Sunday, March 23, 2014
The first set opens kinetically with a high speed and emphatically sung 'Bertha', breezy and loose like a screen door swinging unlatched in the breeze. Fan favorite for the time, 'Me and My Uncle' follows next and keeps things escalated with a cooking rendition, punctuated with Lesh detonations. After decompressing versions of both a slow shimmering 'Loser' and a REGAL 'Black Throated Wind', the first highlight of the concert begins with the rare combo of 'Scarlet Begonias' paired with 'It Must Have Been the Roses'. This early 'Scarlet' stretches out, developing into a vibrant rebounding jam that forsakes the reprise, spacing slightly, then sliping into a floral 'It Must Have Been the Roses'.
This 'Playin' is a full band performance, with all the players taking moments to initiate changes in the jam. The musical journey percolates kinetically, always threatening to spill over into a frothing mess, but staying just below boiling point, increasing the tension. Godchaux and Garcia play with thick effects through the early stages of the jam, but at seven minutes Garcia goes clean and enters into a tumbling accentuated jam that Billy K seems to telepathically connect with. Around nine and a half minutes the entire band jumps into a tree lined ravine, into a tangle of brush and blow down, their form only visible through cutouts in the forest landscape, only then to disappear into a haze of mist.
A short space develops where the band regroups momentary, only to reemerge a gurgling and rumbling mess, rising like subterranean earth bubbles, breaking the surface in a blast of heat and organic materials. Playing as one instrument the group escapes the grasp of the ground, Kreutzman swings the band entirely around back into a 'Playin' tinged groove. Around fourteen minutes Lesh grumbles some chunks that swells into another schizophrenic meltdown. Garcia jumps on quotes from the 'Playin' theme that appear briefly and then lose consciousness in waves of sound.
Unfortunately this spacey dark jazz excursion is marred by a clumsy return to the reprise, possibly caused by how far out the band had taken themselves and being unable to navigate the way home safely.The 'Playin In the Band' signals the conclusion of a loose and well played full band display for set one.
The band seems almost on the verge of drifting away into the black expanse of space lazily until Lesh starts to pop and Billy starts to push a bit harder. A darkly psychedelic Garcia stars to coax Lesh into madness, creating a fish eyed jam that swim's briefly before again falling into a empyrean space. Keith is the first to awake and at nine minutes and another full group swell coalesces, similarly to the first set "Playing', every one in the band is pressing the jams directional buttons.
At half past ten minutes Lesh groans, the music turns, becoming a celestial tablecloth pulled so quickly that all of the musical glasses still remain stoically on the table. The 'Dark Star' theme forms again, then dissipates amongst a wash of feedback, wah-wah'd piano and Lesh's martian communications. Strangeness prevents the verse from appearing at first, but it finally does, moving slowly through a thick jelly of verse one.
As soon as the verse is sung and finished, Garcia employs a waspy distorted tone, contrasting with Weir's warm chording, Garcia then strangles the strained over driven notes, Lesh joins in and maliciously scrapes strings as trippy bird bells shimmy by on small clouds. The music deepens, gradually darker, a back country dusk shading its creation and at eighteen minuites the band reaches the place they have been searching for since the first set 'Playing'. The boiling point has been breached, the band is a slithering organism, shapeless, shifting through various alien musical landscapes. The improvised music pours from the stage, crisp and clear.
After the astral traveling that has just occurred, the band decides to now rock the socks off of every one in attendance with a absolute fire breathing display of rabble-rousing rock and roll. First the band blasts through 'Promised Land' shake every one down, then enters one of the finest 'Not Fade Away's' of the era. At four minutes in the jam explodes in a strumming extravaganza, Garcia unfurls through a series of melodic statements created, quoted, some new, some familiar, all amazing. This enters a 'Goin Down the Road Feeling Bad' that goes pedal to the medal for the distance. The band must have thought that they already busted their metaphorical nuts, because they end the concert there, without returning to 'Not Fade Away'. No problem, because there is not much more they could have added to the combo after blazing it to the ground.The band returns for a hot 'Saturday Night' encore, with some additional Weir exclamations for added effect. The crowd is obviously pleased and satisfied.
Dark Star->China Doll
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Opening with the hopelessly funky drums and groovy percussion of the sexy track 'Hot Stuff', the record immediately expresses the diverse musical samples that the Stones were experimenting with during this time of upheaval and change. Stitched together with Watt's contemporary take on disco grooves, 'Hot Stuff' is a sweaty dance club mantra in which Jagger swaggers and staggers. The combination of Billy Preston's nimble keyboards, Richards syrupy wah-wah rhythm, and Wyman's cozy bass equate to a flashing red light exclusive back room party. Harvey Mandel contributes the slippery lead riffs that adorn the song.
Keith Richards love for Reggae started in the early 1970's as he was a fan of Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley, by this time he had started to bring the island influence into the Stones own recordings. The band had also recorded 1973's Goats Head Soup in Jamaica, so their interest in Reggae had been developing for a while. The track 'Cherry Oh, Cherry' featured on Black and Blue was a cover of Eric Donaldson's 1971 Reggae track with Watts and Wyman taking a stab at a English version 'one drop' Reggae groove. The British reggae love would be taken to astronomical levels by Eric Clapton in 1974 with huge cover of Bob Marley's 'I Shot the Sheriff'. Like a group of stoned pirates the band walks the plank, falling into the groove amongst yells from Keith of 'Irie!' slightly off mic. Fun overlapping vocals riding on the back of Watts mastery of the reggae thump, illustrating the Stones musical diversity and influence, the key to their longevity. Similar to their early embracing of the blues, the band also welcomed Reggae with open arms.
Side two of the LP opens with 'permanent' new guitarist Ronnie Wood's influence being felt on the track, "Hey Negrita'. The label on the LP lists, "Inspiration by Ron Wood'. Beginning on the same sort of dirty funk that 'Hot Stuff' initiated, 'Hey Negrita' moves exotically like a brown skinned beauty slinking across a humid and dusty dance floor. The soon to become legendary Richards/Wood guitar weaving starts here in big heavy slabs, exposing the strata of their riffing. The future grit of their fruitful collaboration eliciting more funky grime than a windshield after a 1000 mile cross country drive.
The second track of side two, "Melody' swings with the inspirational input of Billy Preston. 'Melody' moves with a slinky and jazzy sensibility. Jagger takes on the role of a statuesque barroom singer, trading off wordless falsetto interjections with Preston who also sings on the track. Multilayer horns dance on top of Watts lightly brushed percussive additions and Richards muted and smooth guitar riffing. The song is an anomaly in the Stones catalog but fits well in the conglomerate of influence felt on this record. A strange foray into barroom jazz for the group.
'Fool to Cry' follows the eclectic mix observed on the second side of the LP, and to this reviewer points toward the more 'middle of the road' approach that Jagger would take in his own solo work. The dictated, almost spoken Jagger lyrics illicit the 1950's crooners that had to have influenced Jagger and his vocal approach .Ironically enough, this would be the only song to chart off of the Black and Blue LP. Richards was a fan of Jagger's soulful falsetto approach to the song, but he was also known to 'nod out' during live concert performances. The watery guitar and slippery keyboards are a sonic highlight of the tune. One of the 'deeper' cuts from the Stones catalog, the big ballad has found renewed interest with its inclusion in the HBO series Girls.
Like I previously stated, its a difficult proposition to navigate and discover under-appreciated and 'deep' Rolling Stones cuts, when the band is the subject of such study and dissemination. Black and Blue is of particular interest due to its placement in the grey area of the groups storied career. By the appearance of 1978's Some Girls, the lineup would be once again solidified, Wood a final decision, ready for the next 35 years of continued rock and roll. Unique in the Stones discography, Black and Blue illustrates the Stones not only discovering a wealth of new influence in the genres of funk and reggae, but finds them revisiting previously prominent blues and soul ideals. The record is a worthwhile snapshot of the band in a unique period of flux, but still delivering the goods no matter the situation or even lead guitarist!
Black and Blue
Sunday, March 9, 2014
I know the risks involved in compiling a list of this stature. I would like to preemptively remark that this collection of live albums is in no particular order, and is only the list of the 'rock room's' preferences. I am keeping this collection limited to official releases, not posthumous collections. Please feel free to comment and discuss additions, subtractions, reasons and recommendations! I am compiling this list of the LP's that continue to grow in stature and are in constant rotation in the 'rock room'. Sit back throw one of the records mentioned below on the turntable and let's talk about rock!
Rock Of Ages
Live In Japan
Whipping Post 1971
Band of Gypsys 12-31-1969
Babylon By Bus
Live at Leeds
Song Remains the Same
I limited my 'rock room' live concert recording list to ten. There are a plethora of concert recordings I have not included which in no way diminishes their influence or importance to the 'rock room' or to you, my loyal reader. The issue with 'lists' is that something always has to be left off, hence my impetus for this rant, the LP, Humble Pie-Performance did not make the cut! In addition to Humble Pie, are the following recordings, Jefferson Airplane-Bless it's Pointed Little Head, Johnny Cash-Live From Folsom Prison, Bob Dylan and the Band-Before the Flood, Lynyrd Skynyrd-One More From the Road, Neil Young-Rust Never Sleeps, Rolling Stones-Get Your Ya-Ya'a Out and Lou Reed-Rock and Roll Animal including countless, others that are influential as well as definitive to the 'rock room'. Unfortunately, I could not include everything in the 'rock room' vaults! So, if you have not had the pleasure to enjoy any of the aforementioned recordings, this is your time and opportunity to dig in. Use the list above as a guide but not as an answer, start your journey with a few and use them to take the numerous paths less traveled that will reveal other recordings. It's an endless journey but one filled with new discoveries, and beautiful music.
Humble Pie-I'm Ready
Saturday, March 1, 2014
The recording picks up with the red, yellow and green buoyancy of 'Zimbabwe', a statement of Marley's support of guerrillas fighting for racial independence in the country. This song is most likely the third or fourth song in the show as set list examination from concerts later in the tour reveals that 'Natural Mystic', 'Positive Vibration' and 'Revolution' often preceded 'Zimbabwe'. 'War/No More Trouble' is featured toward the end of this recording here, differing from its earlier position later in the tour.
One of the revelations to appear from the tape follows with a version of 'Talkin Blues'. A warm stone in the sun, made for daydreaming, is the foundation of this rare 1980 performance. The stair climbing ascending and descending central riff lends a smoky positivity to the 'blues' content of the track. A true highlight of the show with syncopated solo section that pops with Rasta energy.
The same rings true for the 'new' song from the yet to be released Uprising album 'We and Dem' that follows. The song rolls out on a fat round bass tone, thumping into a slow burn. The track is not as tight as the preceding numbers, possible cause for its eventual disappearance from the set. The rarity factor is high here, and the sound quality makes it all worth wile in spite of some tentativeness by the players.
'Jammin' and 'Exodus' follow keeping the momentum high and the lyrical content diverse. 'Jammin' dissolves into a bass laden vocal jam that builds into the concluding exit instrumental. Without pausing 'Exodus' pulses heavily as soon as 'Jammin' concludes, shifty and dramatic, the performance continues to amaze. An electric Rasta revival is taking place on the recording, with special notice to the knotted rope keyboards adorning the track.
The main set concludes with 'Exodus' and the band returns to the stage for a rendition of 'Redemption Song'. Endearingly out of tune on his acoustic, Marley still inspires chills with his soulful reading. The lyrics sung acapella are especially affecting, with Marley then wordlessly vocalizing a melody line that the full band picks up on to conclude the song.
A 'rock room' favorite 'War/No More Trouble returns the concert to full on 'burnin' mode. Heavy percussion and crisp execution abound, the musical starts and stops are bulls eye hits. Masterfully mixing the 'heavy' tunes with the 'lighter' stuff, a funky 'Kinky Reggae' comes next following 'War' and preceding and segueing into the show closing 'Get Up, Stand Up'.
Thus ends our journey through the newly circulating Bob Marley and the Wailers performance from 1980. A welcome addition to collectors circles as well an amazingly well played performance that no one has ever had the pleasure to enjoy before. This one pleases the Marley aficionado's because of the unique features of the performance, but can also be enjoyed by those being introduced to the world of Marley because of its exceptional sound quality and varied set list. The show is available to those who search. As always, thanks for reading!
Bob Marley and the Wailers 5-30-1980
Sunday, February 23, 2014
After the opening 'White Light' acoustic guitar and harmonica version that opens the collection like the original LP, the first major revelation appears. 'Here Tonight' originally recorded by the Flying Burrito Brothers with assistance from Clark, surfaces here with a swaying strum, buoyant, intimate and uncluttered. Every crevasse and recess delicately explored, every breath and hum of throat captured.
If the previous song was a revelation, the next is an epiphany, 'For No One' is an unreleased jewel, a weightless circular acoustic finger picked melody line carries with it, some the most mournful harp interludes I've ever had the pleasure to hear Gene blow. His voice enters, a light fragile china, a misty specter of loneliness, quaking with a shaky falsetto. The minimal and concise lyrics elicit powerful images intensified by the ghostly accompaniment. An amazing find, a legendary piece of music.
What has been reported as Bob Dylan's favorite piece of Gene Clark music, 'For A Spanish Guitar' follow next, one of Clark's most regal and endearing melodies. This version like the entirety of the release takes on a magnified aptitude through the 'in the room' ambiance. A darkened room, some headphones and time to kill is needed for the weightiness of this track. This is not casual listening music. Worthy of note is the thick maple syrup of Clark's harmonica prowess. His playing is showed a more direct spotlight on this release and is an absolute joy to hear!
'Please Mr. Freud' is another discovered song and reflects a heavy Dylan influence both rhythmically and in attitude. The liner notes for the release attribute the lyrical content to Clark's deep interest in exploring humanity, religion and alternative ways off viewing the world around him. The tune's lyrical melody is brimming with flashing imagery, echoed in between verses by gentle harmonica. The reason for its remaining unreleased is unknown, but maybe its Dylan influence was too much for Clark? We will never know.
The unreleased and unheard songs disposed of, a folky version of 'Where My Love Lies Asleep' with a rolling tempo differing from the released version and a naked interpretation of 'The Virgin' follow.
'The Virgin' is missing its central Davis guitar riff but still retains its vivacious groove centered around its central vocal melody.
The following 'Opening Day' and 'Winter In' were both unreleased until their appearance as bonus tracks on the remastered version of White Light. 'Opening Day' is a bright song that rises like a early morning view of the sun, while questioning time as it hangs against gravity like the pendulum of an ancient clock. Clark's strumming unusually excitable and bright a contrast to the surrounding numbers. 'Winter In' is a song made from the inspiration of its creation, a song that apprehends a moment and paints it across time like a brush to canvass. The tune collects discard moments like scattered photographs and collates them into shared experience. Another song that leaves me wondering the reasoning for its eventual disappearance from the running for the record.
If you do not already own White Light do not pass go until you are the proud owner of the album. After digesting it and letting its soulful living lines seep into the fabric of your musical life, search out the collection discussed above. Similarly to John Lennon's home recordings, or Pete Townsend's available demo recordings, Clark's song sketches offer a peek through the keyhole, pulling back the shades to reveal the heart of inspiration for the songwriter. For the duration of the listening experience Clark is in your room, the music wrapping its metaphorical arms around your ears and heart.
Gene Clark-Winter In
Gene Clark-Jimmy Christ
Gene Clark-For A Spanish Guitar
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Spinning the ‘rock room’ today is an absolute pillar in the cathedral that is rock and roll history. The album Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks: The Best of Ronnie Hawkins was released courtesy of Roulette Records in 1964. The mono LP not only features Hawkins performing with his usual rock and roll renegade sensibilities, but also shows the talents and abilities of Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Robbie Robertson (The Band) on all tracks, as well as appearances by Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and King Curtis.
The sides Hawkins was cutting during this period would influence a host of rockers John Lennon and Bob Dylan included. Hawkins albums always contained the hottest shit musicians and a no frills ‘in the gutter’ approach. Dylan would eventually take Hawkins former band for his own to help disseminate his ‘thin wild mercury music’ on the legendary 1965-66 tour. When the needle drops on this record, there is little doubt on whom the best rock and roll band in the land was. Say what you will, but the guys in the Hawks were playing at a level that few bands ever reach. The proof is in the recordings, this particular disc directly pointing to the eventual musical pinnacles reached with Dylan in 1966 and soon after that the heights scaled as the Band.
slightly static guitar pumps ‘Bo Diddley’ full of a metallic scrubbing sound, a sound alien to this era, the 'Diddley' beat now super charged. Hawkins swamp hollers, or more appropriately, huffs Canadian wind storm screams, waiting for the resounding echoes from the backing peanut gallery. Sexy and sultry, the opening ‘Bo Diddly’ smells of Canadian whiskey, stale cigarettes, loose ladies and the funky clubs of Young street in downtown Toronto in the early 60’s. The deep tree lined grooves played by Helm and Danko and developed her,e foreshadow their future deep running and powerful roots. Swelling ‘rave ups’ separate the galloping drums verses and amphetamine piano slapping contributed by Richard Manuel.
‘Come Love’ is a sultry swing, Hawkins vocals are punctuated by Robertson’sharp edged Stratocaster. Robertson’s first solo a tasteful yet twang exploration of the blues groove, his tone a silver arrow chilled by the Northern winds. Staying on the subject of grooves, ‘Honey Love’ in contrast, is a product of the time, a lighthearted Latin flavored ditty, highlighted by Helm’s roly-poly island tom-tom’s and Danko’s animated and thumping lines.
‘High Blood Pressure’ is as tight as a shrunken sweater. Hawkin’s sounds way laid back for this vocal performance. The entire ‘future’ Band is also featured on this recording with all five members accounted for. You can tell because the groove shakes likes the leaves on the trees and the feel is the undeniable Band (Hawks) rhythm section and dual keyboard/piano attack. Mr. Hudson starts to go impressionistic with his introductory solo enveloping the group with his individualized sonic pallet.
Creeping along on a blue piano, ‘Arkansas’ rolls down dusty roads, name checking women and locations while reminiscing about his favorite lady. A moody and original song instrumentally, again, Helm’s drums injecting the song with its danceability and its swing. Garth Hudson also plays on this track.
The following song ‘Boss Man’, contains the entire future Band contributing once again. Garth Hudson’s fat organ swirls in windy time with the sly swing of the group. The finger snapping workers lament is made convincing by the low key shadowy strut, even the humorous ‘huh huh’ backing vocals add to the enjoyment. Good stuff.
Side two opens with a violent and shattering event, the impact of‘Who Do You Love’ is immediate. The song streaks out and grabs you emphatically by the shirt asking the question, ‘Who Do You Love?’ Danko’s bass loops and loops, jumping from the speakers then retreating like a wack-a-mole game. This was the Hawks signature song and it shows, there is a levitating delicacy to their aggressiveness, then quickly turning a corner,they kill the ant with a hammer. The mid section builds, rising on Hawkins ascending guttural screams, then bursts at the seams, revealing pounding black and whites, droning bass, and Robertson standing baby faced, scorching eyebrows with the created heat from his guitar statements. This track belongs on any hypothetical list or discussion regarding ‘rock and roll’s’ foundational songs, or important musical moments. Must have.
‘I Feel Good’ bounds in on a rockabilly groove, buoyed by Helms dependable beats. King Curtis takes the first solo with a celebratory investigation of the melody. To my ears this song is in the style that the members of the group were starting to rebel from, less of the pop, more of the ‘R and B’ and violent raucous rock. In the context of the LP it sounds good and lends diversity to the record as well as showing off the multiple talents of the Hawks.
One of my personal favorite songs on the LP is the version of ‘Searchin’ that Hawkins pulls out, the bluesy shuffle accentuated by possibly the dirtiest guitar you will hear on a recording from 1961 (when this number was recorded). Robertson peels prickly sections of sound from his guitar that moan, this is serious stuff here. Helm and Danko sit back locked in a stone thrown across water cadence, in which Hawkins raps the syncopated tale.
The final song that features all five members of the Band as Hawks is ‘Mojo Man’. ‘Mojo’ bops along on Danko’s percolating bass line and features a golden Curtis saxophone solo foreshadowing the future Band’s own horn section additions during their own career. Another irresistible pulse is donated by the group, becoming noticeable that the talent in the band is surpassing its principal and namesake.
The LP comes to a close with two numbers that showcase Hawkins voice, the first displaying his ‘Elvis’ falsetto’ upsing’. ‘Sexy Ways’ lets Hawkins get the girls worked into tizzy with his creamy smooth singing of various compliments over the churning rock rhythm. The tune has some big female backing vocals and a nice sax solo, but it fades out just as Robertson gets a chance to juice it up! In my opinion the weakest song on the record, but hey someone may love it!
The album concludes on the slow burn of ‘You Know I Love You’ with Robertson making up for a missed opportunity on the previous song with a sharp and unique opening riff that slides in sensually. The lick is absolutely shiver inducing in conjunction with the silvery bell chimes on Helm’s drum kit. Hawkins swings like a slightly inebriated playboy, Mr. Dynamo charming the ladies right out of their skirts, even though they ‘don’t even know his name’.
1964’s Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks: The Best of Ronnie Hawkins LP finds one of ‘rock’s’ finest showman during the prime of career, as well as spotlighting his backing band, who was about to embark on the journey of a lifetime, culminating with some of the most revolutionary music ever heard in popular music. This is a hard one to find in the bins, but is still available in digital formats and is well worth a concentrated listen.
Who Do You Love
Saturday, February 8, 2014
The concert is also notable for being Keith Godchaux's second show with the band since taking over piano duties, in which he asserts himself immediately and assimilates his adventurous playing seamlessly into the group mind. These early concerts are the exploratory templates that would eventually reach cosmic levels when the band reached Europe. Back to the show at hand, the subject of this 'now playing' is the first 'Dark Star' with Keith Godchaux, as well as the first since July 1971. The intimate Auditorium Theatre in Chicago would be witness to numerous peak Grateful Dead performances and this opening night in 1971 is no different. The ornate and opulent theater was the perfect location for the special improvised journeys the Dead were known to embark on.
The 'Dark Star' begins in earnest after a humorous 'Frozen Logger' tuning segment. A graceful examination of the theme occurs with Garcia confidently picking harmonics along with ancient melodic chimes that reverberate through the venue. Billy K scratches on wooden doors with a light percussion that shuffles quickly into the shadows. This is a panoramic and spacious 'Dark Star' drift and at three minutes the band breaks apart into a sickly spider web meltdown. Godchaux asserts himself through scatter shot keystrokes disorienting the direction and encouraging Lesh and Garcia to fall deeper into the musical void. The melt spreads, becoming slightly psychotic in its intent before Garcia aggressively restates the theme and slides into the first verse.
Garcia strongly sings the first verse at half past six minutes, the band then moves briskly from the lyrics before dropping again into a weightless introspective space. Godchaux, Weir, and Garcia roll themselves into a twinkling musical mass at ten minutes. The music becomes a psychedelic music box, Lesh plucks light blue notes, while the music envelops itself, shapeless it bumps into stars, dissipating before moving on. Garcia begins to dig away at layers of the jam, hitting on ideas, discarding ideas, before brushing away the dirt and revealing the central theme he so wanted to discover. The jam ignites like flash paper, gaining momentum through a series of heavenly melodic statements by Garcia and Godchaux. Kreutzman becomes the multi-limbed master and the unsung hero throughout this multifaceted excursion. He plays a plethora of poly-rhythmic grooves that branch off from the central trunk of swing beats. Garcia's Stratocaster has the classic shimmering and ethereal 'Europe' tone that drives the band into an excitable 'Feeling Groovy' jam that careens around corners at dangerous rates threatening to lift off at any moment. The post verse jam is an example of peak and prime Grateful Dead, birthed during this very era and riding an awesome wave straight on through the Winterland 1974 performances. The jam rises, the suddenly, the band becomes molecules dissolving like sugar in water and returning to a sparkling drift.
At this point the jam disappears as quickly as it appeared, reaching its outstretched hand over the jagged edge of the sonic precipice to gain purchase, pulling itself skyward, quickly becoming a lightning struck version of 'Sitting On Top Of he World'. The band boogies their way through the song at high velocity. The band sounds positively joyous as they romp through a prime rendition. Garcia plays two pliable honky tonk solos and then Bam! We are back in the midst of 'Dark Star'. The second verse is sung quickly and before we realize its not 'St Stephen',Weir strums the opening strains to 'Me and Bobby McGee'. Similarly to the music that preceded it, this 'Bobby McGee' is concentrated joy. The band's attention to detail is marvelous, and the 'Bobby' becomes a fitting landing to the previous 25 minutes of musical flight.
The second set then concludes with the 'St Stephen' that was missing from the previously played 'Dark Star.' Segueing into a streaming 'Johnny B Goode' and closing the performance on a high and rocking note. This 'Dark Star' suite from early in the Grateful Dead's 'golden era', is a fine example of the grey area lying between the bands early 1971 'bar room' jam sessions, and their gradual development into a nimble, swinging psychedelic jazz band. The Fall of 1971 is full of these amazing performances, sometimes falling flat in spots, but always full of the possibility of magic and the drive for exploration. Dick's Picks Volume 2 features a concert from this era, hailing from October 31, 1971 which also contains an extended 'Dark Star' excursion worth checking out. Road Trips 3.2 showcases a mid tour meltdown with the November 15 concert in Texas. The short lived 'Download Series' offered up the October 26 Rochester, NY show for a short time, giving us another well played and extended performance. Well, that's it from here, check it out, thanks for reading!
Dark Star Suite 10-21-1971