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China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider
March 21, 1985
Hampton Coliseum

Voice shot, Garcia hums through his spidery 13 lb. guitar. With a lovely China Cat peak @4:30.
Tennessee Jed
March 19, 1977
Winterland Arena

(a) Garcia with aluminum pipe, (b) Purdie Shuffle '77 Pace, (c) Perfect Dynamic Control
Dec. 8, 1973
Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke U

As a queen sits down, knowing that a chair will be there,/ Or a general raises his hand and is given the field-glasses
Big River
Dec. 4, 1973
Cincinnati Gardens

Dictionary entry: 1973 Big River - effortless & downstream. Exhibit A.
Jack Straw
June 10, 1973
RFK Stadium

Relaxed and joyous space-age electric guitar semi-ballad.


Nov. 14, 1971
Texas Christian University

What a welcome wagon number! Godchaux sets a commanding tone for the rhythm section and they hop to it. Then the break comes - Weir & Garcia just melt faces. Yeah - you can really entertain the troops with two electric guitars.
Bird Song
Nov. 22, 1972
Austin Municipal Auditorium

Late. 1972. Bird Song. Detailed, subtle, swinging version with the band in absolute control. Intense, but doesn't explode - controlled enthusiasm. I like it all the more for the swingin' restraint.
China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider
Dec. 27, 1970
Legion Stadium

Difficult to argue with the introductory assessment here.
May 3, 1977
The Palladium

A lovely audience recording captures perfectly just what a dynamics-controlling machine they had become. The hand-claps [must they ALWAYS be on the one guys???] and whistles add a deep warmth to a typically wonderful May 1977 Sugaree. Typical = patient, unpredictable, and pretty dag telepathic. Garcia rules, of course, but Godchaux has his hands on the dynamics controls. And those are safe hands.
Playin' In The Band
Sept. 11, 1974
Alexandra Palace

In the skating world, one would say "good edge work." They breeze through with the lightest of touch, yet not wishy-washy; they mean exactly what they're doing. At around 6 minutes or so, Garcia really takes a deep swan dive into marshmallow creme. A lovely '74 Playin'.