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Cherry Pop

Title - 'To Terrapin: May 28, 1977 Hartford, CT [LIVE]'
Artist - Grateful Dead

The debate over the greatest year of live Grateful Dead music, will just never end. Some folks believe 1969, will never be bested, others are crazy about those ultra-long jammed out years: 1972, 1973 & 1974. Modern Dead Heads, will toss in 1985 & 1989-90 as peak years, of a band travelin' down a long, long road. My favorite year of live Grateful Dead music is: 1977.

The spring tour of 1977, began on: 04-22-77 at The Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pa. and ended at Civic Center in Hartford, Ct. on 05-28-77. Twenty six shows: Boston, Springfield, Passaic, New York City, Buffalo, St. Paul, Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta, Richmond, Baltimore, New Haven and even some place called: Barton Hall at Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY on May 8th.

Tapes of all the shows have circulated for many years now, and they have become keystones to a proper GD tape collection. The third installment in the: "Dick's Picks" CD series, was lifted from this tour at Pembroke Pines, Florida on: 05/22/77. Atlanta, also made the cut for a big "Dick's Picks" set from the great Fox Theater shows of: May 18th & 19th.

So here, we arrive at the last stop to Terrapin; Hartford, Ct. And these three CD's, are the reason that those turtles can't stop dancing! With the killer one-two punch of: Bertha>Good Lovin' we begin the journey into this big night of music. "Sugaree" is a: dance/trance epic of over 19 minutes of controled fury, as it builds & builds, teases & expands, slides & snakes, all tied to the beat that is relentless. The: "Row Jimmy" featured here, is my personal favorite, of zillions of live versions I have heard, it is so unique and fresh sounding here, that it is now like a brand new tune.

But some real magic happens in the second set with: Estimated Prophet>Playin'>Terrapin Station>Drums>Not Fade Away>Wharf Rat>Playin' that is a non-stop sixty seven minutes of beauty, that deserves to be heard. Phil, drops: "bombs" in all the right places, Jerry, sings and plays an 11 on a ten-scale. Donna, hits all the notes perfectly, Bobby, sounds like he is on a mission, Keith, gives one of his best performances well...ever! And the beast that is: Billy and Mickey, is one big beast here. Tension, dynamics, control and exploration are all found in this hour-plus of musical nirvana. This is one of the greatest second sets, that this band ever played in a thirty year career....we got magic here, baby! [PW]





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