Dick's Picks 9
Road Trips Vol 2 No. 1
View From The Vault II
Download Series 11
Dick's Picks 17
Dick's Picks 27
Road Trips Vol 2 No. 4
The End of the Road
2 No. 4
|Cal Expo 1993
and 27, 1993
Road Trips Vol. 2 No.4:
Cal Expo '93
Road Trips Vol. 2 No.4: Cal Expo '93 is the second release post Bruce Hornsby.
As the title suggests, the release is taken from the venue Cal Expo,
which is located in Sacramento, CA; two of the three evenings they
played there. Most of May 26,
1993, the middle evening is included, and with the bonus
disc, the whole show is delivered. Plus some great musical moments
from the May 27 are included.
few rare items to note. This is the first live Grateful Dead release
of "Corrina," (it's on some Weir solo
"Here Comes Sunshine" in the modernized rendition debuts.
The song "Liberty" is on So
Many Roads, and Phil's solo album, There and Back Again,
but this is the first time it's within a Grateful Dead concert
context. A few notes on rarities are the bonus
Personally I don't listen to a lot from this Grateful Dead era. I'm not the
biggest Welnick fan, but he does more than hold his own, especially
on some of the Chess artists on songs like "Walkin' Blues," "The Same Thing," and "Around and Around," this is actually a really a good version of
the Chuck Berry cover." Beside Vince, the
rest of the band have musical contributions to discuss. Phil is well
represented, and makes his presence felt, the drummers come through dynamically and with power, Bobby adds sounds both
when you expect them and don't in his usual clever ways. So how about Jerry? His guitar contributions are up to speed, but
vocally not so good. To sugar coat it, I could say Jerry's voice is a bit aged. However,
when he reaches for high notes a better description is painful to listen too. It does detract the listening experience a bit.
Still his inflections are so necessary when they perform his
The discs opens with some highlights from set one. A rare first set "Samson and
Delilah" displays Phil quite nicely and the band is sharp and commanding.
The remake of "Here Comes
Sunshine" is OK. It displays Vince ability to hit the high notes, but Jerry is a little flat vocally. The set closer "Deal"
is well above average.
The second set begins with "Box of Rain, no complaints from me on
that. Jerry lays down a sweet passage and Phil walks all over it,
such simple interacts make such beautiful sounds. Isn't that we
love Grateful Dead music? Throughout the second set the song
transitions are tight. When "Playing in the Band appears, it is very impressive. This one is long and shows they
can still create
and jam on the fly.
The second disc starts post "Space" with "Corrina," that leads to the conclusion of "Playing in the Band Reprise." "Jerry
sings "China Doll" but "Around Around" tops that, easily.
To round out the disc, there are five songs from their May 27,
performance. Notably, "Shakedown Street" has no shortage of enjoyable musical interactions
during the jam section, a definite release highlight. Also, "When I Paint My Masterpiece" is performed
exquisitely. There's nothing wrong with the version of "The Same Thing" but it sounds like the same thing as "Walkin'
Blues," which is on disc one. Between the two, I easily preferred
"The Same Thing," primarily because I like Vince's parts
more, but Phil is all over this too.
The sound of the recording is quite good. Lots of Phil. There's nothing like a Grateful Dead concert. I've listened to some excellent
bands that play some Grateful Dead covers incorporated into their sets recently
like Donna Jean and
the Tricksters and Jemimah Puddleduck,
and while extremely impressive, nobody plays the
Grateful Dead like the Grateful Dead. Even when they're past their peak.
All in all, this is a very good package of latter day Grateful Dead.
If Jerry's voice was in better shape Road Trips Vol. 2 No.4: Cal Expo '93
would be excellent. The band has a good vibe going throughout.
by Barry Small©
Bonus material. There are some sequences of songs that are new to me. Especially impressive is the pairing of "Cassidy" >
"Uncle John's Band." The transition wasn't flawless, but I'd prefer a nice imperfect surprise than the predictable song
selection executed to perfection. Especially when played with the excitement these two songs were. Though, the ending of "Cassidy"
was eliminated. I spoke to soon. Get this, "Uncle John's Band" > "Cassidy." Sweet!!!
The missing ending of "Cassidy" is delivered in brilliant
fashion. This is better than anything on the
featured show, it pays to get your orders in early. The rest of the
disc is really good too. It opens with a "Picasso Moon" played with real energy > "Fire on the Mountain." Phil sings us "Broken
Arrow," the first Grateful Dead version to be released. An
energetic rendition of "Gloria,"
the second time on an official release.
Top of Page
Cal Expo Amphitheatre, Sacramento,
1. Samson and Delilah (5/26/93)
2. Here Comes Sunshine (5/26/93)
3. Walkin' Blues (5/26/93)
4. Deal (5/26/93)
5. Box of Rain> (5/26/93)
6. Victim Or The Crime> (5/26/93)
7. Crazy Fingers> (5/26/93)
8. Playing In The Band> (5/26/93)
9. Rhythm Devils (5/26/93)
1. Corrina> (5/26/93)
2. Playing In The Band> (5/26/93)
3. China Doll> (5/26/93)
4. Around and Around (5/26/93)
5. Liberty (5/26/93)
6. Shakedown Street (5/27/93)
7. The Same Thing (5/27/93)
8. Dire Wolf (5/27/93)
9. High Time (5/27/93)
10. When I Paint My Masterpiece (5/27/93)
Bonus CD (with early orders)
1. Picasso Moon> (5/27/93)
2. Fire On The Mountain (5/27/93)
3. Cassidy> (5/27/93)
4. Uncle John's Band> (5/27/93)
5. Cassidy (5/27/93)
6. Gloria (5/27/93)
7. Broken Arrow (5/26/93)
8. Ramble On Rose (5/26/93)
9. Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (5/26/93)
Top of Page
Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Mickey Hart - drums, percussion
Bill Kreutzmann - drums
Vince Welnick - keyboards, vocals
Top of Page
Released - August
* CD mastering by Jeffrey Norman
* Producer - Grateful Dead
* Compilation producer - David Lemieux, Blair JAckson
*Cover art - Scott McDougall
*Photos - Susana Millman, Bob Minkin
*Package design - Steve Vance
*Liner notes - Blair Jackson
Liner notes discuss the history of Cal Expo in
relation to the Grateful Dead from a first hand basis, and some
discussion of the music. Plus some nice photos.
Cal Expo Amphitheatre
Sacramento, CA - May 26, 1993
One - Samson And Delilah ; Here Comes Sunshine ; Walkin' Blues ;
Broken Arrow ; Ramble On Rose ; Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again >
Two - Box Of Rain ; Victim Or The Crime > Crazy Fingers > Playing In The Band > Drums > Space >
Corrina > Playing In The Band Reprise > China Doll > Around And Around
Encore - Liberty
Sacramento, CA - May 27, 1993
One - Shakedown Street ; The Same Thing ; Dire Wolf ; Beat It On Down The Line ;
High Time ; When I Paint My Masterpiece ; Cumberland Blues ; The Promised Land
Two - Picasso Moon > Fire On The Mountain > Wave To The Wind ;
Cassidy > Uncle John's Band > Cassidy > Drums > Space > The Other One > Wharf Rat > Sugar Magnolia
Encore - Gloria
The band also played the Cal Expo on May 25. No
tracks from this date were included on this edition of Road Trips.
One - Bertha > Greatest Story Ever Told ; Jack-A-Roe ; Wang Dang Doodle ; Loose Lucy ; Queen Jane Approximately ; Lazy River Road ; Let It Grow > Don't Ease Me In
Two - Eyes Of The World > Looks Like Rain ; Way To Go Home ; Truckin' > Drums > Space > The Wheel > Throwing Stones > Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad > Johnny B. Goode
From the Grateful Dead website
If you were ever lucky enough to attend a Grateful Dead concert at Cal Expo Amphitheatre in Sacramento, you already know that it was one of the cooler places the band played in the ’80s and ’90s, as special in its own way as more celebrated venues. Cal Expo was essentially a big grass field with simple grandstands in the back—nothin’ fancy, but a truly wonderful place to hang with your friends and hear some great music. The Dead played 25 shows there from 1984 and 1994—most of them outstanding—and for our new Road Trips release we’ve dug into the vault and pulled out the best of the storied May 1993 run for your listening and partying pleasure.
The heart of the new release is the second set of the 5/26/93 show, which includes excellent versions of “Box of Rain” and “Crazy Fingers” before launching into a “Playing in the Band” for the ages—many Dead Heads agree that it’s one of the finest modern versions; certainly it is the last sextet firing on all cylinders, as they take the jam to all sorts of exciting realms over the course of nearly 19 minutes! The back side of the set features a triumphant reprise of the “Playing” and an emotional “China Doll,” among other delights. That show featured fine versions of a couple of the “new” songs of that era, too: “Corrina” and “Liberty.” Also from the 26th are first set gems such as “Samson and Delilah” and “Here Comes Sunshine,” and from the following (5/27) show we’ve plucked “Shakedown Street,” “High Time,” “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and a couple of others.
The limited edition Bonus Disc, sent gladly to all you early bird
orderers, offers lots more from the 5/26-27/93 shows, including the cream of the 5/27 second set—the unusual (and very strong) opening pair of “Picasso Moon” and “Fire on the Mountain,” and then the unique sequence of “Cassidy” into “Uncle John’s Band” back into “Cassidy”; classic GD, never repeated! You’ll also find the dynamite “Gloria” encore from that show, as well as a beautifully rendered “Broken Arrow” and other tracks.
As always, engineer Jeffrey Norman has taken the master tapes and brought them up to impeccable HDCD specs, and the package includes a beautiful and informative booklet with photos and an essay about the shows. You can find the particulars of what’s on all three discs below. So order your copy today!
- Blair Jackson