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Dick's Picks Vol. 22: 2/23/68 & 2/24/68 (Kings Beach Bowl, Kings Beach Lake Tahoe, CA)

Grateful Dead

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Album Review

One of the wilder chapters of the endless Grateful Dead concert archive series Dick's Picks, Vol. 22 captures some early and comparatively rough-around-the-edges live Dead material from early 1968. The Dead were still in their fetal stages of becoming one of the most communicative jam bands in rock history, relying on blues vamping and proto-psychedelic stoner rave-ups at this point in their development. The results are messy, and often overly long, as on the woozy 17-minute set opener "Viola Lee Blues," but there's still the tiniest spark of something incredible forming, and when the bandmembers lock into each other, the playing can be transcendent. The group thought these dates, and these recordings in particular, were especially important even in their extremely raw form. Material from these recordings was used in the damaged collage aspects of the group's second proper album, Anthem of the Sun. Through the feedback, distortion, and tape defects, moments of grandeur come in standout versions of "Morning Dew" and "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)."


Formed: 1965 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Rock's longest, strangest trip, the Grateful Dead were the psychedelic era's most beloved musical ambassadors as well as its most enduring survivors, spreading their message of peace, love, and mind-expansion across the globe throughout the better part of three decades. The object of adoration for popular music's most fervent and celebrated fan following — the Deadheads, their numbers and devotion legendary in their own right — they were the ultimate cult band, creating a self-styled...
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