This is one of my favorite Grateful Dead Live discs. There's only 7 songs but its 45 minutes plus of Pigpen, Jerry, Weir, Lesh, and Bill the Drummer. This show is from February 13th and 14th 1970, at the Fillmore East. 1970 is a great year for the Dead. (my favorite Dead era lies/lays within 1967-1972). Bear's Choice starts off with a bluesy Pigpen lead, Katie Mae. Katie Mae alone is an awesome blues song. Give Pigpen a guitar and the spotlight, you got one of the best blues performances ever. He starts the song off with a good humored argument from someone in the crowd or on stage....Katie Mae then goes to Dark Hollow. Dark Hollow is an awesome bluesy song with a hint of Country (kinda puts me in mind of Ripple in a Dead way)with Weir on lead vocal...so far, Katie Mae and Dark Hollow are among my favorite Dead songs. The next song is Jerry's turn with: I've Been All Around This World, a great slow ballad with great rythm. A Deadsized Wake Up Little Suzie follows All Around this World, a great jam and a great rocker, yet it's the shortest song on this disc. Track five is a Workingman's Dead hit, Black Peter, yet another slow bluesy jam. At 18:00 minutes long, Pigpen and the Dead jam through Smokestack Lightning. Smokestack's sound kinda resembles CCR's Susie Q, great tune with different jams throughout. The last song is Hard To Handle...sung by Pigpen. Hard To Handle, much like its' name and with Pigpen's vocals is a hard rocker, a great closer for this particular set.
1. Katie Mae-4:46 2. Dark Hollow-3:30 3. I've Been All Around This World-4:40 4. Wake Up Little Susie-2:40 5. Black Peter-7:20 6. Smokestack Lightning-18:00 7. Hard To Handle-6:14
Overall, this set does include a reaction from the audience during each jam, however, you can tell that it's not just one big medley jam/set. At the end of certain songs (ie-Katie Mae>Dark Hollow) you can hear the difference in audience reaction levels; just a note for fans of Dead-Sets-With-Audience-Interaction (thats all) but the crowd can be heard... This particular set is one of my faves (along with Dicks Picks 8 and Ladies and Gentlemen...) to play on Wine Nights (which are quite frequent) This album came out the year Pigpen died :(
The album cover is 'perhaps' the origin of the infamous Beanie Bears that are collected today-for Dancing Beanie Bear collectors-Dark Hollow is one of the newest in the latest series, and it's from this particular show/set.......