Day 122: Uncle John’s Band, 10/19/74

GDMS

Whenever I see Uncle John’s Band on the track list for a Grateful Dead CD release I get really pumped. This was the song that got me into the Dead and it remains one of my all-time favorite songs by any artist.

I don’t remember what the impetus was to listen to the Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack was, but I did so recently. I don’t know how common it is it listen to Grateful Dead music when one works out, but I certainly do. I remember being at the gym when this came on and it just blew my mind, and that was with inferior earbuds. I had one of those “a-ha!” moments and knew that I had to write a post about this version.

A close runner up was the UJB from the new Dave’s Picks, Vol. 10, and that may still make it on the blog yet, as that’s a really interesting version as well. Only time will tell when that happens though. This is the second UJB for this project, the first one was all the way back on Day 11.

You can hear Bobby playing some very deliberate, percussion stuff in the beginning of this version. It’s really quite cool and I wish he would have kept it going for a bit longer. The vocals are a bit out of sync here, but it sounds like everyone is having a good time so I give them a pass. The drums sound great here as does Jerry’s guitar tone. I know there was some studio wizardy done to enhance the sound of this album and I don’t know if the boomy-ness and reverb are from Winterland itself, added in, or a combination of the two, but regardless I think it sounds great.

The jam is sublime. Jerry is out in front with Keith running through a wide variety of figures. Phil and Billy navigate the changes deftly. Clearly the crowd loves it too as they can be heard clapping along vigorously during the breakdown section. A quick run through the change to the minor key at the end and this gem comes to a close.

Complete Setlist 10/19/74

Grateful Dead: All the Years Combine: The DVD Collection (14-DVD Box Set) (DVD)


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