on 22 July 2013
The concert of which this is a record took place ten years later than the one recorded as Volume 1 in this (hopefully ongoing) series. It's an absolute delight. Jerry is assisted by two backup women singers who sound good, and on a couple of tracks, Bela Fleck adds some first-rate banjo work. Rhythm is strong, and there's a fine and assertive keyboardist, and Jerry's guitar work is always a pleasure to listen to. Listeners who (like me) enjoy the reissues of live Grateful Dead gigs will find that there isn't much overlap -- "Deal" is an obvious one, and I've heard the Dead do "How sweet it is," and that's about it. There's a Peter Tosh song here ("Stop that Train"), and Van Morrison's "And it Stoned Me" (I've never heard the Dead cover Van!), and it's fascinating to hear. Their take on "Evangeline" -- a song I had forgotten existed until I heard this -- really rocks, and we're reminded again in the variety of material here just how marvelously eclectic Garcia is. There's Dylan too, of course, and that's very well done, especially "Forever Young" and "Tangled Up in Blue." Jerry seems to be making a real effort here to project more forcefully and expressively as a singer than he typically does on the Dead albums, and he does well. Unfortunately, the recording catches the instruments better than the voices, making the latter sound a bit boomy at times. But what the heck . . . this is a beauty! Let's hope more are in the pipeline.