Monday, March 8, 2010

Rocky Mountain Monday

Had the pleasure of spending most of the last week in Colorado, for the Webwise 2010 conference.  It was a good event, that got me thinking about some things digital, and as an added bonus they played some great tunes between are two examples:
The Velvets:


Who says Libraries and Museums aren't hip?!?  Actually it is amazing how good music makes everything better...more people should understand this, and by playing great music it actually raised peoples spirits, if the tweets were any indication (#webwise).

So now that I am back in NYC, time to mine the Archive for some Monday Mountain Music that the Grateful Dead produced in the great city of Denver.  Been loving 1973 lately so why not stick around that year for one more show?

That is exactly what I am going to do with today's honeydew of a concert: 11-20-1973.  Listen through that link on the archive or right c'here:

11/20 is a picture perfect example of 1973 Wall of Sound show from the boys.  
Keith's pianos are high in the mix and really add a calming sense to the night's playing.  The vocals may be a bit low but Kreutzmann is all over the place holding it down solo on the kit allowing the band to stretch out one moment that pull it in precisely the next.  Early on, Bobby's "Black Throated Wind" is yelped excellently, "To Lay Me Down" is a pure weeper from Garcia (maybe an all time best version with a killer solo and Donna), along with a piano poppin' "Race is On" and a excellent cover of "Me and Bobby McGee".  Jerry seems to be hitting the ballads and Bobby the rockers on this night.         

Today I need to focus on the end of this gem.  The setlist here states: "Truckin'-> The Other One-> Mind Left Body Jam-> Stella Blue" and on paper it looks good, but maybe not mind blowing...whoa there whippersnapper; rock concerts aren't played on paper!  What is contained in those funky arrows is a whole lot of tripped out experimental playing and segue booms via Phil Lesh's bombs; exploding into righteous jamming.  If you are pressed for time today just skip on down to "Truckin'" and buckle up...
Bobby fires off the lyrics, and manages to only stumble a few times...actually they all seem to fumble with the lyrics a bit here, but no worries as things take off around 5 minutes in. The build up to the 6 minute mark is is pure fire, lead by Keith's hard piano runs and Garcia's strums.  Things settle back down into an almost "Spoonful" vibe before Phil and Bill take over with a drum and bass duet at the 9:15 mark.  OK I love me some Phil and man this is a cool couple of minutes here...angular and inventive.  Then the familiar rumble of Lesh's opening to "The Other One" hits and the full band is off and running.  Keith again accents the proceedings wonderfully, before the group drop into a fluid jam that cooks around the 4:20 mark of this one (Insert lame reefer joke here).

They easily slip in and out of "The Other One" before a chaotic "Meltdown Jam" and gorgeous "Mind Left Body Jam".  The word Jam has some stale connotations these days...not on this night in 1973; this is magical, and it is all capped off with a dynamite "Stella Blue" that gloriously ends this fantastic playing from the group.  It gets you high as a kite for those Denver nights...speaking of which:     

While I was in Denver this week I never left the city and didn't take any good pictures, however for the 4th of July 2007 I went out to Colorado with some good friends.  The above is a picture of Echo Lake...below is a picture of us on the top of Mount Evans

When we made it back down thanks to our Sherpa/Lunatic/Driver/Tour Guide Wilson, we had some of the best pie of our collective lives...ah it's the little things.  Enjoy the tunes....

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