Day 292: Jack Straw, 10/19/73

Grateful Dead Dick's Picks 19 album cover artwork

Jack Straw is definitely one of my favorite Grateful Dead tunes and certainly at top of my list of preferred Bobby tunes. It seems that Jack Straw is one of those tunes that could be a standard reading or include some more jamming.

Ok. You’re right. That’s a very generic statement. But the point being those occasions when they stretched out Jack Straw, those are awesome. This one of those tunes that I wish they had regularly stretched to the 9-12 minute range, just a bit shorter than a Let It Grow. In the very least Jack Straw begs for a ripping Garcia solo in the middle section. That D-Bm-A-E progression is a ton of fun and is a place where Jerry could really dig in.

Of course, in this version Jerry’s slickest work is more concentrated underneath the verses, but those flourishes of what could be are certainly there.

Billy’s high hats are up in the mix and you can really hear what he’s doing loud and clear. Bobby is clear in the mix early too, and has a little something extra in his tone. It’s not a growl, but perhaps kind of a purr. Jerry’s lines wind through the progression like a race car driver on his favorite track. You can tell when Jerry is focusing on his vocal duties and when he’s not. Keith bangs out some solid block chords, with a bit of a boogie feel too, that fills out the sound nicely. Before you realize it the song is over. Bobby is back to sharing both women and wine. Although not the blistering take that Jack Straw could be, the brevity here is a bit surprising. At the same time, it has a more relaxed 1973 feel too.

Complete Setlist 10/19/73

Previous Jack Straw DFAY Selections

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