Dave's Picks Vol. 4
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Dave's Picks Vol. 4 - College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76 - Grateful Dead Road - New release

Set Lists

Musicians

Notes

Dave's Picks Vol. 4 Dave's Picks Vol. 4 Dave’s Picks Volume 4: College of William & Mary, 9/24/76 - Grateful Dead
College of William and Mary 
Williamsburg, VA 
Sept. 24, 1976
 
 
 
 
Order: GDM
 
030105GratefulDead iTunes downloads

Dave's Picks Vol. 4 - College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76 - Grateful Dead Road - New release

Dave's Picks Vol. 4
Sept. 24, 1976
The Mosque - Richmond, VA

I gave Dave's Picks Volume 4 a spin. It is the complete concert from College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA from 6/24/76. This is a concert that did not circulate in soundboard format among tape traders. 

The first set takes up the first disc and extends on disc 2. I didn't find too much special on the first disc. The best part is probably the "Sugaree," though, for a 1976 version of the song, head straight to the Jerry Garcia Band's release Don't Let Go

As the set continues on disc 2, the "Playing in the Band" has some amazing moments. The band transitions into "Supplication" and back to "Playing in the Band," which is spectacular. However, in the pre "Supplication" part of "Playing in the Band" the drummers were pounding away at a cowbell or some related drum instrument that was so annoying it was hard to listen too. Yikes. That sort neutralizes what would have otherwise been a raving highlight.

What did the second half offer? It started with shorter warm up songs. Of them, "Loser" sounded freshest and had me singing along, as I was recalling some great memories of seeing the boys perform this one live. Disc 3 is where the real meat of the set is. It begins with a lengthy "Help on the Way" Slipknot" > Franklin's Tower." This version slips a drum solo in the middle of "Slipknot."  More, the band transitions into "The Music Never Stopped." I've never heard that before. Cool. The version is solid, and the transition to "Stella Blue" after is amazingly smooth. The version is good, not perfect. The bridge didn't seem quite right for the "I've Stayed in Every Blue Light Cheap Hotel." There is also a tape splice right after. Though, during the guitar solo, Keith hit some nice piano touches to follow Garcia runs. The band closes with a few rockers. Neither are among my favorite Grateful Dead songs, but this U.S. Blues is a fine version and nice send off.

I see the merits of the release. Some unique parts to the show, plus we have a release that is not circulated among tape traders. Though, it is not top shelf material in my view. Disc 3 is a keeper for sure. The sound quality is good, but not great. You can hear the personnel clearly, perhaps the drums are a little to loud if I had one knock. Keith's parts come through really nice and added some great melodic touches throughout. 

I'm not the biggest fan of 1976 and Dave's Picks Volume 4 gave me no reason to change my mind.

Grade B
By Barry Small

 
Dave's Picks Vol. 4 - College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76 - Grateful Dead Road - New release
Winterland 1977 Dick's Picks Vol. 34 Dick's Picks Vol. 15
     
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Definitive Collection
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Dave's Picks Vol. 4 - College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76 - Grateful Dead Road - New release
Track List

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Disc 1
1 Promised Land [4:41]
2 Deal [5:07]
3 Cassidy [4:34]
4 Sugaree [10:25]
5 Looks Like Rain [7:53]
6 Row Jimmy [9:48]
7 Big River [5:33]
8 Tennessee Jed [8:55]

Disc 2
1 Playing In The Band> [11:53]
2 Supplication> [4:55]
3 Playing In The Band [4:43]
4 Might As Well [7:36]
5 Samson and Delilah [7:02]
6 Loser [8:06]
7 New Minglewood Blues [4:30]

Disc 3
1 Help On The Way> [5:06]
2 Slipknot!> [5:07]
3 Drums> [5:36]
4 Slipknot!> [5:28]
5 Franklin's Tower> [8:12]
6 The Music Never Stopped> [5:49]
7 Stella Blue [7:35]
8 Around and Around [6:54]
9 U.S. Blues [5:56] 
Dave's Picks Vol. 4 - College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76 - Grateful Dead Road - New release
Musicians:       

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Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - drums
Mickey Hart - drums
Donna Jean Godchaux - Vocals
Keith Godchaux - Piano

Dave's Picks Vol. 4 - College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76 - Grateful Dead Road - New release
Notes:

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Release date - Nov. 2012 
Produced by Grateful Dead
Produced for release by - David Lemieux
CD mastering - Jeffrey Norman 
Associate producer: Doran Tyson
Recording: Dan Healy
Art direction and design: Steve Vance
Cover art: Scott McDougall
Tape research: Michael Wesley Johnson
Archival research: Nicholas Meriwether
Photos: James R. Anderson
Liner notes essay "Higher Ed with the Dead": Nicholas Meriwether

Listening Party

The Music Never Stopped
Samson and Delilah
Row Jimmy

Dave's Picks Vol. 4 - College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76 - Grateful Dead Road - New release

From the Grateful Dead website

Dave’s Picks 4 Features Unheard Fall ’76 Soundboard

Where does the time go? Is this really the end of Year One of the phenomenally successful Dave’s Picks series? Why, it seems like only yesterday that we were promising to blow your little minds with our initial offering from 1977. Well, it’s time to dip into that Golden Decade one mo’ time, as we unveil Dave’s Picks Volume 4: College of William & Mary, 9/24/76.

That’s right, rabid collectors—you read that date correctly. We have located the un-circulated soundboard master reels of this highly regarded show and are pleased as (psychedelic) punch to send it your way for your listening and dancing pleasure!

The Dead had played a pair of fine shows at William & Mary—located in the history-rich town of Williamsburg, Virginia (raise your hand if you own a three-cornered hat from your visit to Colonial Williamsburg when you were 10)—three years earlier (9/11-12/73), and obviously dug the vibe enough to warrant a return during one of their “comeback” tours following their hiatus. The concert at William & Mary Hall was the second show of the Dead’s brief fall East and Midwest swing, and it stands as one of the strongest outings from this period—its best moments up to the level of the following 9/25 and 9/28 shows that made up the superb Dick’s Picks Vol. 20 (released in 2001) and the October 9 and 10 Oakland Stadium shows that became Dicks Picks Vol. 33 (2004).

The first set is packed with goodies. The bouncy “Sugaree” stretches to about 10 minutes, and “Looks Like Rain” is a true thing of beauty. “Cassidy” finds Bob and Donna in lovely harmony, while “Big River” has plenty of kick. But the real gold in this first set is to be found in the 21-minute closing sequence of “Playing in the Band” > “Supplication” > “Playing” reprise. This was one of only two times in the Dead’s history that the full, sung “Supplication” appeared without its usual partner, “Lazy Lightning,” and it’s a wonderful version. It emerges quite naturally out of one of those drifty but intense “Playing” jams so characteristic of ’76, builds nicely, and then goes full-throttle for a couple of minutes, before floating back to the “Playing.” Niiiiice!

Following one of Bob’s more humorous exhortations to “take a step back” (in which he urges folks to give each other a sharp jab with their elbows) the band kicks into the still-new “Might As Well,” followed by another ’76 introduction, “Samson and Delilah.” A couple of songs later, they roll into “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” and the latter finds the whole band conversing at a very high level as they negotiate that piece’s many strange turns. Bill and Mickey take over for a spell before the whole ensemble reconvenes for a breakneck return to “Slipknot!” and then a loping entrance into “Franklin’s Tower.” “The Music Never Stopped” surprises coming out of “Franklin’s” and then Jerry pilots an emotional “Stella Blue”; another highlight. A couple of rockers bring the show to satisfying end.

As most of you know by now, because of the large number of people who bought the full year’s subscription to the limited edition Dave’s Picks series, we have only a few thousand copies of the 3-CD Dave’s Picks Vol. 4 for sale individually. So you better jump on it pronto or you will forever be filled with that awful feeling of regret.

As always, the original tapes have been lovingly mastered to HDCD specs by Jeffrey Norman, and the beautifully designed package includes a colorful booklet with photos and a historical essay — in this case by the esteemed curator of the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz, Nicholas Meriwether. Check out the complete set list below and ordering information above. And keep a keen eye out for next year’s Dave’s Picks subscription offer!

—BJ

About Dave's Picks

The New Limited Edition Numbered Archival Series

What happens when you take the spirit of Dick's Picks and combine it with the very best aspects of Road Trips? Dave's Picks! Esteemed archivist, vaultmeister, and all-around Dead fiend David Lemieux will curate the finest unreleased shows from the master tapes, brought to life with HDCD sonics by Jeffrey Norman, period photos, and informative liner notes. All four CD releases in 2012 will be limited to 12,000 individually numbered copies and each will come in a digipak printed on Orford stock. The entire packaging, including the trays, will be made of 100% recycled and PCW materials. Here's a sneak peek of the packaging:

Dave's Picks Vol. 4 - College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76 - Grateful Dead Road - New release
Dave's Picks Vol. 4 - College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76 - Grateful Dead Road - New release