Day 160: I’m A Hog For You, 4/6/71

Ok, so the primary motivation behind selecting I’m A Hog For You was that it simply fit this week’s animal theme. The only reason this song was ever on my radar is because it’s on the 100 Dead Songs poster (Answer key and discussion here and here). I have a copy of that hanging in my office at work and I’m always surprised at its inclusion there. In general I find its appearance almost anywhere to be a surprise.

Why the surprise? Well the song was only played a handful of times. There are 3 known versions from early 1966 and then this lone version from 1971 was the last time they ever played it. If it’s so rare why include it on the poster? Granted I know the poster was drawn in the early 80s so it’s not comprehensive, but still I’m A Hog For You is a bit of a random selection.

The rareness novelty is probably why the song was included on the expanded Skull & Roses album, I assume. I hadn’t listened to it in a long time until I came up with the animal theme and suffice it to say I am very glad I revisited it.

As the band warms this one up it’s got a bit of a funky blues feel to it and grooves along quite nicely. Jerry and Pig (oh the irony with that nickname on this ditty) share vocal duties on this one. They’re not perfectly in sync but Garcia’s smooth contrasts Pig’s rough in an interesting way here. Jerry fills his solo with laid-back blues picking. Bobby’s rhythm part really cuts through in the upper register. But all told this is a short, sweet blues number. Hearing Pig and Jerry together is a real treat though. A gem of a bonus track!

Complete Setlist 4/6/71

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  1. A big, plodding beat sets up the first verse of this uncharacteristic duet between Garcia and Pigpen. This is a real treat for anyone having not heard this before. Jerry pulls out a standard (for him) bluesy solo that does the trick. Despite minor confusion as to the arrangement, the song is eminently listenable and downright funny – especially the verse about pizza and potato chips.

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