Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Row Jimmy” by Grateful Dead

While most Deadheads would agree that 1972 was a key year for the band due to the amount of then-new material added to the mix now considered standards, as evidenced on last year’s essential “Complete Europe ’72” mammoth box set release. I too agree, but I really love the 1973-74 shows and the tracks from “Wake Of The Flood” and “From The Mars Hotel” that were entered into the band’s canon which brings us to this great Jerry track originally from “Wake.” Even though this is a 1978 version of the song, the reason I chose it is that I received my “Dave’s Picks Volume 2″ subscription CD in the mail today featuring a show from Dillon Stadium in Hartford, CT from July of 1974. Its arrival coincided with a 3-hour ride each way downstate to the University Of Illinois to see my daughter perform at Superstate with her High School Band. Timing is everything, so I took the opportunity to spin the show which has an interesting set list with nice early versions of the “Mars Hotel” songs played at much quicker tempos that the band ultimately settled upon and many then-current “Wake” tracks. The release is somewhat patchy which is of some concern because the folks at Rhino keep going to the well for releases and I’m beginning to wonder if they’ve begun to hit bottom for some of the key tour years for the Dead. Nevertheless, what was good on the set was great as long as you can put up with the numerous lyrical flubs and mistakes the band made on this show. I guess that’s part of the charm of these releases anyway…

About Eric Berman