Picks 34 review
Dick's Picks 34
captures the Grateful Dead in the middle stop of their three-night
New York swing on November 5, 1977, at the Community War Memorial in
Rochester NY. Further, seven stunning supplementary tracks from a
one night stop in Toronto, Canada from November 2 are included.
disc of Dick's Picks 34 contains the first set in its
entirety. Overall a very enjoyable set. I've had this show on tape for years. I remember making a copy for a friend and writing
in a note along with the recording that this is no "Half-Step," rather a
Full Step. Indeed, this would rank on my list of favorite
1977 versions along with, but below 11/6, 5/7, and 9/3.
set offers some other Jerry tracks including, "Dire Wolf" and
"Candyman." The latter is generally always a treat to
hear, and Donna's background vocals help out nicely, as they also do
"Looks Like Rain." Jerry lets loose on a superb "Big
River." Lots of power to close the show with energetic and
completely satisfying renditions "Jack Straw" and
second set starts off with some Phil noodling. It leads to a
definitive version of "Take a Step Back." Really! That
segues smartly into strong version of "Eyes of the World."
The jams within are bright, clean, and lengthy, though, Jerry is
missing for several minutes during the outro jam. He must have broken a string. Not a sensational segment, but
different and worth hearing. The anticipation
is high, where's Jerry? Phil and Bobby interact with Phil the taking
the lead. Finally Jerry joins
them tossing out a brief "Eyes" run and then shifts gears to a must hear transition
"Samson and Delilah."
fans? He continues to dominate the show joining the drummers for the "Rhythm Devils" and
leads us into the second set highlight, "The Other One."
The middle jam they take their time slowly exploring and building
giving the crowd a lesson in dynamics and intensity. The jam is
whisper like and slowly builds power with Jerry taking the intensity
to an astonishing peak with some in your face runs, and on a dime, even more
subtlety, the intensity quiets leading to the next verse "skipping across ..."
Keith is more of a rhythm than a lead player not adding much.
However, Bobby comes through the mix quite nice both sonically and
bonus material the main segment is taking from set two from
"Estimated Prophet" through "Around and Around";
Jerry is absolutely brilliant throughout. The "Estimated" jam is thrilling with an abrupt ending.
The transition from a solid "St. Stephen" starts with a brief
"Cosmic Charlie" inference before beginning a
"Truckin'" that builds into an eruption. A version that
packs a lot a lot into eight minutes. For certain, "Lazy
Lightning" fans will be quite pleased with this rendition.
Picks 34 brings us some strong 1977 performances, a well represented year
in the Dick's Picks series. The featured show reminds me quite a bit of Dick's
Picks 15 as some of songs that are highlights from this show are the
highlights from that show. If you don't have that release, this is a
must have, as it is for fans of "The Other One."
Picks 34 is another excellent 1977 Grateful Dead performance to
hear in brilliant sonic quality. Not to mention some exceptional
bonus material from a few days earlier.
Grade B +
it today from GDM
Lesh's new book (Book's, CD, or cassette)
Order: Searching for the Sound: My Life in the Grateful Dead