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LazyLightin'

Best Miss 1/2 Step?

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I’m not sure about specific versions on specific dates but my personal live favorite was Ratdog (never saw Jer) and it was a show that was supposed to be at the Louisville Palace, but got bumped to a smaller venue due to lack of advance ticket sales I guess. Went to the basement of a Gillian’s. Freaking Bobby in a basement. Probably early 2000’s. It made for a badass intimate show tho and half step was one of my highlights. Then they ended up turning hundreds away day of show because there was no room in the basement. Bobby didn’t come back to Louisville for close to 10-12 years probably after that fiasco. 

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Englishtown is really bleeping good

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I am going to stay away from the greatest of all-time discussion because specific dates are not my strength.

 

But I would like to say that I really love the Half-Steps from the '73 era (example Dick's Pick's One).

To a fault, especially in later eras, Bobby's guitar was often too low in the mix.  It wasn't like that during the '73 time period.  The rhythm guitar is often just right during that era.  Half-step is one of those songs where Bobby really does some extraordinary guitar work if the listener is lucky enough to hear it.  The combination of being more prominent in the mix, some really nice guitar tones Bobby was using during that period, as well as a little extra space between instruments provided by 1 drummer vs 2 are the factors that make Bobby's guitar stand out at that time. 

 

I'll take 1973 as my favorite era for that song.

(in defense of grateful dead sound engineers.....I'm not sure I would have put Bobby prominently in the mix either considering some of the awful guitar tones he was using in the '90's.)

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I have a CD someone gave me, I think ‘78, that has Mississippi half step into Musta been the Roses. The roses is played too fast, in my opinion, but I love those two songs and love that they put them together. I was as excited as a kid at Christmas the first time I heard it, made my day. 

  I was hanging out front of a bar in town with the cigarette smokers (girl I was with smoked), talking to a stranger. I mentioned the Grateful Dead (of course I did)  and he walked to his car a few feet away and got a handful of Grateful Dead homemade CD’s and gave them to me. Miracles aren’t always tickets.

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I stumbled on to Headyversion. com a while ago. They rank versions of Grateful Dead songs by vote from deadheads. They have Englishtown as first by a two to one margin. Ten of the top twelve spots go to 1977. I have noticed that easily attainable versions get bumped up

the list. If the Dead released it, it’s gonna be favored. Still, interesting web site. 

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Headyversion has my other favorite, 11-5-77 Rochester, as #5, so I guess that's OK.  I agree though, Greg, that the 2-1 Englishtown advantage speaks as much to availability as to how good a version it is.

 

On the other hand, my favorite Bertha, 11-2-84, doesn't get so much as a single lonely vote, so what does headyversion know? And the Delta Center from '95 gets 2 votes.  Huh?

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Yea, I went down their list for ‘they love each other’. Their high vote getter had a lyric flub. End of the world? No. My goddaughter asked for song requests for her wedding reception. I went with 2-9-73, the second vote getter. I do believe heady version has to be somewhat biased, like anything else these days. Yea, song availability plus the desire to bother to vote. So many opinions are not recognized. I’ve never voted, just read what others think. It is such a beautiful thing to be able to listen to so many different renditions of the same song by the same band. Just

plain fun. 

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There are the obvious choices...several of which I saw...5-7-77...11-6-77 and 9-3-77...Perhaps one that gets overlooked and is huge is 5-25-77.

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Headyversion is a decent place to start.  You won't be surprised to know that many of the top vote-getters are official releases or highly circulated.

 

For those that are enthralled with the musical history of the grateful dead from the beginning (till about 73-74), this might float your boat.  It's not the end-all, be-all but I really like the approach:

 

http://deadessays.blogspot.com/

 

Oh yeah sonomanjon - 5/25 is a doozie!

 

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