The Grateful Dead,the name conjures one image and the music another,not being a Dead Head as such this disc was viewed as a challenge.And what a rewarding challenge it was,unlike most of my other reviews,im not that well versed,schooled in the ways of the Dead,so im a little out of my comfort zone,anyway here goes,
Unlike most if not all the live albums i own,where the band tend to charge out of the speakers and grab you by the throat,the Dead kinda' ambled along,gently building up opener 'Bertha' & 'Good Lovin before dipping into an epic 'Sugaree'.
delighful mellow almost country rock wafts around your ears and instantly your smiling,enjoying the mood,marvelling at the bands prowess and in particular Garcia's guitar playing,was never inclined to think of him as a guitar hero,but some of his playing is mesmeric,why am i smiling constantly? it must be the sheer effortless performance this band exudes,their enjoyment being transmitted to the listener.
The excellently priced 3 disc set has various moments to be enjoyed,be it 'New Minglewood Blues',the fantastic 'Estimated Prophet/Terrapin Station,is that a touch of reggae? while other tracks such as 'Playin in The Band/..Saturday Night & US Blues make yer feet tap and your grin get wider,this is not what i expected at all.
All in all this is a fantastic recording,which is some way from the band i was expecting to hear,having heard 'Live Undead' as a youth and not getting it,thinking with a name like theirs that it had to be Heavy Metal(was i alone?),after all these years i've finally communed with the Dead and its been a revelation,if your a dead head you'll already have this,if not,take that chance,its well worth it.