Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Grateful Dead: "Dick's Picks Volume Nine" (1997) CD Review

This three-disc CD contains the entire concert the Grateful Dead performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City on September 16, 1990. Bruce Hornsby's second show.

The first CD opens with "Hell In A Bucket." The Dead played this song a lot in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Fans didn't take to this song right away. Sure it took a little getting used to. But it's a damned good song with some great lyrics. These lines are among the best ever in a Dead song: "There may come a day I will dance on your grave/If unable to dance I will crawl across it."

From there the band went into "Cold Rain And Snow," which is always good.

Vince Welnick And Bruce Hornsby Take Over On Keyboards

Vince Welnick, who took over on keyboards after Brent Mydland's death, really comes alive during "Little Red Rooster," making himself known and welcome. Brent had died at the end of the summer tour. Of course, Bruce Hornsby is awesome on this one too. This was Bruce's second concert with the band.

The first CD also contains a real earnest rendition of "Tennessee Jed."

"Cassidy" Was Named In Part For Neal Cassady
The beautiful "Cassidy" is named after two people: Neal Cassady (the busdriver of Furthur, and Dean Moriarty of On The Road) and Cassidy Law, who was a baby when the song was written. This song has wonderful lyrics, including this: "Faring thee well now/Let your life proceed by its own design/Nothing to tell now/Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine."

Though a typical Set One closer, this is a nice energetic, rowsing rendition of "Deal."
Second CD Has The Fun "Iko Iko"

The second CD has a version of "Iko Iko," which is always fun to dance to because of the Bo Diddley beat. Does anyone know what this song is about? Well, no matter, it's fun.

"Looks Like Rain" has the wonderful lines, "I only want to hold you/I don't want to tie you down/Or fence you in the lines/I might have drawn."

"He's Gone" Strikes Chord After Brent Mydland's Death

"He's Gone" really hit home so soon after Brent Mydland's death. Clearly the band was feeling it, as Jerry sang, "Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile." This was only the second time the band played this song since Brent's death. Brent used to go wild vocally at the end of this song.

"He's Gone" leads into a jam which is titled "No MSG Jam" for this release, but if memory serves, it was referred to as "Keyz" at the time. That leads into "Drums," which oddly includes some weird recorded vocals.

Third Disc Has A Beautiful "Standing On The Moon"
"Standing On The Moon" is always beautiful. "A lovely view of Heaven, but I'd rather be with you." When Jerry Garcia repeats, "I'd rather be with you" with such emotion, it's wonderful.
"Lunatic Preserve" is an insane jam that many referred to as "Space." It's basically a raucous version of "Space," but with the drummers.

"Morning Dew" is always moving. The CD ends with the encore, which is a good version of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue."

Grateful Dead At This Time Included Bruce Hornsby On Piano

The Grateful Dead at the time of this recording was Jerry Garcia on vocals and guitar; Bob Weir on vocals and rhythm guitar; Phil Lesh on bass and vocals; Bill Kreutzmann on drums; Mickey Hart on drums; Vince Welnick on keyboards and vocals; and Bruce Hornsby on keyboards, accordion and vocals.

CD Track List
The following is the track list for Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks Volume Nine:

CD One:

  1. Hell In A Bucket
  2. Cold Rain And Snow
  3. Little Red Rooster
  4. Stagger Lee
  5. Queen Jane Approximately
  6. Tennessee Jed
  7. Cassidy
  8. Deal

CD Two:

  1. Samson And Delilah
  2. Iko Iko
  3. Looks Like Rain
  4. He's Gone >
  5. No MSG Jam >
  6. Drums >

CD Three:

  1. Space >
  2. Standing On The Moon >
  3. Lunatic Preserve >
  4. I Need A Miracle >
  5. Morning Dew
  6. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

No comments:

Post a Comment