Grateful Dead Hour no. 1057

Week of December 22, 2008

Part 1 28:15
Grateful Dead, Road Trips vol 2 no 1: MSG September 90
PICASSO MOON
PLAYING IN THE BAND->
SHIP OF FOOLS->
PLAYING IN THE BAND

Part 2 27:40
Grateful Dead, Road Trips vol 2 no 1: MSG September 90
UNCLE JOHN’S BAND (REPRISE)->
LET IT GROW->
JAM

This is a truly sterling collection from start to finish. “Picasso Moon” is from the bonus disc, recorded on 9/18/90, and the rest of this week’s music is from September 19th.

One of the coolest things that happened in this 6-show run was a set of trio jams that happened in every second set, with a different combination of musicians each time. The trio jam out of “Let It Grow” – Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and Bruce Hornsby – impressed Phil Lesh so much that he included it on the audio disc with his autobiography, Searching for the Sound.

Here’s what Phil had to say about those trio jams in an interview with me on April 20, 2005: “…that breakdown thing, it was Bruce’s idea, really. And it was wonderful because it was his contribution to the way the band worked – aside, of course, from his playing and singing. So he said, at a certain point every night, why don’t we break it down and have different combinations of players – you know, improvise, do chamber music stuff. That really, rang a bell for us. Especially for me, because this is a really great way to open up this kind of concrete format that we’ve locked ourselves into over the years. Generally speaking, just about every time we did it, Bruce would be a part of it, although a couple of times he wasn’t.

“And that was very interesting too, because sometimes there would be just the three guitar players and I think that even after Bruce left the band, we kept doing that for a little while. Because the segment that everybody calls ‘space’ has largely been the three guitarists – Jerry, Bob, and myself – getting crazy. Especially when we had the MIDI gear, that made it a little more flexible and we were able to get different textures. Bruce, he really shines in that kind of context, and I don’t’ think he gets to do it very often. Even with his band, because he’s playing his songs and he might do it once a night, too, but I …I haven’t seen one of his shows for long time. But he really came forth in that period with some great stuff. ”

The Grateful Dead Hour is made possible in part this week by Grateful Dead Productions, announcing Road Trips volume 2 number 1, MSG September 90. Two CDs and a bonus disc with great musical moments from the 7-man lineup with Bruce Hornsby and Vince Welnick on keyboards. More information, sample audio, and ordering link on the official web site, dead.net.

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