Monday, August 13, 2007

Grateful Dead - 1971 - Cincinnati, Ohio


Grateful Dead
Taft Auditorium
Cincinnati OH

WEBN FM > ??? > DAT > Analog > CDWav/Soundforge > WAV > FLAC

Back in the day when I was living in Athens, Ohio, my memory was sadly more occupied with the statistics of Deadbase than those of my formal education. Here's a show that always seemed to get pulled out of the stacks for roadtrips, breakfast, headphones, whatever. Some part of me always believed that Jerry and the boys just loved the Midwest, its beautiful mediocrity incited them to riot; it was this show and many others that probably convinced me.

The band was exceptionally tight, seemlingly focused on every note. Harmony was important to them and the vocals of each song seems to be played with true feeling, especially the duets and trios. Jerry's voice is crystal and listening to gems like Sugaree, Loser, & Brown-Eyed Women is a reminder of the range Garcia had as one of the greatest voices of the day. You'll never be able to convince me that a better version of "Comes
a Time" was ever played, and with the additional lyrics its one in a million. This is it, in bold letters, THE best one ever, and easily the best reason to get a copy of this show. Landmark vocals and a hauntingly wicked guitar, enough said.

The banter between the band & crowd goes on throughout the show, and listening between songs includes plenty of 1971 humor. Most notably is some maniac yelling "Play Truckin" one to many times before Garcia rarely addresses the crowd and goes off on the guy in Jerryesque before launching into a jammy Sugar Mags. They finally give in to the guy and play a 9+ minute Truckin before tearing the roof off the Taft with NFA > GDTRFB > NFA. This is Phil's song, he plays lead bass throughout the whole set and his interplay with the then new Keith Godcheaux on keys is mesmerizing. This 21+ minute jawdropper once again proves this band is one of a kind.

This is an FM recording sourcing from DAT to my Maxell XL2. I've been unable to locate a 100% pure digital source for this show, even "" did not have it listed when they originally opened up the SBD vaults. This version is exceptionally clear and the recording well balanced, at any time you can pick out every instrument, follow it, and hear it melt into a sea of sound; this is one of many of the all time best Grateful Dead shows ever played.

Set I:
01 ...Bertha
02 Me & My Unle
03 Sugaree
04 Beat it on Down the Line
05 Loser
06 Playin in the Band
07 Tennessee Jed
08 Jack Straw
09 Big R&R Blues
10 Me & Bobby McGee
11 Brown Eyed Women
12 Saturday Night
13 DJ Intermission

Set II:
14 ...Casey Jones
15 Mexicali Blues
16 Comes a Time*
17 El Paso
18 "Rambling Rose"
19 Garcia versus Heckler
20 Sugar Magnolia
21 Truckin'
22 Not Fade Away >
23 Goin Down the Road >
24 Not Fade Away
25 Outro

*w/ Alternate Lyrics