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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Dick's Picks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dick's Picks. Show all posts

Monday, August 17, 2015

Real Gone Music presents: Grateful Dead Dick's Picks Vol Seven September 1974 - New release review

I just received the latest release from Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks, Vol Seven and it's a strong set. Opening with Scarlet Begonias the Dead wastes no time whatsoever getting the groove going. Western flavored Mexicali Blues has a great feel and Weir's vocals are strong and clear. Row Jimmy is a nice change up and Garcia plays some shimmery guitar riffs that are actually chilling. Very cool! On Black-ThroatedWind the Dead's blues influences are particularly strong. Lesh's contribution on bass are vital on this track. A cool little (extended) ditty, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo has a real nice swagger and clean guitar solos. Garcia's vocals are spot on and fine! Beat It On Down The Line is of course one of the band's rockers and has great drive. Keith Godchaux lays down some nice piano work on this track and Donna Jean adds nice vocal harmonies. Tennessee Jed has just the right groove and Garcia leads it perfectly. Keith, Jerry, Bob and Phil really get a solid footing on this track held tight by Bill Kreutzmann for my favorite track on disc one. Band hit, Playing In The Band wraps side one in classic style with a 23 plus minute jam.

 Opening disc two is Weather Report Suite, opening with it's classical nature but evolving into a rowdy Dead western rocker with Weir and Donna Jean taking the vocal lead. Stella Blue is a classic Dead blues ballad and finds Garcia in some of his best vocals for my own personal preference in a long time. Jack Straw has a particularly cohesive feel with tight overlayed guitar and bass work. Brown-Eyed Women is as straight up crowd pleaser with no extraneous jams as I've heard the band perform. It is well received and clear. Big River has a hard driving feel and Weir coupled with Keith really gets it going on this one. Of course there is plenty of guitar to go around but the boys keep it reeled in and tight. Classic Dead track, Truckin' is a very short 10 plus minute version of one of their mist popular tracks ever. Nice! Blending straight into Wood Green Jam the band get creatively loose and although cohesive, more expressive. Wrapping disc 2 is Wharf Rat. Compelling vocals by Garcia as well as bass work by Lesh, piano by Keith and tight rhythms by Bill give this track real texture.

Western flavored Me and My Uncle is a great opener for disc 3 featuring Weir on vocal and fast paced soloing. This is a great toe tapper and gives Garcia a real opening to play some of his best riffs on the release. Just the opening of Not Fade Away elicits a crowd roar. Weir and Garcia sing in tandem as Lesh and Bill drive the rhythm train. Melodic soloing by Jerry and Lesh gets this track flying and it doesn't land for over 16 minutes. Clocking in at over 24 minutes, Dark Star pushes the envelope for free form jamming, with a solid melody falling out of the mist a times but only briefly. A continuation of the jam, Spam Jam, is much more wide open and experimental although a really cool jazz formation does appear. Interesting. Morning Dew is wound way down from Spam Jam with cohesive bass lines from Lesh driving Jerry vocally. Nice tight piano work from Keith leads to some frenzied guitar work and nicely woven solo lines between Weir and Garcia. Wrapping the release is U.S. Blues, an all time favorite with ideal framing and strong closing capabilities. Tight and powerful, the Dead crushes it.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Real Gone Records: Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks Volume 12 - 6/26 & 28/74 - New Release Review

I just received the newest Grateful Dead release from Real Gone Records, Disk's Picks Volume 12. Starting Disc 1 with a jam that leads into what many have labeled "the most extraordinary live version of China Cat Sunflower ever recorded". Transitioning with Mind Left Body /Jam into I Know You Rider this is an exceptional recording. Having a little fun with the Beer Barrel Polka and then Truckin' these guys are really on a roll! Spanish Jam has a lot of fire and a certain spirit that is different from much of what I have heard throughout the other recordings. Very cool! Up next is Wharf Rat and then super closer Sugar Magnolia. The band is tight and on fire.

 Disc 2 opens with Eyes Of the World, the encore from the Boston show. Needless to say it is superb. The legendary second set of the Boston show opens with the rare performance of Seastones (Phil Lesh and Ned Lagin's electronic piece). The balance of the concert as recorded includes Sugar Magnolia, a rockin' Scarlet Begonias, Johnny Cash's country jam Big River, the somber To Lay Me Down; on of my favorites in the set, western style Me And My Uncle, and and the more bluesy Row Jimmy.

 Disc 2 continues with one of the most renown live jams of the band's career, a flawless 14 plus minute Weather Report Suite. A creative endeavor led by the vocals of Weir and flowing into a full blown 27 minute fusion jam. An always favorite US Blues, Chuck Berry's Promised Land, a really nice version of Going Down The Road Feeling Bad and then for the final 1-2 punch, Sunshine Daydream / Ship Of Fools which I really loved.

 Real Gone is also reissuing on a very limited basis (300 units) Dick's Picks Volume 35.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Friday, January 2, 2015

Real Gone Music: Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks 13 - Nassau Coliseum 5/6/81 - New release Review

I just received the newest release, Volume 13 of Dick's Picks from the Grateful Dead and the concert is quite entertaining. Opening with Alabama Getaway Garcia wastes no time getting the crowd on its feet and hopping. A wide open guitar solo in this one sets the pace. Continuing with the high energy rock of Greatest Story Ever Told, Weir leads the way. Settling down into a groove with They Love Each Other Lesh has his bass popping and Brent Mydland opens the door with some cool piano. Garcia uses the funky beat of the track to play some otherwise uncharacteristic riffs. Cool! On Cassidy, the easy country rock feel that the Dead developed so well gives Garcia and Weir the opportunity to get a little more progressive in their approach. Jack-A-Roe has a strong country flavor and is one of my favorites on the release. lead by Garcia on guitar and vocal it has that pure feel. Excellent finger work by Garcia on this track is icing on the cake. The Dead's take on Burnetts' Little Red Rooster maintains much of the original blues feel with some over driven guitar tones. Mydland takes a nice organ interlude nicely complimenting Garcia's guitar work and Wier's vocals. Classic Dead track, Dire Wolf is always a favorite with Garcia back on lead vocal. Although not prolonged, Garcia's guitar work on this track is spot on. One of Weir's extended ballads, Looks Like Rain follows with quiet emotion and Weir on lead vocals. On hopped up Big Railroad Blues, Garcia rocks out in a near Chuck Berry style for a refreshing rocker. Weir's Let It Grow has a nice quick moving pace and a twist of Mexico with nice drive by Hart and Kreutzmann on drums and crisp riffs from Garcia. Wrapping disc one is another all time favorite of the Dead, Deal. Garcia leads this track as fresh as the first time. Mydland and Lesh carry the bulk of the load with Garcia on vocal and light guitar riffs. Cutting in at over 7 minutes a good closer. Opening disc two is New Minglewood Blues, a traditional blues track similar to Rolling and Tumblin, with underlying blues riffs but with modern attributes. Mydland takes a nice organ solo on this track and Garcia lays down some pretty hot slide riffs of his own. A nice quiet bluesy ballad, High Time, is up next with Garcia showing some really lush guitar work. Another Weir track, Lost Sailor, has that unique blend of jazz, progression and ballad. Excellent writing. A 42 minute version of Saint of Circumstance is the first really extended jam by the gang on this recording and as a somewhat mid point of the release... very nice. Opening disc three is He's Gone with a Dead style boogie. Weir and Garcia harmonize nicely with sufficient cool guitar work to keep your ears on alert. On Caution/ Spanish Jam the Dead wanders through many different themes from driving rock to jazz. Hart and Kreutzmann take an extended (7 plus minute) drum excursion satisfying that drum itch and leading back into a loose guitar jam. With it's unusual rhythm pattern, The Other One seems a perfect sleigh to ride for yet another instrumental jam. Well constructed and moving, it's over in a moment. Back to the blues roots with Going Down The Road Feeling Bad, Garcia leads the way with a Delaney and Bonnie style. Pulling out all of the blues riffs, this track hits the note. A heavy shot of Wharf Rat is up next with Garcia leading on vocal and guitar. As has become customary, Weir takes the mic for a rocking version of Good Lovin'. On encore is another Dead favorite, Don't Ease Me In. This is a great terrific track to wrap up this mostly rockin' concert.

If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Monday, October 14, 2013

Dick's Picks Vol. 21 - Grateful Dead - New Release Review

I just received the latest release of Grateful Dead music from the vault, Dick's Picks Vol. 21. This 3 disc set is a bit different from the others that I have reviewed in that it showcases many tracks by other artists and covered by the Dead. The first disc, recorded at the Richmond Coliseum (1985), opens with Dancing In The Streets popularized mostly by Martha and the Vandellas and Mick Jagger with David Bowie. On this extended track, Garcia opens the door early to a cool jam. Cold Rain and Snow follows being one of my favorite originals on this disc. Lesh plays some of the coolest riffs and the vocal harmonies are right on. A cover of Willie Dixon's Little Red Rooster showcases Brent Mydland on keys some excellent slide work by Garcia making it an absolute standout for the entire set. Western style track Me And My Uncle is really done nicely with not only pace and rhythm but also smart guitar riffs. A little more country in Big River, and again Mydland steps up on keys drawing Garcia out with one of his more inspired solos. One of my personal Dead favorites, Jack Straw, is up next followed by Don't Ease Me In, which is short, peppy and crisp. Disc 2 opens with the Dead's arrangement of the traditional Sampson and Delilah.Always an enjoyable track from the Dead and with musical certainty it is a great opener for the disc. Heartfelt High Time is up next and a great showcase again for Garcia. Another Willie Dixon tune, Spoonful gets a strong cover with super guitar leads and arrangement. Another sweet melody, Comes a Time provides a vessel for bluesy guitar riffs and a nice jam... possibly my favorite track on disc 2. Lost Sailor featuring vocals by Weir leads into a mega long jam lasting 20 minutes into disc 3. Saint Of Circumstance emerges from the myst . The rockier side of the Dead is emerging here and more complex instrumentation from Garcia freed from lead vocal duties. Spencer Davis Group track Gimme Some Lovin' became almost as much a part of the Dead's repertoire as some of their own tracks. It's tracks like this that really give Garcia the opportunity to pursue alternate melodies on guitar with a solid primary melody acknowledged and recognized. Garcia brings on Dylan's She Belongs To Me, One of my favorite tracks on this disc. Soloing is of course a primary goal but on this track focused and concise. Van Morrison's Gloria is always a fan favorite and the Dead keep a lot of the edge of the original track. Garcia's Keep Your Day Job is a is a great country rocker showing the vitality of the band in this stage of their careers. The final 4 tracks are excerpts from an earlier concert (1980) in Rochester. Opening with the progressive track, Space, the band is captured in one of it's modestly long experimental tracks. Followed by "Dedulated" version of standard New Orleans track Iko Iko the crew presents a much more laid back version of the track. An 11 minute version of Morning Dew is next and really a super addition to this particular set. Garcia is really on this evening and was lucky to have it captured, Finishing up with Sugar Magnolia and despite listening to about 3 hours of non stop music, you find yourself smiling and wanting more.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Real Gone Music - Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks Volume 24 - New Release Review

I just received the newest in the line of Dick's Picks Grateful Dead releases by Real Gone Music and there are some real gems here. This 2 cd set was recorded on March 23, 1974 at the Cow Palace in California. Hot tracks on disc one are U.S. Blues, Scarlet Begonias, Deal and a great cut of Weather Report Suite. This particular cut is terrific and a special gem. Disc two opens with crowd favorite Playing In The Band and continues into Uncle John's Band. Garcia is really on tonight and his extended soloing on this track is particularly tasty. I am also particularly fond of this particular cut of Morning Dew and the handling of the vocals in particular. Second runs, or a refrain if you wish, on Playing In The Band and Uncle John's Band give the band ample opportunity to jam. Another sparkling guitar solo appears on Bertha. A slower than usual tempo is presented on Sugar Magnolia, the closer on this recording. One more chance for a tight and cohesive isn't missed and vocal harmonies are particularly good. This release won't of course appeal to everyone, but it is a great addition to Dead fans collections and is also a great addition for someone not having a lot of live Dead music!  

If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Real Gone Music - Dick's Pick Volume 25 - The Grateful Dead

Real Gone Music has got another gem here with the re release of The Grateful Dead's Dick's Pick Volume 25. This four CD (HDCD) set includes classic concert recordings from the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New Haven, CT on May 10, 1978 and the Springfield Civic Center in Springfield, MA on May 11, 1978. Consisting of 35 extended tracks, these recordings are certainly for GD/jam connoisseurs but even for your average music listeners there are some real gems here. The Dick's Picks series which started in 1993 was named for Grateful Dead Dick Latvala who selected shows with the band's approval and oversaw production of the releases. After Latvala's death David Lemieux took over responsibility for the Dick's Picks releases. Some of my favorite tracks on this super deluxe set are Ramble On Rose, Deal, Estimated Profit and Eyes Of the World from the New Haven Show but not to miss extensive jamming on Drums, The Other One and Wharf Rat are also sure to be favorites to Deadheads. (Mickey Hart fans should be in Heaven). In the Springfield set my particular favorites are Looks Like Rain, Loser, New Minglewood Blues, Supplication, Not Fade Away and I gotta comment on the wild guitar solo on Werewolves of London...just a blast. This set is jammed with jam and is bound to be a favorite set. Finishing with Johnny B. Goode you are left wanting even more. OK Deadheads... it's here!

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band! This is not a track from this concert but I hate making a post without a here is the Dead!