Weir's Anthology Weir Here is an excellent package
discs, one studio and one live, of songs that he wrote both with the Grateful
Dead and his solo outings.
disc is a compilation of studio material smartly including five of
the eight tracks from '71's Ace, which is really a Grateful Dead album of strictly
Weir penned tunes. Keith really shines though out these tracks. The version of
"Playing in the Band" is
arguably the Grateful Dead's best studio effort; it certainly
captures the feeling of jamming and exploration that is not easy in
the remaining eleven tracks, the material is chronologically represented
and strongly showcase a guitarist and songwriter that has the
ability to perform in an wide range of genres. Next up, "Lazy
Lightning" > "Supplication" was originally a King
Fish song, before being adapted by the Grateful Dead; this version
doesn't capture the intensity of the Dead's output, instead, it
effectively offers a softer
other treats to round out the disc. "I Want To (Fly Away)"
has a reggae style feel, but what makes this unique is the jazz
inferences incorporated into it. Then "Shades of Grey" is a mellow
song with some
good dynamics to it, and it could wind up on an easy listening station
second disc, the live
material is a mix of released and unreleased material. Strong
renditions of "Me and Bobbie McGee," and "The Music
Never Stopped" stand out. The former has all the band contributing, with Phil hitting some
really creative runs.
finally get an audio only official release of "Man Smart, Women
Smarter." This version is effective with a tight
instrumental section and solid vocals
to close the track with Bobby, Jerry, and Brent trading off verses; a lot is packed into this four and a half
minutes of music.
tracks have been a big part of Weir's live repertoire since the late
1980's. No Grateful Dead versions are included, instead they selected
an unreleased rehearsal version by RatDog of "Masters of War."
If asked to make suggestions
to improve this release, a slightly better
representation of eras would make a minor upgrade. My thoughts
would be to use a version of "New Minglewood Blues" from
1977 when that track rocked hard. Second, there are plenty of 1973 versions
of "Sugar Magnolia" that have me hitting the rewind
button. How about Bruce?, "Jack Straw" from 9/19/90, comes
to mind as a must hear version. These changes would
increase the number of unreleased songs that is also appealing to
those that have them already.
when listening to a Grateful Dead release the anticipation of getting
to a favorite Garcia track has me hitting the skip button over some
great Bob Weir material. Having a
Weir only disc forces one to listen through the tracks. After
hearing them it would be difficult not to be impressed with the
diversity and quality of his music.
Here includes over 150 minutes with no clunkers. While many fans
may have much of this material already (I had half), this package is
excellent. While the album has two discs, it is priced as if it were
one. Barry Small ©
Grade A -
San Francisco paper had two good articles to coincide with the Bob
Weir anthology release, Weir Here.
Man Talking and Weir
finds his ...