It should by now have ceased to surprise me how little appreciated the Dead are in this land of ours. But preparing to write this, I took a look at Dozin' at the Knick on Amazon, and was surprised and a bit saddened again: one reviewer on Amazon UK, over fifty in the US. Yet, much lesser American bands (without being invidious, Velvet Underground, for example) have a strong following. I don't understand it: do you?
For me, there has never been and probably never will be, a band who can hold a candle to the Dead. And no matter what your favourite Dead era is (for what it's worth, mine is the Europe 72 band), this selection of tracks from a US tour in Spring 1990, when the band were collectively energised and inspired, is almost certain to delight. For starters, there is no duplication here of legitimate material you may already have. To quote from the booklet (the whole package is really nice), 'One "rule" we set for ourselves was not to include performances that had been previously released, and we set a limit of three repeated song titles from Without a Net.' Both cds generously push the 80 minute limit. There are some nice covers, there's a beautiful Attics of My Life, and a compelling Morning Dew which at times verges on ferocity. But it's all good.
So, unless you can afford the limited edition 18 cd set, this distillation is a priceless gem for just over a tenner.
I was looking forward to starting uni and working a factory job in the summer of 1972, when two students at the end of their first year suggested I check out an album called American Beauty by a band I'd never heard of. I am glad I listened to them, and eternally grateful, wherever they may now be ... what a long and wonderful trip it's been.