Grateful Dead

What do they believe? What do you think? Talk about religion as it exists today.
Posts: 3691
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

Wow! I've got a good feeling about this one too (12/4/90) just from the opening Jack Straw. I haven't really explored late 1990 much before (in a new post-Brent Mydland era with Bruce Hornsby on piano), and this seems like a great place to start. ... Straw.flac

Wow, wow, wow! This is a fantastic show! What a treat!

Hornsby's own music evolved significantly during this time period. Critics have suggested that the Dead's vibrant tradition of melding folk music and the blues with psychedelic rock in "loose-knit expressions" and extended jamming "further pushed [Hornsby] outside the confines of mainstream pop." Critics have also commented upon the "close musical connection" formed between Hornsby and Jerry Garcia, suggesting that Hornsby's particular style of jazz-fueled improvisation added to the band's repertoire, and helped to revitalize and refocus Jerry Garcia's guitar solos in the band's sound. Hornsby's friendship with Garcia continued, both inside and outside the band, as the two "challenged" each other to expand their musicianship through several other album and live collaborations. Above all, Hornsby's musical versatility and ability to slip in and out of extended freeform jams won over longtime Grateful Dead fans. ... teful_Dead

And while the whole show has a great "feel," a stand out for me (besides that Jack Straw) is Bird Song.

And maybe it's time to explore 1991 more. I can see how their reinvigorated energy that started in 1989 and (in my view) peaked in 1990 could have spilled over into 1991, and I can appreciate the addition of Bruce Hornsby more now than I did when I was younger (and I enjoyed seeing him play in that post-Jerry show I saw in Chicago in 2015), so I will poke around and see what all the fuss was about, starting with this article from 1991:

In a recessionary pop music environment in which tours keel over and die and radio and MTV stars hit the road only to cancel their tours, the Grateful Dead, 26 years old and counting, are doing better than ever. So far this year, their gross for live shows has been higher than any other band's. For the first six months of the year, the Dead earned $20 million. Playing stadium-size venues -- something no other tour has dared do this summer -- the band has sold out virtually every show it has played, and the prediction is that for the rest of the year, it will sell out everything that's left.

Yesterday the Grateful Dead arrived in New York to play nine sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden.

"If I knew what made us popular, I'd bottle it," one of the group's leaders, the guitarist Jerry Garcia, said in a telephone interview. "Whatever it is, it invented us, we didn't invent it. The audience thinks we're providing more than music, but we don't let on what we're providing, intentionally. We're elliptical. Someone once wrote that we're a real cheap vacation to Bermuda, which is kind of right. But insofar as we're providing a safe context to be together with a lot of people who aren't afraid of each other, which is real valuable in New York, I'd guess, we're important" …

Each show is an event, a spectacle that draws meaning from itself as much as it does from the music.

"With all the kinds of people that come, old-timers and kids, it's a little hard to tell what makes them all have a valuable experience," Mr. Garcia said. "I used to wonder about it and worry. Suppose we're misleading all these people? But it's not really like that, I realized, because we're not selling a point of view. We stay away from advocating much at all, so people are left on their own to imagine who we are." ... iving.html

And since I used to have this one from 6/24 on an audience tape (which was surely a factor for me not liking it), let's see how it sounds on a nice Charlie Miller soundboard recording. ... e+Way.flac

I'm still exploring this show (nice opening Help/Slip/Frank so far), and while I was looking for reviews of it I found this interesting interview with someone in a Grateful Dead cover band who mentions it:

When the Grateful Dead is brought up, it’s usually either followed by a roll of the eyes or some form of excitement and respect. The band’s magnetism became a cultural movement, but at its core, it was the music that spoke to people. Recreating different Grateful Dead shows each night, Dark Star Orchestra is most likely the closest you will come to the original Grateful Dead spirit in a small venue. IN pulled drummer Dino English away from zero degree Wisconsin weather to chat about why the music remains such a force in the world today.

IN: What is it about the Grateful Dead that makes its music so timeless and worthy of such dedication from a band like yours?

ENGLISH: The way they encompass so many styles of mostly American music. Rock and roll, country, R&B, funk, bluegrass, fusion. They were one of the first bands to bring the free form jazz structure into a rock and roll setting. People could hear it all. It also opens people up to other kinds of music. People who wouldn’t necessarily like a type of music would be exposed to it for the first time at Grateful Dead shows. It can really change whatever path you’re on musically.

IN: What was your personal journey in discovering the Grateful Dead?

ENGLISH: It happened that first show—6/24/91. I’m the baby Deadhead of the band. I had friends that could travel to see them and begged me to come with them. They’d play me tapes, but I just didn’t get it until I caught the whole live experience. It was an eye opener. It all made sense after that.

And now that I've had a chance to listen to this show with and without headphones, on the whole I'd put it in the "not bad" category. Highlights for me are that nice Help/Slip/Frank, an interesting It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry, a nice Big River, a great China/Rider (starting after four minutes into China), a great Estimated Prophet, a strong Drums, an okay Other One and a great Morning Dew.
Last edited by John2 on Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:54 pm, edited 6 times in total.
User avatar
Posts: 929
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:10 pm
Location: Latin America

Re: Grateful Dead

Post by arnoldo »

Look out, 'cause here comes some free advice
Walk in the sunshine
Watch for the bright sign
Be all the things you're able to be
You got to listen to the heavens
You got to try and understand
The greatness of their movement is just as small as it is grand
Try not to hurry
It's just not your worry
Leave it to those all caught up in time
You got to deep six your wrist watch
You got to try and understand
The time it seems to capture is just a movement of its hands
I ain't preaching, I don't know
How to make fast things move along slow
I can't stop it, can't make it go
Just 'cause I say it, that don't mean that it's so
'Cause folks always say
Watch what you hear now
Make sure it's clear now
Just 'cause it's said don't mean that its true
You got…
Posts: 3691
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

I've never heard (or even heard of) that one before, arnoldo. Thanks.
You know in spite of all you gained, you still have to stand out in the pouring rain.
Posts: 3691
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

I forgot I also saw Bruce play at my first post-Jerry show in 1998. It's only available on audience recordings on the Archive (so I'm in there somewhere!), but it's nice to hear it again (I used to have a copy of it but haven't heard it in many years). It was very special for me because I didn't get to see the Dead when Jerry was alive and this was their first tour after he died. I liked all of it, but the highlight for me was St. Stephen and the Eleven.

As a reviewer writes:

This was such a great concert. I still wasn't quite 'over' losing Garcia yet, but this show made me realize that the music never stopped. ... 7d3t02.shn

They released this St. Stephen and Eleven on a compilation album and they sound better on that.

Last edited by John2 on Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Posts: 275
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:52 am
Location: Ute City, COLO

Re: Grateful Dead

Post by bbyrd009 »

John2 wrote: Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:25 pm I've never heard (or even heard of) that one before, arnoldo. Thanks.
"No Son of Man may die for another's sins..." Ezekiel 18:20
Posts: 3691
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

Well, I've got a better appreciation for Bruce Hornsby's time now, but when it comes to late-era Dead, I still prefer Brent Mydland's time. And besides 1990 (which is one of my favorite years), I also like 1985, and one show from that year (6/15) is one of my all-time favorites (which I've linked to somewhere upthread), with a good I Know You Rider and the best Lost Sailor, Saint of Circumstance, Terrapin Station, Drums, Space, the Wheel, Throwing Stones and She Belongs to Me I've ever heard, so I thought I'd post it here again for easier access. ... d2t05.flac

And while I liked all the 1985 shows I used to have, since I only had a few I thought I'd explore the year more now that they're all on the Archive. And going by this great sounding Loser, I want to check out more of 9/7. ... d01t06.shn

Oh, wow, is that my new favorite Crazy Fingers (after 6:00) and Samson and Delilah? What a show! I can't wait to hear more.

Some songs in the first set seem to have some recording issues, which puts a damper on things, but Brown Eyed Women, My Brother Esau and Loser sound great, and I like everything from Shakedown Street to Comes a Time in the second set. This is a really great show.

And while I have yet to find any other 1985 shows I like as much as these two, there's a song I used to have as filler on a cassette tape from 7/13 that I like and thought I'd link to here.

And now I want to give the 1985 show with the above Music Never Stopped another shot (aside from that "Music" it hasn't done anything for me, which seems weird considering that a show a month before is one of my all time favorites). It has an interesting looking set list with a stand alone Fire on the Mountain (a song I like but tend to find too long and tedious) that is considered to be one of their best and I'm in a "Fire" mood today, and this soundboard recording I stumbled upon sounds loud and clear so maybe that will do it. ... /d1t02.shn

Oh, that Comes a Time sounds nice ("Gotta make it somehow on the dreams you still believe"). And that's another standout '85 Terrapin Station.

And that's a great Touch of Grey (my new favorite?) and Bird Song, a good Other One and an okay Wheel (I'm pretty picky about my Wheels). This is an "okay" show with some cool standouts, I'd say.

That's a good Women Are Smarter too, and that's enough to tip this show into the "good" column for me.

And I thought I would add the link to my new all-time favorite show I discovered upthread (11/14/73) so I don't have to keep looking for it. It has my new favorite Jack Straw, Black Throated Wind and China/Rider transition (starting at 7:00 into China) and a great three part Other One sandwich. ... d3t04.flac
Post Reply