Three From The Vault
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NRPS with Garcia
Three from the Vault 
2/19/71 
Capitol Theater, Port Chester, N.Y.
 
 
 
 

Three from the Vault review - The Grateful Dead

Three From The Vault
Capitol Theater, Port Chester, N.Y. 2/19/71

The release of Three From The Vault has historical importance on a number fronts. First, it was considered for release prior to the Dick's Picks series, which launched 36 live releases. Additionally, there were twelve releases in the Download Series, as well as a number of multi-track releases and DVD's. Three From The Vault is from a multi-track source and does sounds superb. 

Also as background, it is the first performance without Mickey Hart until October 20, 1974. Additionally, it is a period where the band debuted a lot of songs, between the evening before and 2/19/71, there were eight new songs. Much of this new material  would appear on solo releases such as Garcia's self-titled release and Weir's Ace, while a handful of them never made it to an album. Speaking of Ace, most of those songs are included on Weir's too overlooked Anthology, Weir Here, that we highly recommend. Since much of the material featured during this performance is fresh, the songs aren't as fully developed or as good as they would morph into.

Again, the recording is sonically very good. Bobby's parts are clearly audible and demonstrate how important his contributions are, even if Jerry and Phil generally get most of the props. Jerry's voice sounds really good. The rhythm section is excellent as usual. Phil comes through loud clear and aggressive (should that be bold?). This is Bill Kreutzmann's first performance as a solo drummer and he demonstrates he's up to the task. 

Of the material, The Pig Pen selections are among the best of both sets. During set one, Jerry pulls out his slide while they tackle Elmore James' "Hurts Me Too," and Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightning." The former is more to the point, while the latter they stretch out, both the rap and instrumental. In the first set, in addition to these gems a lot of the new material is performed, "Bertha" is at a different tempo than it would develop to, and "Playing in the Band" is still in the infancy stage. The rest of the set is better with a strong beginning and end with familiar favorites. 

Disc two includes the second set the band starts out with some of their new material by Bobby and Jerry. The renditions sound good and the separation of the musicians is clear. Still, the newness of the songs hold back the jams and explosiveness. Next, Pig Pen leads the band through a rousing "Easy Wind" earning the highlight to this point of the set. It doesn't match the level of a 1971 "Hard to Handle," not much does. The always welcome That's It For The Other One," the whole suite, is thunderous and offers the most exploration of the show.  

Three From The Vault is a nice sounding multi-track recording. While not a essential release, a nice supplement. The four disc, Ladies and Gentlemen is in our opinion the definitive release of this time period of Grateful Dead music. Though, this is a complete show and offers that flow and feel to it. 

by Barry Small  
Grade B

 
Three from the Vault review - The Grateful Dead
Track List

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Disc One (set 1)
Two Ditties: The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down, Spring Song

Truckin'
Loser
Cumberland Blues
It Hurts Me Too
Bertha
Playing In The Band
Dark Hollow
Smokestack Lightnin'
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider

Disc Two (set 2)
Greatest Story Ever Told
Johnny B. Goode
Bird Song
Easy Wind
Deal
Cryptical Envelopment
Drums
The Other One
Wharf Rat
Good Lovin'
Casey Jones

Three from the Vault review - The Grateful Dead
Musicians:       

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Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Pigpen (Ron McKernan) - keyboard, vocals, harmonica
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - percussion

Three from the Vault review - The Grateful Dead
Notes:

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Release date - June 26, 2007
Rhino
Grateful Dead Productions Inc.
Liner notes by Gary Lambert with technical commentary by Joe Gastwirt.

The New Riders of the Purple Sage featuring Jerry Garcia, Recorded on February 21 and 23, 1971, at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester. Vintage NRPS.

Debuts
Features the live debut "Bird Song" and "Deal." It includes the second live performances of: "Bertha," "Playing In The Band," 
"Loser" "Greatest Story Every Told," and "Wharf Rat" all of which were played for the first time on the previous night at the same venue, Port Chester. The evening before, in addition to the five noted songs, was the first "Johnny B. Goode."

Press Release

If you want to understand why people obsess over live Grateful Dead recordings, the historic From The Vault series of releases holds the answer. The story begins in 1991 when the band quietly and unintentionally launched a musical revolution with back-to-back live concert releases, One From the Vault and Two from The Vault. These superior-quality recordings of fan-favorite shows not only delighted Dead Heads everywhere, but also inspired artists like Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Pearl Jam to eventually follow suit with releases of their own classic concerts.

Setting a gold standard by which all other live Dead albums are judged, the From The Vault releases heralded an astonishing 53 live albums that followed during the ensuing years, which ranged in content from complete individual concerts to compilations from specific tours to career-spanning boxed sets. Representing the pinnacle of the band's renowned archive of 2,400 live show recordings, the groundbreaking From The Vault series' rare multi-track recordings thrilled hardcore fans and novices alike before stalling in 1992 after only two volumes.

But now the legendary series is set to return with the long-overdue third installment of From The Vault. That the Dead would wait 15 years before putting out the series' latest chapter should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the band's longstanding policy of gleefully monkey-wrenching the space-time continuum whenever and wherever possible. And so, with characteristically charming perversity, Grateful Dead proudly present THREE FROM THE VAULT.

To celebrate the From The Vault releases, Dead.net, the band's official Web site, will unveil a major redesign of the site later this month. Echoing the look and feel of the popular Grateful Dead Almanac, the extensively overhauled Dead.net will reinforce the site's status as the top online destination for Dead Heads. The Web site will be more interactive and comprehensive than before and will completely accommodate the Dead community offering new merchandise, message boards as well as a fan forum.

Also on June 26, the revamped site will also offer enhanced reissues of ONE FROM THE VAULT ($24.98) and TWO FROM THE VAULT ($31.98), the latter containing a disc of music not included on the original 1992 release, as well as a special-edition, seven-disc boxed set, THE VAULT BOX ($69.98), containing all three From The Vault releases. All dead.net preorders for THREE FROM THE VAULT or THE VAULT BOX will include an exclusive copy of Dick's 'Dex, special booklet containing a comprehensive Dick's Picks song index and discography featuring a complete track listing for all 36 releases from the series.

Recorded February 19, 1971, at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, the long heralded 20-song performance on THREE FROM THE VAULT has traveled a long road to release. Originally slated as a follow-up to the rapturously received Two From The Vault, the Capitol Theatre tapes were mixed, mastered...and then, for reasons somewhat obscured in the smoky haze of time, the release got put on the back burner and forgotten for a decade and a half.

Fortunately for Dead fans, THREE FROM THE VAULT is worth the wait. Featuring Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan and Bob Weir, the concert sustains the creative momentum the band created recording their breakthrough albums Workingman's Dead and American Beauty the previous year. During more than two hours of music, the Dead debuted no fewer than seven brand-new songs in the first two nights of the run alone. They would all become beloved staples of the live repertoire for the rest of the band's touring life. Heard here are the second-ever performances of "Loser," "Bertha," "Playing In The Band," "Greatest Story Ever Told" and "Wharf Rat," plus the world premieres of "Bird Song" and "Deal." Some of the new tunes had an intriguing work-in-progress feel to them. For example, "Greatest Story" (still known at the time by its working title, "Pump Song") had not yet received its "Abraham and Isaac" bridge. And "Playing" and "Bird Song" only hint at the magnificent vessels of sonic exploration they would soon become.

The show was significant for other reasons as well. With drummer Mickey Hart on hiatus, the band began developing a leaner, more spacious sound. Bill Kreutzmann, now the sole drummer, rose to the daunting challenge magnificently, as did his bandmates. This was Grateful Dead music stripped to its bare essence -- the dawning of what has been called the band's "turn on a dime" period.

Three from the Vault review - The Grateful Dead