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October 2012
The fourth and last 2012 release in the "Dave's Picks" series will be released 1 November, presenting the complete show from 24th September 1976 at the "College of William and Mary" in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is far from the first release from that year - actually a sequence from this show (Playing in the Band> supplication> Playing reprise)was included on the "Live at the Cow Palace" bonus CD. The entire show has previously been available in less official versions, but it has nevertheless been so highly esteemed that it is found worthy of 'the full treatment' as Dave's Picks Volume 4. Because of experience we have ordered a few extra non-subscription copies; these can be pre.ordered already. If all goes well the package will reach our subscribers by the middle of November. Around that time, the subscription for next year's Dave's Picks will probably be announced as well. Conditions and prices are expected to be roughly the same as this year.

The series of live releases by the Jerry Garcia Band in all its various constellations have for various reasons been quiet for a few years, but now a new series called "GarciaLive" is on the way. The first album, released 16th November, is a 24-track recording at Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey 1 March 1980, two full concerts (early + late shows) on three CDs. Robert Hunter appears as a guest in 'the late show' on two songs from his solo repertoire: 'Tiger Rose "and" Promontory Rider'. Pre-orders are taken now.

The Woodstock festival in 1969 continues to generate new releases. Most people have probably seen the original movie in the theater and heard one or more of the LP or CD sets, and over the years, the film has been re-released in several extended versions and "Director's Cuts". The most complete version, "Woodstock Ultimate Collection" on 4 DVDs, or 2 Blu-Ray discs, includes a 4-hour version of the film and just over 3 hours of bonus features and extra music. Grateful Dead has been totally absent from the previous versions, as their concert - which took place at night in the middle of a rain and thunderstorm - was not particularly successful. Nevertheless, a single number has been included, a 36-minute version of 'Turn On Your Love Light', which can't be all bad. It is of course also the reason why it is now for sale on Dancingbear.dk.

September 2012
The preordered copies of the "Spring 1990" box set have been sent out, but we still have a couple left in stock. There is a plethora of bonus material in the box - from books to photos and backstage passes - as you can see in a short video on www.dead.net showing the unpacking of the box. But of course the music is the main thing, and the playing and singing on this tour, often called "the last great tour", has tremendous energy and drive. If you need further proof, just listen to the previous releases "Without a Net", "Terrapin Limited", and "Dozin' at the Knick", all from the same period. There is also a 2-CD compilation albums of highlights from the boxset just around the corner: "Spring 1990: So Glad You Made It". This favourably priced item is (of course) not a "Limited Edition" release.

Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders' stint at "The Keystone Club" in 1973 is documented on several CDs, not to mention the original "Live at Keystone" double album which offered most of us the first glimpse of Garcia as a solo artist. Now, the complete Keystone recordings are being released as a 4-CD box set "Keystone Companions", including several never before heard alternate takes. For anyone not in possession of all the existing Keystone CDs, this a very attractive offering. And the band, which also features John Kahn and drummer Bill Vitt, ranks among the best of the many Jerry Garcia Bands.

Other new items: The DVD documentary "Dawn of the Dead" (not to be confused with the zombie thriller bearing the same name!) maps the early years of the Grateful Dead and the San Francisco scene, in recent interviews and rare vintage film clips from a variety of sources. Very informative and well put together.

"Grateful Dead's Jukebox" can be viewed as a follow-up and supplement to "The Music Never Stopped" from 1995, i.e. original-artist versions of some of the numerous covers played by the Grateful Dead throughout the years. Incredibly, only 3 cuts are duplicated on the two - entirely independent - releases. There are even a few examples of jazz and neo-classical music on the disc, music that were never played by the Dead, but cited as inspiration by band members.

Finally, a new studio album by Little Feat: "Rooster Rag". The Grateful Dead connection may be hard to spot, but like many times before, the link is Robert Hunter. Working with keyboardist Bill Payne, Hunter has penned 4 new songs for this CD, which, taken as a whole, is a very pleasant offering with the instantly recognisable Little Feat sound and style. Highly recommended!

August 2012
This year's box set from Grateful Dead has just been announced: Titled "Spring 1990", it contains 6 complete shows from as many East cost cities. It will be a hefty item, so let me quote directly from the promo material: What´s Inside: - 60 page hardcover Smyth-Sewn book featuring essays by Dennis McNally, David Lemieux, and Blair Jackson and photos by Jim Anderson & Mike Laurentis ? 25th Anniversary Tour Program - Official Band Letters - Ticket Stubs - 6 Cloth Sticker Backstage Passes - 1 Tour Laminate - Official 1990 Band publicity shot - 6 complete shows on 18 discs - 3/16/90 Capital Center, Landover, MD - 3/19/90 Civic Center, Hartford, CT - 3/22/90 Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, ON, Canada - 3/26/90 Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, NY - 3/30/90 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY - 4/2/90 The Omni, Atlanta, GA. Recorded by long-time Grateful Dead audio engineer John Cutler Mastered by Jeffrey Norman in HDCD Original art by Wes Lang Individually Numbered, Limited Edition of 9,000 Yes you saw right: Only 9000 copies! "They" guarantee (or threaten) that there will be no later download options or single-show releases from the box. The price on the Dancing Bear website will be DKK 2068 (278 EUR) + shipping.. The unit price pr. CD comes very close to the earlier Winterland box sets, even though "Spring 1990" contains a lot more extra stuff.

Later in September follows the release of a 2-CD set: "Spring 1990: So Glad You Made It" with highlights from the big box. This set is NOT a Limited Edition and will sell at a very attractive price.

July 2012
Summer is almost over, so it's near the time for the next Dave's Picks release, where we turn our attention to 1971. The complete concert from 22 October in the Auditorium Theatre, Chicago  occupies the first two CDs, while the third contains the best from the night before, same place. It was Keith's first tour with the Dead, which you will not guess when you hear his close interaction with the new colleagues (also check DP 2 and RT 3.2). We get to hear many of the new songs that unfolded in earnest on the European tour six months later. Should anyone of you regret that he/she did not subscribe back in December, be advised that there is actually a single subscription still available. The lucky winner will be supplied with 3-CD package + bonus CD at once.  In addition, there will be a single copy of volume 3 sold without a subscription (and without the bonus CD).             

Earlier this summer NRPS (The New Rides of the Purple Sage) released their new CD "17 Pine Avenue" which includes 7 new songs written by David Nelson and Robert Hunter. The current version of NRPS includes the former Hot Tuna guitarist Michael Falzarano; pedal steel-veteran Buddy Cage ensures that the characteristic NRPS sound is still recognizable.         

Mickey Hart shows no signs of wanting to retire: His newest constellation, The Mickey Hart Band, has just released the CD "Mystery Tremendum". If you listen to the free audio clips on his website (www.mickeyhart.net/download/) you will discover that the band is not primarily a percussion ensemble, like some of Hart's former bands, but actually sounds more like the "official" Dead-successors Furthur, The Other Ones, etc.. However, there is no Dead cover songs on their new CD.          

The movie entitled "The Music Never Stopped", based on real events, is about a 40-something man who sustained a brain injury that causes him to believe that he is still in 1968 as a teenager, where he was hooked om the music of that time: The Beatles, Dylan, CSN & Y, and - not least - The Grateful Dead. To get in touch with his son, his father, who used to listen only to jazz, must learn to appreciate his son's taste in music, culminating when they go to a Grateful Dead concert together, faithfully reconstructed with actors (though not particularly lifelike!) lip-synching to "Touch of Grey" and others. It is a good and quite touching film with first-rate actors in the central parts, including Julia Ormond in the role of a music therapist. The film is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

March 2012
The first of 2012’s live releases in the ”Dave’s Picks” series, recorded at The Mosque, Richmond, Virginia 5/25/77, has been sent to our subscribers. It is still possible to buy this set separately and we even have a few subscription packages available still. But time is runnning out, and when all 12.000 sets are gone, they’re gone for good. The next ”Dave’s Picks” release, out in May, will be Dillon Stadium, Hartford, Connecticut, 7/31/74. It comes with a “subscribers only” bonus CD featuring a choice selection from Capital Center, Landover, Maryland, 7/29/74.

In November 2009 we announced the release of the "Grateful Dead Scrapbook" thus:
The "Grateful Dead Scrapbook" is not just a book, it is also a sprawling collection of souvenirs from the Grateful Dead archives: Backstage passes, hand-written setlists (yes, they do exist!), fold-out posters, photos, and much more. Plus a CD of previously unreleased David Gans interviews with Jerry Garcia. The whole bunch of memorabilia is interspersed with a chronological 64-page essay by Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres, presented in a hard-cover cassette. You want more, you say? OK, here's more: The Deluxe Edition is delivered in it's own red velvet-lined box. Books are individually numbered and contain, on top of all the stuff mentioned above, an ORIGINAL concert ticked (elapsed, alas!), and a DVD with rare live recordings, even one from our own back yard: "It Hurts Me Too" from the Tivoli, 17 April 1972. I guess we have to mention the price too? It's about three times as much as the Standard Edition. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

Not anymore it isn’t! Right now the Deluxe Edition is on sale at 70 Euro, that’s 30% off. Again, we can’t guarantee how long the offer will hold, so don’t deliberate too long.

For several years, the Grateful Dead video catalogue has been steadily dwindling before our very eyes. Last year we finally had a glimpse of hope with the re-release of the Grateful Dead Movie, this time in the Blu-ray format. And in a month’s time – April 17th to be precise – we get the whole goodie-bag all at once! The DVD box set "All The Years Combine" contains alle the Grateful Dead’s video releases from the GDMovie to "Truckin' Up To Buffalo". Two sets are released on DVD for the first time ever in Europe, namely "So Far" (on VHS+laserdisc in 1987), and "Ticket To New Year's" (the 1987/88 New Year’s show). The box also contains a bonus DVD with five yet-to-be-named live songs from the vault, the 1992 documentary "Backstage Pass", plus a recent interview with vault keeper and producer David Lemieux. The price tag, about 132 Euro, roughly equals the price of 5 regular DVDs – if you could get them, that is. So even if you own several of the DVDs already, this offer might make sense to you. It’s still not Blu-ray, but we wouldn’t be surprised if more titles emerge over the coming years in that format. We have the box in stock by the end of April, but pre-orders are accepted now.

September 2011 (2)
After four years and 16 releases in the Road Trips series, we hereby reveal the 17th - and final - instalment, ingeniously named Vol 4 No. 5. The venue is Boston Music Hall, 9 June of the "reunion year" 1976, only the third show of the tour following a 18 months break from touring. The break, as we all know, was mainly spent in recording studios doing solo albums and - in the case of Jerry Garcia - numerous guest appearances on other artists' albums. The new inspirations found their way into the Dead's repertoire and this latest release contains several examples, like the selections from the outstanding "Blues for Allah" studio album and from Bob Weir's stint with Kingfish. On the other hand, the traditional jamming vehicles and long continuous segments are largely absent, not surprising when you consider the long pause since the bandmembers last played live music together. The last half of CD no. 3 contains bonus tracks from June 12th at the same venue. RT 4.5 will be released for sale on November 1st. In the meantime you might want to warm up by listening to Dick's Picks vol. 20 and 33 as well as "Live at the Cow Palace", the only previous releases from that year.

Some years ago the vocal group The Persuasions released an album of "á capella" treatments of the Grateful Dead songbook. Now, with the original recordings as a starting point, a new and very different double cd has seen the light of day. "Persuasions of the Dead" features not only the original set list, but also a number of tracks where the Persuasions are augmented by a bevy of guest artists such as Vince Welnick, Peter Rowan, Country Joe McDonald, Mark Karan (RatDog), Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones (Jerry Garcia Band). We don't know about you, but to us, á capella renditions of "drums" og "space" sounds like a truly transcendent experience!

A new book is also on the menu: "Dead Letters" presents about 500 hand-picked examples of the imaginative, and sometimes highly artistic, illustrations with which deadheads throughout the years have adorned the envelopes used for ordering concert tickets from "Grateful Dead Ticket Service" in the vain hope that it would improve their odds in the GD ticket lottery. The ploy probably even worked in many instances! The GDTS staff has faithfully preserved the envelopes and Paul Grushkin, co-author of the classic work "The Official Book of the Deadheads", has selected and annotated the envelope art. The book also presents examples of fan correspondance as well as a number of rare historical photos.

This concludes the news - the coming weeks or months will reveal what the wizards at Rhino and the Grateful Dead Vault have dreamt up for the next series of live Grateful Dead recordings!

September 2011 (2)
The next chapter in the saga of the Grateful Dead Europe '72 tour is about to be written: Answering the pleas of countless fans, the 22 shows will soon be released chronologically as individual CD-sets. The first six sets (England and Denmark) can be ordered now, the German and French legs of the tour will follow next month, and so on until the end of the year. Full flextibility is thus ensured for customers who might wish to complement their collections of existing - official and/or unofficial - releases, or are interested in only certain shows.

Another bit of news of special interest to nostalgics and analog-fanatics: The original studio albums are being reissued in remastered audiophile editions pressed on extra-heavy (180 grammes) vinyl. The five Warner Brothers studio albums were relases as a set last year, now they are available individually together with a couple of the more recent studio efforts. If sales go well, the live albums may also make an appearance. Rumour has it that the many out-of-print Dick's Picks - not to mention most of the video catalog - will soon be reissued. From what we have gathered, the videos will only be reissued in the Blu-Ray format.

September 2011
The Europe '72 box set is now being delivered – at least in the USA – and has been very well received by the buyers. The bonus material, somewhat reduced from the grandiose annoucement back in January, consists of two books, and a 'Rainbow Foot' sticker. A few people are miffed because the serial number and the personalized text has not been engraved in the box but is on a printed sticker, but that’s a trifle. We Euroheads have to exercise patience for a while yet. Please bear in mind that it is still possible to order the ‘bare bones’ set "Europe '72 - All The Music".

Those of you, for whom a smaller helping will do the trick, can look forward to the 20th September, where "Europe '72 Vol. 2" is released. A double CD, it complements the original E’72 triple album, but – it goes without saying – in the brand-new remixed/remastered quality. ‘Vault-meister’ David Lemieux has selected the tracks with the pretext to avoid any repetition of tracks on Volume 1. Nevertheless, the result is a very satisfactory setlist that features no less than three tracks from the Tivoli 14 April show (we always knew it was special!!). The price, by the way, is very reasonable.

With all this 1972 hoopla, let us not forget Road Trips Vol.4 No.4, released in early August. It was recorded 5 – 6 April 1982 in The Spectrum, Philadelphia, which explains the large portrait of Benjamin Franklin on the front cover. Not very Grateful Dead, but we can’t have all skeletons every time, it seems. The triple CD features fine and spirited performances of the early eighties repertoire, which we don’t hear all too often, but there are also great versions of 'Terrapin', ‘Playing in the Band' and 'Morning Dew'.

April 2011
Now it is time for another Road Trip! The 1973 fall tour has previously yielded 3 Dick's Picks (1, 14, and 19) not to mention the Winterland '73 box set. Road Trips Vol.4 No.3 features the entire show at the Denver Coliseum, 21 November, plus the closing sequence from the night before.

The tour came right after the release of "Wake of the Flood", so the setlists includes several songs from that album."Here Comes Sunshine", "Mississippi Half-Step", "Weather Report Suite" og "Stella Blue" were quick to develop in the live performances and remained in rotation for a good many years. We are also treated to an hour-long medley centered around "Playing in the Band", concluding with a memorable reading of "Morning Dew". The release date is 3 May, pre-orders are taken now.

While we're on the subject I would like to return to Road Trips 3.4. for a spell. This release has sold only half of what was expected - suffering, perhaps, from being squashed between two distinctive bos sets in the September newsletter. This fate is undeserved, since the two May 1980 shows at the Penn State and Cornell universities are both first rate. The setlists are typical for the period, this being Brent Mydlands first year with the Grateful Dead, with contributions from the "Go To Heaven" album. Why not give it a chance?

Here at Dancing Bear, we strive to offer you the broadest selection possible of Grateful Dead-related music, including all the myriad contexts Jerry Garcia played in. This may sound like a hopeless task, but recently we have made headways in closing the gap. We have located hidden stocks of CDs that have been unavailable for years at www.dead.net, and we have even been at the auctions to find second-hand - but well-kept - copies of releases that are unavailable anywhere else. You won't find these deals on the front page of the Dancingbear site, since they are not new releases, but they can be found in the "Solo and side projects" and "Other artists" categories. Here follows an overview - the CDs are new and factory sealed unless otherwise stated:

STOP PRESS: We have just laid our hands on an unique item: A collection of live CDs from the Phil Lesh & Friends tour of 2006. The CD-set and DVD "Phil Lesh and Friends Live at the Warfield" (which is still available) were recorded during the same tour which found Phil in the company of guitarists John Scofield and Larry Carlton, and vocalist Joan Osborne. We are talking about the official "Instant Live" 3-CD sets that were mixed and printed during the actual show and sold to the audience on their way out. The collection comprises 17 shows, 51 discs in all. They are sold as one item.

The keyboard player Rob Barraco was also in PL&F on the tour mentioned above. He has played in numerous bands, Dark Star Orchestra, The Other Ones, The Dead, Gov't Mule, just to mention a few of them. Now we can deliver his solo outing from 2007: "When We All Come Home". 8 of the 12 cuts have lyrics by Robert Hunter and one has Phil Lesh as co-composer.

This is the time where you should check www.dead.net often - there are news about the Europe '72 box set almost daily. We know now that there will be exactly 72 CDs, after it has been decided not to move songs around or split song sequences. The producers say this final number is entirely accidental. You may also find free downloads of selected songs from each show as the appropriate date arrives. It is still possible to order the "All the Music" edition of the box set.

January 2011
A very happy New Year to all! And 2011 will surely be a good, new year in Dead Land. The first good omen is that Road Trips Vol.4 No.2 has been announced for release on 1 February. It will be the first ever official release from 1988, April 1st, to be precise. The title, of course, is "April Fools '88". The 3-CD album also contains the better part of the previous night's show, including the entire second set.
On the whole, 1988 is a noble vintage - it was the year when Jerry Garcia felt for the first time that his facilities as a guitarist was back at the level it was prior to his diabetic coma in '86. We have seen numerous releases from 1989 but none from '88. This is due to the fact, that the band decided to take video and multitrack sound equipment along on several tours in '89.
Read Blair Jackson's enthusiastic review here, and the way to the 'Buy' button in the Dancing Bear shop will be very short indeed!

We also offer a few additions to your bookshelf:
"Confessions of a Dead Head" is a slim volume (88 pages), authored by a typical deadhead who goes by the name of 'The Starburst Commander'. The quite logical reason for that moniker is revealed, along with many entertaining, highly personal and well-written anecdotes about the Grateful Dead, their music and lyrics and life in the traveling carnival that used to follow the Dead tours. Even though 'the scene' is - was - much larger there than here, I feel certain that every reader of this book will experience a sense of Deja-vu. The price is a modest 12.90 Euros.

Americans economists Brian Halligan and David Meerman Scott are corporate branding and internet marketing experts. One runs a website for entrepreneurs, the other is a lecturer and author of several books on those subjects. Underneath the business suits they are also avid deadheads who together have recently released "Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead". This is another concise book (163 pages and 18.28 Euros) that offers sound advice and inspiration about alternative ways of running a commercial enterprise, based on the Grateful Dead's unique business model, with examples from real life.
How, for instance, do you build a following of fanatically loyal customers? (fans, that is). Well, you could try giving some of your product away for free, thereby inspiring your customers to spread the word to all their friends, which is equal to free advertising worth a fortune. You could also start pampering your most loyal customers, for instance by sending them free newsletters about your business and first pick at the best seats in the house for your concerts. This contrasts sharply with the usual route taken by e.g. newspapers and magazines, who offer large discounts to new subscribers while letting the longtime customers pay full price. The book offers many good points of inspiration and probably a few surprises to most business professionals, and many knowing nods of recognition to the rest of us. The concise chapters are interspersed with vignettes by veteran Dead illustrator Richard Biffle and photos by Jay Blakesberg.

October 2010
In 1969 the Grateful Dead traveled the length and breadth of the USA, playing a total of 146 shows, a record number they never surpassed since. The Seminole reservation near the town of Hollywood, Florida, hosted a small music festival on May 23 – 25th. named ’Big Rock Pow-Wow’. The Dead played two 90 minute shows on the first and second days of the festival, and now Bear's complete recordings have been converted into yet another 3-CD set, to wit: Road Trips Vol.4 Nr.1. Not surprisingly for the era, we are treated to the classic 'Dark Star-St.Stephen-The Eleven-Lovelight' sequence.
From the second show emerges a second – but quite different – Lovelight and there are a couple more repeats. But as always, the tempo, feeling, and not least Pigpen's saucy blues raps, can be twisted and turned countless ways. So, if you appreciate the early psychedelic era with Pigpen as the undisputed front man, this set answers your prayers. The official release date is November 16th, but pre-orders are accepted now.

October and December 1987 saw Jerry Garcia doing a series of shows with his old bluegrass partner Sandy Rothman and other stalwarts from the various Jerry Garcia Bands. The double live album "Almost Acoustic" was released the following year. The CD edition has been absent from the catalogues for some years, but is now re-released at a very attractive price. Yet another CD: "Ragged But Right" is released simultaneously featuring more material culled from the same series of shows. Order both and get a sizeable discount – for a limited period. These CDs are also released on November 16th.

Billy Kreutzmann is working with a new band, 7 Walkers, who are just about to embark an a U.S. tour, having released their first CD. The music has been described as a mixture of Bay Area rock and New Orleans funk. Country legend Willie Nelson has a guest spot on one of the cuts.

Mandolin virtuoso and singer, Jesse McReynolds, is a country- and bluegrass legend in his own right, having toured and recorded for more than 40 years, most of them in the duo ’Jim and Jesse’ with his now deceased brother. David Grisman, Jerry Garcia and David Nelson are (or were) great fans of Jesse, who recently released the CD "Jesse McReynolds & Friends Tribute to Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter" The friends in question include the aforementioned David Nelson and the CD contains 12 classic Garcia/Hunter songs, plus the brand-new "Day By Day" by Jesse with lyrics by Hunter.

Aug/Sep 2010
What can a hugely popular rock band possibly do to keep the fans away? To be more specific: How can you prevent ticketless fans in their tens of thousands from descending upon a quiet town, turning it into a cross between a traveling circus and a major music festival without the music?
If you're the Grateful Dead, the solution might be to announce the shows no more than a week in advance, only announce them locally, and perform under an alias known only to the truly initiated. Well, they did just that. The two "Formerly The Warlocks" Hampton Coliseum shows were probably sold out, and probably only a few thousand ticketless turned up. The clever/lucky deadheads inside were treated to a plethora of well-played, career-spanning songs, from the then-new "Built To Last" album to several unearthed gems from the past such as "Dark Star" og "Attics of my Life", unheard in concert for 5 and 17 years, respectively!

The two shows are now released by Rhino as a Box Set in the true meaning of the word; the six CDs come in a sturdy plywood cigarbox-like contraption. As with the previous box sets, we are promised various souvenir items, the precise nature of which can't be revealed at the present time. The U.S. release date is September 7th, but pre-orders are taken as of now.

But there is more to come, not least for fans of Brent Mydland: Road Trips Vol. 3.4 enters the eighties with the salvageable parts of two consecutive college shows: Penn State 5/6/80 and Cornell (Barton Hall) 5/7/80. Blair Jackson's informative notes can be perused on the dancingbear.dk website, as usual. Like the previous Road Trips release this is a 3 CD set, but without a bonus disc. Some will regret this decision while others will breathe easier, since they won't miss anything by waiting a week or two before ordering. The release date is the same as above.

The third new release in this rich batch is a true collector's item: A vinyl box set! The five studio albums released by Warner Bros. are now released collectively in a lavish packaging, as evidenced by the illustration. The 8" single version of "Dark Star" / "Born Cross-eyed" plus a reprinted promotion poster for the first album comprise the bonus offerings.
It should be noted that "Anthem of the Sun" and "Aoxomoxoa" are included in their rarely heard original mixes. The remixed edition of "Aoxomoxoa" was a great improvement, in the opinion of this observer, obliterating most of the "psychedelic" effects that tended to clutter up the soundscape. In the case of "Anthem", on the other hand, the two mixes are musically similar but still manage to sound quite different. The original mix sounds immediate, even unpolished, even though everyone knows how much work went into it, with it's intricate mix of studio and live recordings. The remix (available on CD) is more polished, sonically speaking, with a more pronounced bass. I happen to like both versions for each their merits. The release date is set to September 21st.

June 2010
1970 was the year where two of the Grateful Dead’s best-loved studio albums saw the lights of day: Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. This was also one of the very few years where Grateful Dead shows featured an acoustic set. In the spring of 1970 the acoustic set was often augmented by members of NRPS, since that group had joined the tour as a support act, still featuring Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar.

The two shows on May 15th at Bill Graham's Fillmore East was a high point of the tour, The mainstay of the shows was still the psychedelic and energetic 1969 style of playing, but the band also played several of the ”new” country-tinged songs from the aforementioned – still unreleased – albums.

Now, 40 years later, we are given the opportunity to hear a near-complete compilation of the two shows – when we include the bonus disc – in the shape of Road Trips Vol. 3 No. 3, the first 3-CD set in the ”Road Trips” series. Apart from the supplementary songs from the 15th, the bonus disc gives us the concluding – and ultra-hot – part of the previous night’s show at Meramec College, Kirkwood, Missouri.

The aural quality of these recordings is top notch, a fact which you can confirm by going to the "Listening party" at this address: http://www.dead.net/listeningparty-v3n3

No pre-ordering this time around – the discs will be in stock in a matter of days. And if you want to make sure you get the bonus disc, don’t hesitate too long.

February 2010
After a long wait, Road Trips Vol. 3 No. 2 has finally hit the street (or road). Again, we are treated to a complete show - November 15th 1971 in Austin, Texas. The year 1971 is fairly well represented in the G.D. live catalog and this show, which was recorded during on of the band's rare visits to Texas, upholds the high standard. To verify just how energized and experimental this show was, do yourself a favor and check it out at the "Listening Party" on www.dead.net, and read Blair Jackson's enthusiastic review on the Dancing Bear website (click the cover illustration, as usual). The bonus-CD was recorded the night before in Fort Worth.

There is also a brand-new DVD release on the way: "Crimson, White and Indigo", recorded to 24-track and video on July 7th, 1989 in Philadelphia. The "Truckin' Up To Buffalo" DVD was recorded just 3 days before this one, and there's every reason to believe that "Crimson White and Indigo" comes with the same outstanding visual and aural quality. And of course 1989 is widely considered one of the top vintages of the period following Garcia's illness. The distinguishing factor of this release is the fact, that you also get the entire soundtrack on 3 CDs in the same package. Or, to put it another way: You can't choose just one option! Rhino has elected to do it like this from obvious commercial reasons, and the price reflects this. There's nothing we can do about it except wait and hope it proves to be worth the price. The release date hasn't been announced yet, but we expect it to be early April.

October/November 2009
The Christmas catalogs are upon us already - and even the Dancing Bear homepage is brimming with exciting news! The Road Trips series has reached Vol. 3 No. 1 and, for once, we are getting a complete show: 28 December 1979 at Oakland Auditorium Arena, California. Coming just two days after the show immortalized as Dick's Picks Vol.5, this show needs no further recommendation; a monster show according to those in the know. The customary warning about ordering early is still apt - in the previous Road Trips release the bonus CDs were gone two weeks after the official release date!

Another new release is an early - and shortlived - incarnation of the Jerry Garcia Band, with Nicky Hopkins at the keyboards"Let it Rock - Jerry Garcia Collection Vol. 2" (Volume 1 was, of course, "Legion of Mary", released 2005). Hopkins contributes two songs to the setlist: "Lady Sleeps" and "Edward, the mad shirt grinder", the latter a product of his work with Quicksilver on their "Shady Grove" album.

More exotic fare is found on "Ultraviolet Licorice", by avant-garde guitarist Henry Kaiser, and Bob Bralove, former MIDI-tech for the Grateful Dead. The title hints at its kinship with "Infrared Roses", Bralove's fascinating 1991 remix of selected Grateful Dead "Space" segments. The new CD finds the two musicians improvising over hitherto unreleased (and unused) synthesizer tracks composed by Bralove and recorded as basic tracks to "Space". Everyone who owns "Infrared Roses" (and has listened to it more than once) should readily embrace this release. All others are advised to exercise caution!

The "Grateful Dead Scrapbook" is not just a book, it is also a sprawling collection of souvenirs from the Grateful Dead archives: Backstage passes, hand-written setlists (yes, they do exist!), fold-out posters, photos, and much more. Plus a CD of previously unreleased David Gans interviews with Jerry Garcia. The whole bunch of memorabilia is interspersed with a chronological 64-page essay by Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres, presented in a hard-cover cassette.

You want more, you say? OK, here's more: The Deluxe Edition is delivered in it's own red velvet-lined box. Books are individually numbered and contain, on top of all the stuff mentioned above, an ORIGINAL concert ticked (elapsed, alas!), and a DVD with rare live recordings, even one from our own back yard: "It Hurts Me Too" from the Tivoli, 17 April 1972. I guess we have to mention the price too? It's about three times as much as the Standard Edition. Sorry, but that's the way it is. And you are advised to order soon, as numbers are limited.

Finally, it's that time of the year where the Grateful Dead Wall Calendar hits the catalog, packed with photos and lots of relevant dates, such as Grateful Dead record releases and many, many musicians' birthdays. Merry Christmas shopping!

August 2009
Of course, Jerry Garcia's birthday, August 1st, called for a celebration. And celebrated it was, with a vengeance! The pre-announcement of two new archival releases marked the day:

Road Trips Volume 2 No. 4 serves up the best and the most of two shows at Cal Expo Amphitheatre, Sacramento, 26 and 27 May 1993. These are actually the most recent shows ever to be released in the combined Dick’s Picks and Road Trips series, and for deadheads with a taste for the band’s late period (yes, there are quite a few out there!) this should be great news. And everybody should welcome this rare opportunity to hear the recent additions to the canon, some of which have never been released officially until now: Corinna, Liberty og Broken Arrow.
Many deadheads have been asking for complete show releases, and this set does in fact contain the complete show from 26 May – provided you order in time to get the bonus CD – you just have to work a bit to hear the songs in the correct sequence!

The ninth release in the "Pure Jerry" series is a compilation of 4 Jerry Garcia Band shows performed around the San Francisco Bay Area in 1978. This is the incarnation of the JGB that had Keith and Donna Godchaux in the lineup, and with Maria Muldaur as the second female voice it can hardly get any better or more soulful. The lineup is identical to the earlier PJ release from the Warner Theatre.

Both releases can be pre-ordered now; the official release date is at the end of August.

The current incarnation of the New Riders of the Purple Sage has released an brand-new studio CD, "Where I Come From". Only David Nelson og pedal steel player Buddy Cage are left from the original NRPS - John "Marmaduke" Dawson sadly passed away on 21 July in his Mexico home after prolonged illness. Seven of the twelve new songs were written by David Nelson in collaboration with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. You can read much more about the CD and the band i Blair Jackson’s interview with David Nelson on www.dead.net.

June 2009
Road Trips series continues at undiminished speed, that is, a new release roughly every 3 months. We have now reached Volume 2 no. 3, a compilation of two shows from the ever-dependable 1974 vintage: 16 June in Des Moines, Iowa, and 18 June in Louisville, Kentucky.
As always the package includes a bonus CD, provided you don’t hesitate too long before ordering. The bonus CD offers more tidbits from the same shows, some of which can be heard for a limited period of time as ”Listening Party” on www.dead.net.
Previous visits to 1974 include Dick’s Picks Volumes 7, 12, 24, and 31, plus – last but not least – The Grateful Dead Movie.

The dokumentary movie ”Fillmore – the last days” is out on DVD for the first time ever, after a thorough cleanup – or makeover - of both picture and sound.
The movie, previously releases to theatres, follows the preparations and production of the 5 farewell concerts marking the 1971 closing of the original Fillmore auditorium, destined to rise from the ashes a few months later (in another location) as Fillmore West. The proprietor was, of course, Bill Graham, who is also the focal point of the movie. The musical offerings include the entire Premier League of the San Francisco sound, more or less.

March 2009
It’s springtime and everything is growing here in Dead-land, where we’re still counting down to the release of ”To Terrapin” on the 7. April. And suddenly, out of the blue, come two hot new items, due out in a few days:

Road Trips Vol. 2. No. 2 will be the first Road Trips release to feature a complete concert – plus bonus tracks. We are back in 1968, a semi-legendary show from the Carousel Ballroom, later re-named Fillmore West. This is the very show that Garcia was talking about in his mini-interview in The Grateful Dead Movie, the one where he threw Phil Lesh down a flight of stairs in frustration, but later found the tapes ”crackling with energy” and good enough to be included in the live segments of ”That’s It For The Other One” on the ”Anthem of the Sun” album. In short: ”Primal Dead” of the finest vintage.

Following a break of almost 3 years comes a new installment in the ”Pure Jerry” series: an all-acoustic show, pairing Jerry Garcia with his long-time musical sidekick John Kahn in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, San Rafael, 2/28/86. The setlist features the customary mixture of folk, gospel, Motown, and Grateful Dead standards.

February 2009
If anyone sought to compile a list of the greatest live concerts of all time, the Grateful Dead's East coast tour in May 1977 would surely be represented. Three shows from May ’77 were picked for the "Dick's Picks" series (released as Vol. 3 and 29), and if the tapes from Barton Hall 5/8/77 hadn’t suffered from unsolvable technical glitches, that show, without a doubt, would have been released as well.
With the announcement of "Grateful Dead: To Terrapin", due to be released on April 7, we have reached the final concert of the tour, Hartford Civic Center, 5/28/77. Most of us will know, more or less, what’s in store for us. 1977 was a year lacking in surprising setlist combinations – the May concerts are actually quite similar on paper – but the energy, inventiveness, and the pure joy of playing together, was beyond compare.

The financial crisis hasn’t gone unnoticed by Rhino Records and Grateful Dead Productions, so, in lieu of the customary limited-time bonus CD, they have set a very low retail price. "Grateful Dead: To Terrapin" is a complete show on 3 CDs; still, the listed price is identical to the 2-CD albums in the low-priced ”Road Trips" series. On top of that there is a pre-order discount: For all Dancing Bear orders recieved on or before April 7th, the price is further reduced to DKK 193.
AND, as if that weren’t enough, a further reduction of DKK 19 is possible, since there is a special low postage and handling charge in the Dancing Bear shop for orders below DKK 200. So don’t hesitate to pre-order – the shop is open at all hours.

In our last newsletter we reported that Mickey Hart's "Global Drum Project" had been nominated for a Grammy award. Since then, the CD has actually won the award, in a repeat performance of "Planet Drum" 16 years previously. Our heartfelt congratulations to mr. Hart!

December 2008
A new series of Grateful Dead Road Trips has been launched: For Vol.2. No.1 the experts have once again pointed the spotlight at Madison Square Garden in September 1990, just before the band, with rookie Vince Welnick behind the keyboards, embarked on their final European tour. ”Once again”, because the first show of the 6-night run was released as Dick’s Picks no. 9.
But now, David Lemieux and cohorts – no doubt spurred on by several deadheads – have realized that the last 3 shows of the run also offered a a great number of highlights.
R.T 2.1 is available for ordering now. U.S. customers may be fast enought to get theirs before Christmas, but we Euro-heads must wait a bit longer. Even so, we suggest you don’t postpone your order for too long, since the bonus CD usually vanishes after a few months. And why should one refuse 33% extra playing time?

The latest release from Mickey Hart, ”Global Drum Project” with Zakir Hussain and others, has just been nominated for a Grammy in the ”Contemporary world music” category. Hussain was also featured on ”Planet Drum”, the 1993 Grammy winner. If you should wish to take this opportunity to delve into mr. Hart’s oeuvre, we have ordered extra copies of ”GDP” just in case.

September 2008
Dear customer! In September 1978 the Grateful Dead went to Cairo, Egypt, with upwards of 150 family and friends in tow, to play three shows beneath the pyramids at Gizah, the last show co-inciding with a total lunar eclipse! In all accounts of the trip, it was a major – yes – trip for all involved on, behind, and in front of the stage. And, lucky for us, high-quality sound and video equipment was in place. A local percussion ensemble, led by the Nubian (but California-based) percussionist Hamza El-Din introduced one of the sets at all three shows, which led to some very interesting jams.

The planned album (LPs, remember?), that was supposed to cover the rather large expenses, had to be shelved for several reasons, such as technical difficulties with some of the recordings. But now, almost exactly 30 years later, the recordings have been restored and transformed into the CD/DVD package "Rocking the Cradle", due out by the end of September. The packaging is as exotic as the venue; please check out the illustrations. There's a full-length bonus CD with still more music and the DVD has some of the music from the CD set, but also a few songs not on the CDs The produceres even found room for a cavalcade of home movies from the trip. We're not sure, but there may be a chance of seeing Jerry Garcia on a camel (or is it a dromedary?)

The "Rocking the Cradle" set is ready for pre-ordering right now, separately or as part of several attractive packages with handsome savings. There is more Egypt stuff in the catalog: A stylish, double-side printed T-shirt, a cap, and a sticker depicting the tour poster from a 1978 European tour that never came to be.

Back home again, the Grateful Dead celebrated the Egyptian adventure with a series of five shows at Winterland. A compilation of these shows will be released as Road Trips Vol. 1. No. 4 at the same time as the abovementioned offerings. Yes, there is a bonus CD if you don't wait too long (after 4 Road Trips, we still don't know how long that is!), and, yes, you can pre-order now.

A sure sign that Summer is finally over is the release of the The Grateful Dead Calendar. The 2009 edition is ready to remind you of all Grateful Dead-related and other musical dates worth remembering – with the usual glaring exception!

June 2008
The "Road Trips” series of live Grateful Dead music is still going strong, ”Road Trips Volume One, Number 3" having just been released. This time, the 2CD+1 focuses on the summer tour of 1971, a somewhat underrepresented vintage. Now, by a stroke of luck akin to the discovery of ”The Houseboat Tapes” (”Dick’s Picks Vol. 35”), we are treated to another 3 CD’s worth of music, some of which (on the bonus CD) has only ever been heard by a small and very select group, having been recorded in the Terminal island correctional facility, San Pedro, CA. For once, security was really, really tight, so that not a single tape recorder was sneaked inside! The concert, by the way, was a benefit for Owsley ”Bear” Stanley, G.D. benefactor, soundman and LSD purveyor to the stars, who was required to spend some time in the aforementioned state institution. You can read much more about this release – as well as the previous ”Road Trips” releases - on www.dancingbear.dk.

Singer/guitarist Bill Cutler must surely hold the world record for protracted record production. The basic tapes of his recently released CD "Crossing the Line" were recorded in 1975 and ’76 with significant contributions from Jerry Garcia. The collaboration was terminated when the Grateful Dead resumed touring, and the tapes were literally hidden away in a closet for many years. In 2001 they were dusted off and polished to perfection, with the aid of numerous friends such as Jorma Kaukonen, Mark Karan, David Nelson, Bob Weir, Matthew Kelly, Dave Torbert, Michael Falzarano, amongst others. Now followed several years of legal haggling over intellectual rights vs. the guest musicians’ record companies, but finally the CD was released in March of this year. ”Crossing the Line” features many very listenable songs, thanks to Bill Cutler’s compository skills and great singing voice. And, oh yes, he really is the brother of GD producer John Cutler. You can read the entire fantastic tale in Blair Jackson's interview on www.dead.net.

Donna Jean Godchaux McKay continues working with the New York based jamband ”Zen Tricksters”, that we heard initially on the CD set from the benefit concert "Black Tie-Dye Ball" in 2006. Their new CD is called simply "Donna Jean & the Tricksters". There are no GD-covers on the tracklist this time around – solely original material with and by the Tricksters.
Dancing Bear wishes you a great summer!

March 2008
It’s coming at last - the Winterland 1973 box set. Three complete concerts (well, almost...), 72 tracks from the Grateful Dead in their strongest lineup and in top form. 9 CDs in all, mastered with all sorts of clever tricks promised to set new limits to what can be squeezed out of a 2-track master tape. All pre-orders received by the end of April will also get a bonus-CD featuring a sizeable chunk of the 4 December 1973 Cincinnati show.

But there is more in the box: A 28-page booklet with an essay by Dennis McNally, most likely packed with timely photos. Plus a couple of surprise items that we can’t divulge now, for the excellent reason that we know nothing about them. The cover illustration brings the famous "Sgt. Pepper" cover to mind. The Winterland floor is inscribed in a gigantic eye with the band in the foreground and a crowd of spectators that include numerous recognizable figures: In addition to several skeletons and aliens we get Jimi Hendrix, Bill Graham, and Janis Joplin, not to mention Jesus Christ, Mona Lisa, William Shakespeare, and the King of Spades! Once we get to see it it full resolution, more celebrities will probably be identified.

The release date is May 1, but we have already started taking pre-orders. And if the waiting time gets too long, we heartily recommend the first two installments in the "Road Trips" series as a warm-up.

February 2008
The latest installment in the Road Trips series, Vol. 1.2, has hit the street. It will be a few weeks before it will surface on our shelves, but don’t hesitate to order. For the fast movers, the set will once again include a full-length bonus CD.
The year is 1977 and David Lemieux and cohorts have with their usual competence picked and mixed a selection of highlights from four mid-western October shows. Not exactly the boys’ home ground, but little things like that never prevented them from playing their collective butts off.
On the whole, it’s hard to find faults with the Dead’s 1977 performances, but of course the deadnet forums abound with complaints that they ought to have released a complete show instead of another compilation. The complete shows will come, not to worry.

Actually, the distant drums are already talking about a May release of the Winterland ’73 box set that was very close to seeing the light of day about two years ago. It will be a whopper: 3 complete shows on 9 CDs.

For those who like their drums up close and personal, we offer Global Drum Project, the latest offering from Mickey Hart and his international cast. Additional details will follow as soon as we have the actual album in our hands.


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