"When it came to 1973 Dead, I was always drawn to the big second-set jams, 'Dark Star' or 'The Other One,' and all of the places those songs could go that year. One week during my initial stint with the Dead, Dick was spending a lot of time listening to 9/8/73, and he could not stop raving about it. He was very intent on pointing out that despite the absence of the 'Big Two' from 1973, every song, every solo, every moment was out-of-this-world excellent. He played me the first set, giving a play-by-play of each song and what made it special.
Grateful Web recently had the honor of visiting with Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay. While most folks are familiar with Donna Jean as the radiant co-vocalist of 1970s Grateful Dead, augmenting some of the seminal group’s most celebrated tunes such as “The Music Never Stopped,” “Cassidy,” “Mississippi Half-Step,” and “Playing in the Band,” she holds deeper roots in Americana as a 1960s session musician of the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.
This year's Dave's Picks series comes to a close just as the band's getting back together again in '76. By the time the Grateful Dead hit New Jersey’s Capitol Theatre - for the very first time - on 6/17/76, they were buzzing from their reunion, armed with new and revived material, the Rhythm Devils reformed with the mischievous Mickey Hart once again behind the kit. They'd skived off the unwieldy Wall of Sound and scaled back the venues from cavernous arenas to intimate theatres. Quite the treat!
In all of the years that archival Grateful Dead recordings have been coming out, there have been only two from the red-hot fall of 1971, Keith Godchaux's landmark first tour with the band. Now there is a third. Dave's Picks Volume 3 features the complete October 22, 1971 concert from the beautiful Auditorium Theatre in Chicago on two discs, with a third disc culled from the previous night's scorcher at the same venue.