15 Songs, 2 Hours 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The two June 1974 shows documented here represent an intense time for The Grateful Dead. They'd been traveling with their near-mythical Wall of Sound P.A. system, a gargantuan, custom-made beast designed precisely to their specs. Yet the pressures of the road would soon send them on an almost two-year touring hiatus. They were also just about to unveil their album From the Mars Hotel. The band's semi-secret weapon in this era was pianist Keith Godchaux, the most musically sophisticated keyboard man in Dead history; he helped the band make the leap from rootsy Americana to a headier, jazz-rock–oriented approach without abandoning the latter. Godchaux was never one to show off, but from his piano pumping on the classic George Jones honky-tonker "The Race Is On" to his intrepid harmonic explorations on an epic version of the improv vehicle "Playing in the Band" and his delicate framing of the fragile ballad "Stella Blue," he provides an especially gilded kind of glue here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The two June 1974 shows documented here represent an intense time for The Grateful Dead. They'd been traveling with their near-mythical Wall of Sound P.A. system, a gargantuan, custom-made beast designed precisely to their specs. Yet the pressures of the road would soon send them on an almost two-year touring hiatus. They were also just about to unveil their album From the Mars Hotel. The band's semi-secret weapon in this era was pianist Keith Godchaux, the most musically sophisticated keyboard man in Dead history; he helped the band make the leap from rootsy Americana to a headier, jazz-rock–oriented approach without abandoning the latter. Godchaux was never one to show off, but from his piano pumping on the classic George Jones honky-tonker "The Race Is On" to his intrepid harmonic explorations on an epic version of the improv vehicle "Playing in the Band" and his delicate framing of the fragile ballad "Stella Blue," he provides an especially gilded kind of glue here.

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