Jam – 2012-04-17 – Carroll’s

It being April 17, it was the anniversary of several Dead shows that Deadstein could have tried to attempt.  There was the classic from the Byrne with Stephen Still and Love the One You’re With.  There is the 4-17-84 show fromNiagraFalls.  There is even the famous Tivoli Theater who show video from 4-17-72 that we could have attempted.  I decided to go even older and try thePrincetonshow from 4-17-71 as our course for the night.

We had been doing more newer Grateful Dead recently and I wanted a shot to get back at some of those old Pigpen songs; including doing things like a Good Lovin and a Lovelight in the old Pig Pen style.

The set list isn’t enormous, like others we have completed, so finishing the show wasn’t the challenge.  I think the real challenge was to try to provide it a 1971 patina while not lopping on any of the shiny gloss learned later in the Grateful Dead experience.

There were a few repeats from recent weeks including the Truckin.   With this being more familiar to our fingers than usual as well as being the first song for the night gave it the opportunity to shine; and it did.  The Truckin’ was one of Deadstein best feeling version that I recall.  It has always been a challenge to get that groove but I think we got it to open the night.  I think the Big Railroad, Big Boss Man and Birdsong, what were they caught in the “B” section of their play book, got us to certain a comfort level and were sounding good.  For the Birdsong and the Playing in the Band we stayed from the authentic 1971 of playing them.  We played Birdsong in the key of “E” as opposed to “D” which is what they did in 1971.  Additionally, we added a small jam to the Playing in the Band which was not in the song in April 1971.  I’m glad we did because the jam was fun.

As far a guests for the night we had DonnaD, the relatively shy, demur, school teachers who took the opportunity that Deadstein presented her and grabbed the microphone to belt out the Hard To Handle.  She said she hadn’t done anything like this since she was 12 and all the pent up energy and aggression came out in this Hard To Handle.  It was much different than a Rich version but still I think we all knew where we had to be on it.  Additional guests include Stevie and Lindsey, a couple of additional friends of Rich and of course Scott Bayer came strolling in at the end of the night.

We finished up the first set, which felt good and too short, and rested for the more imposing 2nd set.  At least I had given many of the songs for the night a good listen and practice before we played so Rich asked me to try the PigPen story in the middle of the Good Lovin.  With all our guests ready for a rocking 2nd set, Rich quickly sang the first couple of verse to Good Lovin, we did a quick drum solo and we were back into the Good Lovin jamming on a nice 1971 style Good Lovin.  Already this was our most authentic Pigpen style Good Lovin but when it came time to do the Pig-Rap I was nervous in front of everyone.  I started scatting a bit trying to tell the story Pig did 41 years ago and did a better job than I could have expected.  I think I almost mentioned everything with the exception of the selling of theBrooklynBridge.  While a great part of Pig’s story, I didn’t want to potentially lose our momentum to tell that part of the story.

We were pretty solid for the next few songs including the rarely performed King Bee which had a really good flavor to it.  The Sing Me Back Home is where our trouble began as people had trouble counting the time and having the patience the song requires to play it correctly.  Too bad, because we started correctly and then just could keep it together for whatever reason.  This was a downward slope that continued through the Lovelight.  Nevertheless, for the first three quarters we were right on target with what we were shooting at.  Finishing up a few minutes early gave us the opportunity to play the encore the Grateful Dead didn’t play inPrinceton. We chose Scott singing the Box of Rain to close and we were out of there.

In the world, we learned of the passing of the Band’s Levon Helm this week and we may have to play a song or two in memory of the great songs that he left us with; ss Scott stated, “Levon, say hello to Jerry for us.”

Use the links below to listen to the MP3s from the night.



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