Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Dead - RTBE Personal Favorites Edition: 8-27-1972 Veneta, OR

Originally I wanted to do a "Best Of" instead of a Personal Favorite Edition of the Dead, but when it came right down to it I realized there are two shows that are pretty spot on for the best ever Grateful Dead show...Cornell 1977 which is popular and lots have been written regarding it and there is my personal favorite, today's show 8-27-1972 from Ken Kesey's Dairy Farm up in Veneta, Oregon. 
Click that link or listen right c'here!

 While Cornell gets a ton of publicity as the pinnacle of the group, I think this show from the pacific Northwest is even better.  The sunstroked serenader's earned their title of the greatest expansive group (jamband?!) on this summer day.  This show has it all, inventive playing, tight song structures when needed and cohesive singing.  When it all clicked for the fellas it was magic, and this is one of those shows.

I can talk all day about this show, but I will keep it short...or try you can get your listen on.  You can also get your view on as the show was filmed and titled "Sunshine Daydream".  It has long been rumored for official release, and here's hoping that happens soon, but currently their are clips up on Youtube that I will embedded here.  The "Sugaree" is a perfect work out and the second song in as the group starts rolling.  An all time version that is a good bell weather for things to come.  Same can be said about the "China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider" which flows as one track here. 

The tightness of the band can be found multiple times, but "Mexicali Blues" particularly cackles.  Garcia's guitar leads are monumental spicing up everything, take his solo in "Bertha" for example that just cooks.  While the first set is pretty solid, things explode into the heavens with set 2 starting with the first tune; "Playin' In The Band"

 This is the first of a few all-time greats on hand here today, this "Playin" has it all free form flowing, melodic harmonics, everything.  It goes in seven directions at once but never sounds cluttered, Garcia of course leads the way, but the band does a great job following on this one, 20 minutes of magic.  When they come back around to the theme 15 minutes in you can't help but smile.  
The "Jack Straw" is another one I rank as a Best of with it's crisp delivery and perfect singing. 

And this "Birdsong" is simply fantastic, on par with the Branford version from 3-29-90 and in my opinion even better.  This is a class act that I would like to have as my theme music following me around.  Not overly long, but glorious in the paths it takes, a must listen.  Around the 4:20 mark Jerry's guitar lines ring with precision and elevates everything around him, try this one on for size for people who never got the dead, it will open some eyes.   "The Greatest Story Ever Told" has a ton of energy and Wah-wahing.

and then comes the third set and really the centerpiece; an absolutely epic "Dark Star".  This outing rates as my favorite playing of this song, just barely edging out the version from only a few days before...8-24-1972 which I all ready wrote about here.  The group playing here is a complete brainwave, trippy as all hell and worth every penny.

I am sure many minds have been lost to this piece of spacey art and my favorite part just may be as it drips effortlessly into "El Paso", cosmic cowboys indeed.

One would think that would be enough, but no no no the fellas pull out one of their most beautiful moments with this drop dead gorgeous version of "Sing Me Back Home".  This one tugs at the heartstrings and confirms how monumental this show is.  Again, I can go on and on about this one, but you are probably better served by just listening and enjoying some amazing music. 

Next week I hope to have some input from friends and their recommendations as we wrap up the year of Mondays and the RTBE Personal Favorites Edition. Until then enjoy the tunes...

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