Saturday, March 19, 2011

Grateful Dead: "Dick's Picks Volume Six" (1996) CD Review

This three-disc CD contains the entire show the Grateful Dead performed at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut, on October 14, 1983.

The first CD starts with a slightly messy "Alabama Getaway," a song from the 1980 release Go To Heaven. This recording seems off at first - Jerry's vocals and Phil's bass are pretty loud, and the drums seem fine, but the guitars and keyboards are softer. By the end of the song, the mix seems about right.

First Disc Is First Set Of Show

The first disc contains the entire first set from the show. There is a nice version of "Althea" which leads into a good "C.C. Rider," with Bob singing, "I think I'm going to run now."

Jerry's voice is really straining on "Tennessee Jed," particularly the lines, "Drink all day and rock all night/The law come to get you if you don't walk right."

After "Tennessee Jed" the band does "Hell In A Bucket." This is an early version of the song. They debuted the song in May of 1983. It would be included in the 1987 studio release, "In The Dark." It has the great lyric, "There may come a day I will dance on your grave/If unable to dance I will crawl across it."

The first disc ends with "Keep Your Day Job," a song that the Grateful Dead stopped playing because fans actually requested that they stop performing it. Robert Hunter mentions that in his book, Box Of Rain.

Second CD Has "Scarlet/Fire" and "Estimated/Eyes"
The second CD starts with the always appreciated "Scarlet Begonias" into "Fire On The Mountain." Sure, the vocals here are really strained, but the songs are still so much fun. Mickey Hart's drumming is particularly cool on "Scarlet Begonias."

"Estimated Prophet" has some great jamming. Brent is really present there on the keyboards, and Bob's vocals are good.

"Eyes Of The World" is one of the band's best songs, and this version is pretty good. At just under eighteen minutes, it's got a lot of jamming.

Third Disc Starts With Drums/Space

The third CD starts with "Drums." For those who don't know, at every Grateful Dead show in the 1980s and 1990s during the second set, everyone but Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart would leave the stage, so that the drummers could do some jamming on their own. And then they would leave, and the rest of the band would return for a segment titled "Space," which was basically a free-form jam. On this CD the "Space" section is titled "Spinach Jam," and it has a lot of "The Other One" teasing in it.

The jam in "The Other One" is mad. The band suddenly gets some crazy energy and puts it to good use.

From there they drift into the beautiful "Stella Blue." Though Jerry's voice had been straining through much of this show, he managed to make it work so well for "Stella Blue." This song is just perfect.

Grateful Dead Band Members

The Grateful Dead members at the time of this recording were Jerry Garcia on vocals and guitar, Bob Weir on vocals and guitar, Phil Lesh on bass and vocals, Bill Kreutzmann on drums, Mickey Hart on drums and Brent Mydland on keyboards and vocals.

CD Track List

The following is the track list for Grateful Dead's "Dick's Picks Volume Six":

CD One:

  1. Alabama Getaway >
  2. Greatest Story Ever Told
  3. They Love Each Other
  4. Mama Tried >
  5. Big River
  6. Althea >
  7. C.C. Rider
  8. Tennessee Jed
  9. Hell In A Bucket >
  10. Keep Your Day Job

CD Two:

  1. Scarlet Begonias >
  2. Fire On The Mountain
  3. Estimated Prophet >
  4. Eyes Of The World >

CD Three

  1. Drums >
  2. Spinach Jam >
  3. The Other One >
  4. Stella Blue >
  5. Sugar Magnolia
  6. U.S. Blues

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