Summer Tour ’94 Vol. 5: Chicago & Maryland Heights, MO (July 23 & 26)

This volume of the Summer ’94 highlights series covers a stretch of the tour for which there are few circulating soundboards. 

Only 1.5 of the 5 shows played in Chicago, Maryland Heights, MO, and Hebron, OH (July 23 – July 29, 1994) currently circulate as soundboards (a full Chicago/Soldiers Field show and a Maryland Heights/Riverport Amphitheatre second set). No shortage of great stuff, though.

2-hour mp3 mix zipped up here (dates included in song tags)

  • Samba in the Rain
  • China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
  • New Minglewood Blues
  • Cassidy
  • One More Saturday Night
  • Playin’ in the Band
  • Jam Out of Terrapin
  • Improv: Beat
  • Improv: Between Stations
  • Improv: Tone Poems
  • The Other One
  • Estimated Prophet
  • The Wheel >
  • Attics of My Life >
  • Sugar Magnolia

Notes:

  • Jam Out of Terrapin: Great, as usual. This one slides in behind the same show’s Playin’ jam very comfortably.
  • Estimated: 20 minutes long with jazzy sidetrips.
  • The Wheel > Attics > Sugar Magnolia: 22 minutes of as-played pleasure.
  • Improv: Between Stations: This is one of the coolest ambient-mode drums/space segments I’ve found. A locomotive that drifts in and out of signal range.
  • Yeah, I opened the mix with “Samba in the Rain.” I’ve included two performances of it in this Summer ’94 series, the first one a nice, precise execution, and this one, which cooks more intensely. Obviously, it’s not a great song, but the jam opened new territory, and it arrived so close to the end that the best version must be around here somewhere. 
  • Notable flaw: Second verse of China Cat Sunflower.

Summer Tour ’94 Vol. 4: Noblesville, IN (July 19, 20, 21)

Volume 4 of this Grateful Dead 1994 Summer Tour series jumps three stops into the tour’s eastern U.S. leg. They started with a lumpy show in Vermont (bad soundboard), followed by two shows at R.F.K. Stadium in Washington, D.C. (no soundboards). All three of the Noblesville, IN shows at Deer Creek Music Center circulate as soundboards – curated below.

2.5 hour mp3 mix zipped up here (performance dates included in files)

Disc 1:

  • Shakedown Street (edit)
  • Easy Answers
  • Tennessee Jed
  • Jack-a-Roe (small edit)
  • Maggie’s Farm
  • Looks Like Rain
  • Childhood’s End (debut)
  • If the Shoe Fits
  • Ramble on Rose
  • Greatest Story Ever Told

Disc 2:

  • Playin’ in the Band > Chaos Jam
  • Improv: Ghost Factory
  • Improv: A Narrow Escape

Disc 3:

  • Help on the Way > Slipknot! >
  • Franklin’s Tower
  • Matilda (debut)
  • Uncle John’s Band >
  • I Need a Miracle
  • Wharf Rat
  • Johnny B. Goode

Notes:

You'll find all the posted Summer '94 mixes here

Sorry about the odd disc divide, which creates a 25-minute disc 2. I just couldn’t find a way to sequence these tunes onto two discs that worked as well as this sequence. (Not that I imagine many people are burning discs, but I try to be physical-format friendly.)

Shakedown Street: I’ve tried to avoid editing tracks for this series, except to remove some easy-to-remove, brief blemishes. One big exception is this Shakedown, which had a messy first verse, but which is otherwise very nice.

Easy Answers: I put this after Shakedown to make the point that the two songs’ grooves are closely related, and you can sing “well, well, well, you can never tell” on top of Easy Answers quite easily. You tell me this town ain’t got no heart? Easy answer. If they’d turned Easy Answers’ one-minute instrumental break into a six-minute jam, that would have been great.

Summer Tour ’94 Vol. 3: Mountain View, CA (July 1, 2, 3)

This third volume of highlights from The Grateful Dead’s 1994 Summer Tour completes the brief West Coast leg of the tour. All three Shoreline Amphitheatre shows circulate as soundboard tapes.

You can find additional Summer ’94 highlight reels here.

4-hour mp3 file zipped up here (performance dates in title tags)

Disc 1:

  • Cold Rain and Snow
  • Black Throated Wind
  • Samba in the Rain
  • Stagger Lee
  • Don’t Ease Me In
  • Tennessee Jed
  • The Promised Land
  • If the Shoe Fits
  • Good Lovin’

Disc 2:

  • Here Comes Sunshine
  • All Over Now
  • Althea
  • Sugar Magnolia
  • Playin’ Jam
  • Improv: Beat 1
  • Improv: Beat 2

Disc 3:

  • Improv: A Hot, Dry Summer
  • The Music Never Stopped > Sugaree > The Music Never Stopped
  • Help on the Way > Slipknot! >
  • Franklin’s Tower
  • Desolation Row
  • Eternity

Disc 4:

  • Bird Song
  • Stella Blue
  • Eyes of the World >
  • Fire on the Mountain
  • Corrina
  • Smokestack Lightning
  • One More Saturday Night
  • Improv: Please Find the Nearest Exit

Notes:

Althea: I haven’t come across very many immaculate performances of this song. This one is.

Here Comes Sunshine: This is a startlingly vocal-correct, musically-punchy version. Of course it’s not perfect, because it never was, but certainly a notable, late-period contender. 

Summer Tour ’94 Vol. 2: Las Vegas (June 24, 25, 26)

This is the second of six highlight mixes drawn from 48 hours of soundboard recordings of The Grateful Dead’s 1994 Summer Tour. Only one song from this tour and one show from this year have been officially released. “That's how it stands today - you decide if he was wise.”

Word to the wise: Don’t miss this “Terrapin Station > Jam.”

The first leg of the summer tour kept the band in an orbit around California, with the only out-of-state dates being Seattle/Eugene (Vol. 1 of this series) and this Las Vegas stop. Two of the three Vegas shows circulate as soundboards (25th and 26th), and this mix is drawn from them.

3-hour zipped-up mp3 mix here (tracks dates in files)

Disc 1:

  • Improv: Powering Up
  • Corrina
  • Improv: Dilapidated Funk 1
  • Liberty
  • Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
  • When I Paint My Masterpiece
  • Peggy-O
  • New Minglewood Blues
  • Hell in a Bucket

Disc 2:

  • Mississippi Half-Step
  • Cassidy
  • The Music Never Stopped
  • Improv: Dilapidated Funk 2
  • Improv: Featured Cellist
  • Stella Blue
  • Terrapin Station > Jam 

Disc 3:

  • Improv: Beat 1
  • Improv: Beat 2
  • Improv: A Sad & Complicated Tale
  • Victim or the Crime >
  • Eyes of the World
  • All Along the Watchtower >
  • Morning Dew

Notes:

“Improv: Powering Up”: Drums>Space style Dead would have been a great way to open shows. Build a monolith of hypnotic sound, and then launch into a groove, like… 

“Corrina”: This song would have been a fine opening jam, setting the same dance-party tone as “Shakedown” or “Stranger.” And this is a really crackling version. 

Terrapin Station: The Vegas “Terrapin” is one of the year’s very best, while also being notably different from most. 

Summer Tour ’94 Vol. 1: Pacific Northwest (June 13-19)

This is the first of six highlight albums from The Grateful Dead’s 1994 Summer Tour, which began exactly three months after the end of the Spring Tour and ended a month-and-a-half before the start of the Fall Tour: June 8 to August 4. They played 29 shows.

Roughly half the tour’s minutes circulate as soundboard recordings, which amounts to almost 48 hours of music. My mixes reduce that to about 19 hours, or 40% of the music played on the soundboards. I passed over some other good music to avoid repeating too many songs, so the very-good-to-great level of the tour is probably more like 50%. Not a bad hit rate. Nonetheless, only one song from this tour has been officially released. 

Cover art for this series combines typographic elements from a 19th Century patent medicine almanac with scans of my own cassette tape-case art from the late 1980s and early 1990s.  

After tour-opening shows in Sacramento, CA (no soundboards), The Grateful Dead’s first Summer Tour road trip was a five-show visit to the Pacific Northwest: Two shows in Seattle, WA and three in Eugene, OR, June 13-19. Circulating soundboards cover 3.3 of the 5 shows. In truth, this is mostly a Eugene mix; the Seattle soundboards did not include as high a percentage of exciting material.

3h7m mp3 mix here (source dates included in mp3 tags)

Disc 1 (54 minutes):

  • Beer Barrel Polka
  • China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
  • It’s All Over Now
  • Sugaree
  • When I Paint My Masterpiece
  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
  • Good Lovin’
  • One More Saturday Night

Disc 2 (73 minutes):

  • Improv: Daybreak
  • Bird Song
  • Improv: Woozy
  • Eternity
  • Improv: Beat 1
  • Improv: Beat 2
  • Improv: Espionage
  • Improv: Jam >
  • The Other One
  • Improv: Lonely
  • Improv: Ominous
  • Improv: The Long Hello

Disc 3 (60 minutes):

  • Samson & Delilah
  • Scarlet Begonias Jam > Fire on the Mountain
  • Jam Out of Terrapin
  • Victim or the Crime Jam
  • Standing on the Moon
  • Sugar Magnolia

Additional Notes:

  • The band inflected the latter-day “Jam out of Terrapin” several different ways. Sometimes it retained more “Terrapin” elements/echoes for longer. Sometimes it seemed like a “Playin’ jam” reprise. And in the case of the one on this mix, the sproinginess makes it feel possibly related to “Scarlet > Fire,” which did indeed appear earlier in the same set. This jam ought to have a better name than “Jam Out of Terrapin,” which is what the version on “So Many Roads” was titled. Maybe “Gamera Jam.”

The Grateful Dead: Summer ’94 Promo E.P.

In June and July, I’ll be posting six anthologies of highlights from The Grateful Dead’s 1994 Summer Tour – somewhat more than half of which circulates on soundboard tapes. That collection will run to about 15 hours. 

Here’s a minimalist preview that will answer some of your questions about the band’s capabilities that summer, 25 years ago. 

I don’t know what to say about 1994 Dead anymore, except that I’m pleased to have ended up being its curator and cheerleader. 

36-minute mp3 download here (dates included in files)

  • Althea 
  • Cassidy 
  • Attics of My Life 
  • Black Peter 
  • Satisfaction

This was the first “Satisfaction” since June 1992, and the last one the band played. 

The Grateful Dead: Stone House Sessions (Jan-Feb 1983)

This mix presents some of the oddest Grateful Dead music I’ve heard. In January and February of 1983, the band spent several days recording at Stone House, in Marin County, near Fairfax. 

They mostly didn’t pursue songs, but instead worked extensively on several patterns. The tapes we have might be reels of the more together passages, pulled aside. There are also indications that additional parts were recorded on some tracks that have been wiped from the edits we have.

Stone House is not a studio but rather a large, historic building in the country. Mickey Hart, Dan Healy, Betty Cantor, and Rex Jackson worked in Stone House in 1974, recording Zakir Hussain’s album “Venu” in the building's large, central room. Check out this reminiscence of what that space was like, and the ambience it created.   

In 1983, perhaps Hart encouraged the band to shake things up by experimenting at Stone House. Perhaps everyone was supposed to bring in one idea. What was the actual intent of the sessions? What do the circulating tapes represent? I have no idea – but there’s very cool music to be heard. It's definitely not what you'd expect from 1983 Dead, nor what the Dead recording in an old building in the countryside might imply about the character of the music. 

90-minute mp3 mix here

  • Stone House Disco Mix (16:00)
  • Stone House Dub Mix (24:34)
  • Victory (Long Edit) (15:38)
  • Knot Jazz ’83 (Composite Edit) (7:42)
  • Molly D (2:56)
  • Stone House (Straight Edit) (23:03)


TRACK & EDITING NOTES:

Stone House Disco Mix

Stone House Dub Mix

Stone House (Straight Edit)

The band spent a day working on a pattern built around a programmed drumbeat, which isn’t titled on the tapes. I pulled all the most together pieces, removed stumbles from them, and edited them into a 23-minute version (straight). 

There is no repetition within the edit; it’s all different bits of real-time playing. You’ll hear one or more members exhorting the others, vocally or with handclaps, at several points. You’ll hear Garcia’s guitar at the beginning and end; otherwise he’s absent.

The three versions presented here are the exact same edit, straight and reprocessed two different ways. I think the band was playing this too slow AND too fast, so I’ve taken the liberty of @#$&ing around with tempo, pitch, and reverb.

Victory (Long Edit)

It’s called “Victory” on the tapes. Here, too, I’ve edited together many pieces without repeating any. It’s a gorgeous, narcotic groove, somewhere between VU’s “Ocean” and something far more contemporary. There’s plenty of richness within the super-low-key musical texture, and I’ve done my best to provide good dramatic turns in the places where I stitched bits together – or to hide the stitches entirely. (Listen at 9:18 for four seconds of a Garcia guitar lead – a trace of a track that wasn’t included in the mixdown/transfer we have.)

Knot Jazz ’83 (Composite Edit)

This is an edit made from three “takes” of everyone but Garcia moving back and forth through a structured pattern that has multiple references to the jams of old. 

Molly D

Grateful Dead ska, more or less! This is presumably an instrumental version of this Hunter/Hart composition, but I don’t have a vocal version for comparison’s sake. There are five versions of this on the tapes, and they seem to represent a process of recording to a drum track and then creating an edited track without the drums. I’m not sure who all is playing. 

Thank you Jesse Jarnow (@bourgwick) for tipping me off to these recordings and for providing the background sources.


Jamming with Brent: April ’79 Rehearsal Remix

Here’s another one of those unique and miraculous – but also shaggy – Grateful Dead events, boiled down to something more like an album fit for everyday listening. 

Rehearsing ahead of Brent Mydland’s first live performance with the band, the Dead jammed and jammed and jammed in their Club Front studio. The results are an exciting sequel to the “Blues for Allah” rehearsal tapes. I’ve always said that I’d have been cool with the Dead staying on the jazz-fusion path out of 1975; this music could be from that path. 

My mix presents 60-minutes of the best bits, sliced and diced into a nearly continuous 60-minute jam, plus a 17-minute Space/Drums/Feedback freak-out, made up of several other bits. All told, it includes about half the minutes of the circulating tape, which is dated April 16, 1979. 

78-minute mp3 mix here (Cover: John Hilgart, cassette insert art, c. 1989)

  • Herbie Prelude >
  • Herbie 1 >
  • Herbie 2 >
  • Another Fire on a Different Mountain >
  • Scarlet Begonias Jam >
  • Fire on the Mountain
  • Harbor Traffic >
  • We Could be Genesis
  • Not Fade Away Jam
  • Dancing Between Thunder
  • Summer of ‘73
  • We’re Here All Week, Folks >
  • Closing Time
  • Booji Boy’s Bad Trip (space, drums, and feedback)

You can listen to the full 2h45m tape here: https://archive.org/details/gd79-04-16.studio.clugston.3121.sbeok.shnf 

Compared to my own excitement about this material, the 15 years of comments on the archive.org post, above, are surprisingly ambivalent. Methinks they haven’t seen the trees for the forest. I hope that my tightening and track differentiation will make it easier for some to enjoy these unique Dead performances. Imagine if this had been a second set in front of a live audience, in 1979 or any year. People would have lost their minds.

Editing notes:

  • Two of the links indicated by “>” are real: “Herbie 1 > Herbie 2,” and “Scarlet > Fire.” I’ve created simple connective tissue anywhere else I could. There were few real stopping points in the music, but the drummers and odd noises provided some good opportunities for fake connections. The fade-ins on “Harbor Traffic” and “Summer of ‘73” come from the source tape. 
  • The only vocals are on “Fire on the Mountain.”
  • “Herbie Prelude” is a combination of two small Brent noodles, the second of which gave birth to (what I have called) the Herbie theme. 
  • I removed many minutes from the “Herbie 2” jam, joining approximately the first five, Mydland-centric, minutes to the final minute-and-a-half, which brought it to a Garcia-led close. 
  • “We Could Be Genesis” begins with some tightened up elements that preceded the full-fledged execution of the theme/idea, so it would be even more Genesis-like.
  • “Not Fade Away Jam” removes two sections of reference-recording-level singing. There was a tempo change across the first vocal section, so you’ll feel that shift, but both the fast intro and slower jam are worthy.
  • “Summer of ‘73” is an abbreviated version of the full jam, faded out when it disintegrated beyond a certain point.  
  • “Booji Boy’s Bad Trip” combines three separate episodes of noisy fun and trims out some extraneous stuff within one or two of those episodes. 
  • Every effort was made to hide the fact that these were stop-start rehearsals and to fake an album out of them. 

1994 Spring Tour Boxed Set: Guide to the “Save Your Face” Mixes

I have now posted mixes pulled from all the currently circulating soundboard recordings of The Grateful Dead’s 1994 Spring Tour – February 25 to April 8. If you include the year’s first three shows in Oakland, the band played 23 shows that Spring, 5.75 of which do not appear to circulate as soundboards. 

From those that do, I have pulled 111 tracks, totaling 14.5 hours. Aside from two tracks that appear on two mixes, there is no duplication across the mixes. For the record, the only official release from this tour is the "Liberty" I have included, and the only official 1994 concert release is a single show from October, on the "30 Trips" boxed set. It's a shame that this period of Grateful Dead is so ignored. I'm glad that my efforts have made people who used to think like me sit up and say WTF - WOW!

I have made and posted these mixes over a year’s time, so it may not be clear how they map onto the tour or relate to each other. You can find all the original posts, with detailed notes and links to mp3 downloads, under the tag “GD 1994 Spring Tour.” 

This post is simply an overarching guide to the combined mixes. It provides a complete track list, so you can more easily see how the mixes cover the tour and what songs are represented. I’ve appended my Deadbase annotations, so you can literally see when and where the songs I’ve chosen happened during the tour and shows.

Shortlist: March 16-21, 1994 – Chicago and Richfield, OH

Almost every song here stands out as a vocal performance. The crowd cheers Garcia’s singing and the band’s harmonies all over the place, and the mix lets the singers stand out. The “Stella Blue” is extraordinary. Playing throughout is excellent. Each composition gets its due. 

You’ll find the great improvisational performances from these same shows here and here. This mix is the rest of the highlight reel for Chicago and Richfield, OH. I always enjoy being able to pull songs like “Stella Blue” and “Wharf Rat” into this kind of song-centric context, free of late second set connective tissue. 

Aside from emphasizing that these are great performances featuring a lot of excellent Garcia singing, I’ll add that this “Around and Around” is delightful. It never explodes, and instead meanders into what sounds something like a drunken New Orleans funeral march. 

All three of the Chicago shows circulate as soundboards, but just one of the two Richfield shows. Hence my decision to combine them.  

100-minute mp3 mix zipped up here

  • Don’t Ease Me In (3/16/94)
  • Beat It on Down the Line (3/16/94)
  • Bertha (3/21/94)
  • Ramble on Rose (3/19/94)
  • Stella Blue (3/21/94)
  • Queen Jane Approximately (3/21/94)
  • Looks Like Rain (3/16/94)
  • High Time (3/16/94)
  • Peggy-O (3/21/94)
  • Wharf Rat (3/18/94)
  • Around and Around (3/18/94)
  • Deal (3/18/94)
  • Standing on the Moon (3/16/94)
  • The Wheel > (3/17/94)
  • All Along the Watchtower (3/17/94)

This post concludes my survey of the ’94 Spring Tour. Every circulating soundboard has been curated and posted here, with representation of every stop on the tour.