River (instrumental) (2:43)
Half-Step > (7:22)
Must Have Been the Roses (5:08)
Cat Sunflower > I Know You Briefly (10:48)
B. Goode (instrumental) (1:42)
Fade Away > Goin’ Down the Road > (15:45)
Blues Jam > Promised Land Jam (6:35)
Main Ten (10:37)
that stretch of July 1974 when Donna was away recording her solo album, and
Bobby couldn’t play guitar because of a broken wrist and just did some singing,
on crutches? Basically, the band decided to honor several tour dates as a
- Jerry: guitar
high-hat and other drums
stuff just couldn’t convert. “Row Jimmy” without Bobby’s guitar was like a
clock missing a gear. But at other times, this stripped-down combo achieved a
smooth, spacious groovy lockup that reminds me a little of 1977. Jerry on the
left, Keith on the right, going solo in the rhythmic and harmonic role that he
and Bobby’s guitar usually shared. Phil definitely seemed into it, putting some
extra spring into their step on some tunes, like “Jack Straw” and “Bertha” in
Roanoke was the last of these shows, by which time they weren’t even attempting to play
normal set lists, doing some songs as breakneck instrumentals and gravitating
toward songs with groovy riffs that they could just play with for a while.
course, none of this ever happened, but if you want a frame of reference for
appreciating this show – and the edit I’ve made of it – that’s it.
SBD mix of this show almost doesn’t have Bobby’s guitar in it. Sometimes it’s
quite perceptibly there, but much of the time you have to look for it, or it slides
into/behind Keith’s piano. And it’s Keith’s piano, holding down the right
channel as loudly as Jerry’s holding down the left that turns this bad mix into
a happy accident: A Grateful Dead that is strangely unfamiliar and yet works, if you pay attention to the right songs.
They make you dance a little differently. My source is the beautiful Miller-engineered
one, with a big, shimmering, spacious sound. Definitely a show that sounds
great on your good speakers.
took all the vocals out of “Big River,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and “Promised Land”
(which they jammed into), which
serves to highlight the solos Keith took in those songs. I also dropped out the
song part of “I Know You Rider,” so for once we don’t have to listen to it in
order to get from the beginning of “China Cat” to the end of “Rider.” “The Main
Ten” is a piece of the “Playin’” jam.
way “U.S. Blues” went down in this show is funny; when they got to the end of
the song, they weren’t agreed on whether to end it or jam on, so it ends with a
whimper of collapse. Then they gather themselves and go for it.
This is my second favorite early '70s "Half-Step."