The last selection from the Dick’s Picks series comes by way of Philadelphia and the wonderful year of 1972: Ramble On Rose.
This one fills the gap from the previous Ramble On Rose picks, which were from 1971 and 1972, but sheds the trends of November shows in lieu of a September one. Of course, Ramble On Rose was still quite new in 1972, having debuted in the fall of 1971. By this point the Grateful Dead had been playing the song for about a year (hooray for simple math!). In total, the Dead played 85 shows in 1972 and Ramble On Rose figured into 43 of them.
For me 71-74 was the high point for Ramble On Rose. Keith added so much to the song and it just oozes that Americana vibe. He was an important contributor to that, notably because of his acoustic piano if you want my opinion, and when those barrel rolls and keyboard swipes became less frequent, well… But let’s focus on the positive. The halcyon days of Ramble On Rose.
This one rocks it nice and easy. Keith is in top form and Phil is right behind him. Give them a close listen before the vocals kick in. Keith’s fills in the second half of the verse (around the 0:50 mark) are just killer. THIS is what was missing in the later Keith years. I also like how Bob slides his chord figures for effect. It’s something he does quite a bit and you can hear plenty of examples of it here. Phil drops a sweet little figure right after Jerry belts out the “I’ll take you to the leader of the band” line. Jerry then takes a moment to play around with the melody before getting back into the next verse, replete with Keith’s bar-room piano boogie. He plays a fluttering figure here that just rocks. Of course, Phil lays down the law in his own right around the 5:30 mark. Listen and you’ll know what I mean. Serious dap to Phil and Keith for making this a stand out version of Ramble On Rose!
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