...


Dave's Picks Volume 11: 11/17/72 and Wake Up to Find Out: 3/29/90

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The story of the Grateful Dead may be the most fascinating in the history of rock and roll, the chapter dealing with the archiving of their live recordings perhaps the most absorbing of all, if only because it continues to be written with the ongoing release of various projects from various stages of the iconic band's career. Under the tutelage of current archive chief David Lemieux, his quarterly series of concert pieces unearths stellar performances that illustrate the changes the ...


Grateful Dead: Dave's Picks Volume 10 Thelma, Los Angeles CA 12/12/1969

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One of the great virtues (and there are many) of the Grateful Dead's archiving projects is that research regularly unearths 'lost' recordings about which little or nothing may be known but that, when brought to the light of day, fill in crucial links in this iconic group's history that further illuminate their evolution. Dave's Picks Volume 10, like the so-called 'Houseboat Tapes' that comprise Dick's Picks #35 (Grateful Dead, 2005), is just such a title, with its first ...


Grateful Dead: From the Archives '74, '76, & '79

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With the Grateful Dead's impending 50th anniversary in 2015, the legacy of the iconic band continues to grow. The surviving four members continue to play regularly (with the exception of drummer Bill Kreutzmann) in their respective bands (Phil Lesh & Friends, Bob Weir & Ratdog, Mickey Hart in varying ensembles) with the former two having collaborated extensively over the past few years (in Furthur). Meanwhile, the current archiving of the Dead's vault yields treasures like Sunshine Daydream (Rhino, 2013) as ...


Being Grateful: Defining the Jazz Years Part One - 1973

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Jazz, like the Grateful Dead, has never been particularly easy to define. It seems jazz, in its most simply defined meaning, is improvised music. The Grateful Dead have been called a thousand different things since its official formation in 1965, but has rarely been called a jazz band. There have always been and will always be heated debates about which years were the best, which tone of Jerry Garcia's was the best, which keyboardist was the best. I've heard it ...


Grateful Dead: Dave's Picks Volume 6

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Dave's Picks Volume 6 represents an important entry in this Grateful Dead archive series, on its own terms and as a crucial reminder of how this iconic band evolved around the cusp of the 1960's and the 1970's. Plus which, the sound quality of the recordings, originally administered by the famous Owsley “Bear" Stanley, is as notable as the evolving style of the group itself.As keyboardist Tom Constanten notes so vividly from a performer's perspective in his abbreviated ...


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