Monday, May 10, 2010

Back with the Monday Dead

Last week I was in heaven New Orleans so I couldn't post any Grateful Dead goodness...but now I am back in NYC and it is time to get up on that horse and ride...or at least listen.  Over the course of this experiment with the Dead, I just realized I have not posted one show from their youth, the 1960's...shame on me, today's sonic adventure comes from 4-21-1969 and The Ark in Boston MA.

Click that link or listen here:

This is a great recording, actually shockingly good for 1969, so turn up your speakers to 11 to get the most out of it.  

Pigpen gets things started with a fairly tame "Hard To Handle", and it is fun to hear Jerry barely make the notes that would make "Morning Dew" such a treat in later years.  Where this show really gains steam is the "Cryptical Envelopment>Other One>Cryptical Envelopment" segue, a cowbell pops up and gets banged, and Garcia runs scales like he is out of his mind...which he probably was.  "The Other One" is a peach of a listen, changing tones and flavor before it starts shuffling in a psychedelic way around the 8 minute mark, and the freaky-ness doesn't want to stop with a riff-tastic return to the "Cryptical".  Some folksy fun with "Sitting On Top Of The World" before Pigpen comes back in and dusts it down with "Alligator" 
I am not a huge Pigpen fan, he is a little too much white boy blues for me, if I want the blues I just usually take the real thing, but he has his moments.  The first part of this tune, is not one of them, it feels forced before the drums come in.  Jerry manages to resurrect the second half with a dope "And We Bid You Goodnight" run through over the marching drums of Bill Kreutzmann. Then the band plunges head long into an old time classic, "Doin' That Rag".  I caught that song when Phil and Friends did it at the Beacon back in 00 but this is a lot of fun to hear Jerry sing, and then play a great solo after his vocal duties are done.     

After that comes a very un-Dead like "Foxy Lady Jam" and I wish they had kept going with this one...wouldn't it have been a beast to see Jimi play with the boys?  How did that never happen?

My brain might have exploded if those two axemen got together trading riffs on stage, we got Duane to play with the crew and we will get to that soon, but Jimi would have been a whole 'nother ball of wax.

After that playful bit, we get a highlight of 60's Dead, "Dark Star" while some of the decades "Star's" were short tight outings, this one explores the black holes of your mind.  That note Jerry toys with starting around the 4:50 mark is straight up boosh, and leads to a whole world of sound.  This version is light and airy (with what sounds like Sleigh bells around the 13 minute mark) as opposed to some of the mind numbing "Dark Stars" to come; not to be missed.

You also gotta love the "St. Stephen" just effortless as it crashes into "The Eleven" which is a joy to hear at 12 minutes.  This second set really steps up the ju-ju with a mega "Turn On Your Lovelight" and a crushing "Viola Lee Blues", this is a monster of a song, I could say more, or you could just listen...this is the magic of this show.    

From everything I can gather, and by the times of these songs, it looks like from "Feedback" on is a filler, but what good filling it is for this audio pie crust, the "spanish Jam" in particular if you are cherry picking.  Ok, enjoy, and I hope this show makes Monday that much easier, I know it helped me. 

I need to give much love out to my Chelsea not that kind, Chelsea FC just won the Premiership yesterday which is a major accomplishment and it needs to be toasted,
 so raise a glass and sing...CareFreeeeeeee

(jesus I am in that video!)
Much love to Jack Kean, the drink slinger at Nevada's, Mike Neat and all the New York Blues, and most importantly the best football club on the planet.

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