The “so many roads” lines in the song are a great example of Jerry’s emotive vocals. Even as his playing and singing deteriorated the fact that he pushed himself to hit the notes on the chorus communicated a very genuine sentiment to me. For me this song is in the same category as Attics Of My Life, Ripple, and Black Muddy River as songs that are so well written I don’t mind if the band played them in a fairly straightforward manner live. Granted So Many Roads had a bit more instrumental flexibility than some of these others, but at its core is a very strong song that doesn’t need extra embellishment. Of course, when said embellishment was provided and well executed I’m surely not one to complain!
The availability of late era material suffers a similar fate as the very early period material, in my opinion, in that I don’t want to dig through all of the rough to find the diamonds (although for this period the rough is more in the playing itself and not the actual recording). Again a salute to 30 Days of Dead for doing the legwork for me.