Road Trips Vol 2 No. 3
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Grateful Dead Road Trip Vol 2 No. 2 - New release

Set Lists



Road Trips: Road Trips Vol  No. 3 June 1974 - Grateful Dead
Vol. 2 No. 3
June 1974: Wall of Sound
Des Moines, IA - June 16, '74
Louisville, KY - June 18,'74  
Order: GDM
030105GratefulDead iTunes downloads

Grateful Dead Road Trip Vol 2 No. 2 - New release

Road Trips Vol. 2 No.3 
June 1974: Wall of Sound

The Grateful Dead's release Road Trips Vol. 2 No.3: Wall of Sound  is comprised of material from two live 1974 concerts, June 16 in Des Moines, IA, and June 18 in Louisville, KY. These shows have long circulated among traders and both shows are highly ranked. The official release includes two discs, highlights from each evening. For early orders a bonus disc was included. In the notes section at the bottom of the page, we have the full sets listed. 

The theme and title of Road Trips Vol. 2 No.3 is Wall of Sound and the liner notes written by Dennis McNally discuss that massive sonic marvel. In it Dennis shares "In its largest state it had 641 speakers." There's a lot of cool Wall of Sound details and some superb photos of both the band and the sound system. You must see these photos. 

The first disc gathers songs from June 16 from both set one and set two. According to Deadbase, there were three sets played. Disc one starts with "China Cat Sunflower" > I Know You Rider" from set one, and what appears to be all of the second set, but "U.S. Blues" may have been re-sequenced from its original position. 

All of selected material included is killer. The version of "China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You Rider" is one of the best for sure. The second set includes a predictably awesome "Eyes of the World"; melodic, bouncy, free flowing, and the concluding transition to "Big River" is stunning. It results in an introductory tease where they play around with the "Big River" theme, perhaps a definitive version. The last piece of music is a nearly  half and hour version of "Playing in the Band," and is easily the most exploratory song of the show. A good amount of the third set from June 16 is included on the bonus disc. 

The second disc takes a similar approach as the first disc of taking parts of different sets. It starts with "Loose" Lucy," the set 2 opener, to gets things going. Then, grabbing the key jam from set one, "Eyes of the World" > "China Doll." Comparatively, I prefer the 6/16 "Eyes" segment. 

Then we travel to set two and we're treated to the key part of that set. It contains some must hear beautiful sounds. The song list is common with the exception of "It's a Sin," but this is one fine piece of music. "Whether Report Suite" unleashes some killer shredding within the song verses; fair warning of what is to come. There is a really cool free flowing jam following "Whether Report Suite" that leads effortlessly into an explosive "The Other One." It has a superb jam that features Phil unleashing a deadly attack, which is followed by a nice little jam, that eventually takes on the blues theme of "It's a Sin" instrumentally. A very  nice exploration vehicle and an eventual transition into the ballad "Stella Blue." This is nothing short of phenomenal plus, plus. 

The evenings festivities included three more songs in the second set and additionally a to die for encore of "Morning Dew." Gladly "Dew" and "Sugar Magnolia" are on the bonus disc. 

As good as the music from Road Trips Vol. 2 No.3: Wall of Sound is, these classic Grateful Dead shows would have been better served to be released as full shows or at a minimum more inclusive. Perhaps that thought is because of my preference for this era, and the June 16 and 18 shows have long been cherished in my collection. Even with the bonus disc, this release still has the feeling of being incomplete. Plus, the bonus material is too good to only be available for early orders. Another drawback for me of the release is the exclusion of so much of the set one material. Sure in this era of the Grateful Dead a lot of set one songs are repeated from night to night, but a nice solid compilation disc would be awesome. 

The remastering results in noticeably improved sound over the bootleg that circulated. Therefore, even if the compilation isn't perfect due to its brevity, it is still worth upgrading. Required? For sure. When definitive versions or at a minimum such high caliber playing is involved the better the sound the better. While the circulating soundboards are enjoyable, they're no sonic match to the official release. 

Road Trips Vol. 2 No.3 is filled to capacity with some of the best Grateful Dead music. The booklet with its facts, stat's, and photos adds to the experience too. The Wall of Sound lives again, turn it very loud.

by Barry Small©
Grade A

Order: GDM

Bonus disc
All of the music on this bonus disc is great. Arguably, every bit as essential as what was included in the release. Better? Minute by minute it is pretty awesome, but there are some definitive moments on each of the featured discs so I'd opine it's not better. 

The version of "Morning Dew" is thrilling, beautiful, melodic, and glorious. Jerry's voice is in fine 1974 form and he leads the band through all of "Dew's" peaks and valleys. The rendition rivals the other greats versions from this period of 1973 and 1974; DP19, DP14, and the GD Movie. The song "Truckin'" has some of its best versions in 1974 (and 1972). This rendition doesn't disappoint. It certainly takes a blues approach. Jerry briefly hits on the Freddie King "Hideaway" riff early in the song at the 3:30 mark. Later, they fully explore "Spoonful," some "Space," and then more blues with the slide laced "Nobody's Fault" theme before rolling into "Wharf Rat." That leads into "GDTRFB," a really nice send off. Four other songs too including a trio of some of the shorter set one tunes; Jerry and Keith lock into some nice interplay on "GSET. This is a really good bonus disc. 

Order: GDM

Grateful Dead Road Trip Vol 2 No. 2 - New release
Track List

 Top of Page

Disc 1
Recorded live at State Fairgrounds, Des Moines, IA, 6/16/74

1. China Cat Sunflower>
2. I Know You Rider
3. The Race Is On
4. Eyes Of The World>
5. Big River
6. U.S. Blues
7. Playing In The Band

Disc 2
Recorded live at Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY, 6/18/74

1. Loose Lucy
2. Eyes Of The World>
3. China Doll
4. Weather Report Suite>
5. Jam>
6. Other One>
7. It's A Sin Jam>
8. Stella Blue

Bonus CD (with early orders)

1. Morning Dew 
2. Around and Around 

3. Deal 
4. Greatest Story Ever Told 
5. Truckin'>
6. Nobody's Jam> 
7. Wharf Rat

9. Sugar Magnolia 
Grateful Dead Road Trip Vol 2 No. 2 - New release

Top of Page

Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Keith Godchaux keyboard
Bill Kreutzmann - drums
Donna Godchaux vocals

Grateful Dead Road Trip Vol 2 No. 2 - New release

Top of Page

* Released - June 2009
* Produced by Grateful Dead
* Compilation produced by David Lemieux and Blair Jackson
* CD mastering by Jeffrey Norman
* Recording by Kidd Candelario
* Liner notes essay "The Wall of Sound" by Dennis McNally
* Archival research by Eileen Law
* Cover art by Scott McDougall
* Wall of Sound diagram by Mary Ann Mayer
* Photos by Kirk Drange, Ray Ellingsen, Lexie Alexander May, and Richard Pechner
* Package design by Steve Vance

From Deadlists 

Date 6/16/74 - Sunday 
Venue Iowa State Fairgrounds
Location Des Moines, IA

One - Bertha ; Mexicali Blues ; Row Jimmy ; Beat It On Down The Line ; Scarlet ; Black Throated Wind ; Sugaree ; El Paso ; It Must Have Been The Roses ; Jack Straw ; China Cat > I Know You Rider ; Around And Around

Two - U.S. Blues [5:18] ; The Race Is On [2:52] ; Eyes Of The World [16:37] > Big River [6:55] ; Playing In The Band [28:03]
Three - Tennessee Jed [7:50] ; Me And My Uncle [2:47] ; Deal [5:32] ; Greatest Story Ever Told [5:07] ; Ship Of Fools [5:49] ; Truckin' > Nobody's Fault But Mine Jam > Wharf Rat > Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad

Encore: Casey Jones

Date 6/18/74 - Tuesday
Venue Freedom Hall
Location Louisville, KY

One - The Promised Land [3:16] ; It Must Have Been The Roses [5:03] ; Black Throated Wind [6:41] ; Ramble On Rose [6:13] ; Beat It On Down The Line [3:17] ; Loser [6:29] ; Mexicali Blues [3:09] ; Eyes Of The World [15:16] > China Doll [5:54] ; Around And Around [5:12]

Two - Loose Lucy [5:01] ; El Paso [4:04] ; Row Jimmy ; Weather Report Suite Prelude [1:21] > Weather Report Suite Part 1 [4:37] > Let It Grow [8:54] > Jam [10:46] > The Other One [19:17] > It's A Sin Jam > Stella Blue [8:10] ; Big River ; Tennessee Jed ; Sugar Magnolia

Encore: Morning Dew [12:13]

Bold - On release
Italics - On bonus disc

From the Grateful Dead website
Des Moines, IA - June 16, 1974
Louisville, KY - June 18, 1974

Can it really be more than 35 years since the Grateful Dead unveiled one of their most audacious (and successful!) experiments—the legendary Wall of Sound? Why, it seems like only yesterday that I was cowering in fear worrying that one of Phil’s bass bombs was going to topple the impressive array of speaker towers that sprawled across the Dead’s enormous stage and rose to a height of more than two stories! What a sight—no one had ever seen anything remotely like it before (or since). What a sound—there had never been a cleaner and or more powerful system. At its peak, it was comprised of nearly 650 loudspeakers powered by 50 giant McIntosh amplifiers, and unlike traditional left-right P.A. systems, this behemoth gave each instrument its own vertical array, and vocals emanated mostly from a center honeycomb cluster above the band. Wow! It was an amazing thing to behold (and a mutha to transport and set up)!

And it just happened to coincide with one of the band’s most fertile musical periods ever, which is why we’ve dipped into the Wall of Sound era for our latest Road Trips release. Talk about your “strangest of places”: These back to back shows from the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa (6/16/74), and Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky (6/18/74), have long been cherished by Dead Heads for their inventiveness, expansiveness and brilliance of execution. The Des Moines material includes a classic ’74-style “China Cat-Rider,” a spectacular “Eyes of the World” and a marvelously exploratory “Playing in the Band” that clocks in at a mind-bending, never-a-dull-moment 29 minutes! Disc Two comes from the Kentucky show, and it’s another prime batch, from beautiful readings of the poignant Garcia ballads “China Doll” and “Stella Blue,” to Weir’s multi-dimensional “Weather Report Suite”—a highlight of so many shows in this period—and a freewheeling “Other One,” and a jam around the blues tune “It’s A Sin,” a sequence considered by many to be among the finest and most highly-regarded jams in the band's entire career. Check it out and you’ll hear why! 

In this case, too, the special Bonus CD—sent, while supplies last, to everyone who orders Road Trips Vol. 2, No. 3—is every bit as good as the main discs. Culled from the same two shows, it boasts a transcendent “Morning Dew,” as well as one of the best jams you’ll ever hear out of “Truckin’”—it’s amazing to follow its ever-changing pathways through different tempos and feelings; truly the Dead at their assertive best! The Bonus Disc is also packed with a handful of seriously rockin’ tunes, too, including “Greatest Story Ever Told,” “Goin’ Down the Road” and “Sugar Magnolia,” so break out your dancin’ shoes!

The ultra-clean soundboard master tapes were “crispy” reels (that’s good), and they sound even better now that mastering ace Jeffrey Norman has sprinkled his electronic fairy dust on them and brought them up to HDCD specs. The colorful booklet insert features a cool essay about the Wall of Sound by Grateful Dead historian Dennis McNally and lots of great photos of the band dwarfed by the majestic edifice!

By the end of 1974, the band had begun its 20-month hiatus, and the Wall of Sound—so magnificent, but so impractical on so many levels—was never re-assembled. But it was glorious while it lasted and the incredible music that came blasting out of those hundreds of speakers is the reason why.

For more details about what’s on Road Trips Vol. 2, No. 3: The Wall of Sound, GDM You won’t regret it! 

—Blair Jackson 

Grateful Dead Road Trip Vol 2 No. 2 - New release
Grateful Dead Road Trip Vol 2 No. 2 - New release