7 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Grateful Dead's fourth live album was optimistically labeled "Vol. 1" in hopes that Grateful Dead Records would issue future volumes (much like what "Dick's Picks" became). This album—recorded on Feb. 13 and 14, 1970, at the Fillmore East in New York City—eventually turned partly into a tribute to Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, who'd left the group for medical reasons in 1972 and died in March 1973 as this album was being pulled together. The album starts with McKernan's touching solo acoustic version of Lightnin' Hopkins' "Katie Mae." Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir join the fun for acoustic versions of the country-folk songs "Dark Hollow" and "I've Been All Around This World" and The Everly Brothers' "Wake Up Little Susie"; then they nail down a definitive acoustic performance of Workingman Dead's "Black Peter." The electric band plays to the top of its abilities on Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightnin'" and Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle," which were among McKernan's favorites; here he adds vocals and harmonica.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Grateful Dead's fourth live album was optimistically labeled "Vol. 1" in hopes that Grateful Dead Records would issue future volumes (much like what "Dick's Picks" became). This album—recorded on Feb. 13 and 14, 1970, at the Fillmore East in New York City—eventually turned partly into a tribute to Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, who'd left the group for medical reasons in 1972 and died in March 1973 as this album was being pulled together. The album starts with McKernan's touching solo acoustic version of Lightnin' Hopkins' "Katie Mae." Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir join the fun for acoustic versions of the country-folk songs "Dark Hollow" and "I've Been All Around This World" and The Everly Brothers' "Wake Up Little Susie"; then they nail down a definitive acoustic performance of Workingman Dead's "Black Peter." The electric band plays to the top of its abilities on Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightnin'" and Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle," which were among McKernan's favorites; here he adds vocals and harmonica.

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