Day 62: Samson & Delilah, 3/15/90

Samson & Delilah isn’t always a song that I seek out, but sometimes it finds me. I really like the versions of this song where Jerry comes in with a squealing guitar right from the get-go. I believe he started doing that around 1977 (?) and I’ve always liked that approach.

This song was an old Reverend Gary Davis tune that was arranged by Bobby and the Dead. It originally appeared on 6/3/76 and made its way on to the Terrapin Station LP in 1977.

The Terrapin Station Limited release was originally supposed to help fund some type of entity in the Bay Area to be titled Terrapin Station. I think it was either an amusement park, or some type of museum with a bandshell or area for concerts. I’m sure someone more familiar with the project can chime in on the comments and provide a bit more context. Regardless, the project never came to fruition.

Nevertheless, this particular show was chosen, if I recall correctly, because it contained the song Terrapin Station (it was also Phil’s 50th birthday, and I think he was a bit more involved in the releases for a few years there than the other band members). Samson & Delilah is the only other song from the original album played at this show. If you like the spring 1990 tour this is a solid show for that tour.

The throbbing drums we’ve come to expect start this one off, as well as some screeching guitar from Jerry. He’s mixed a bit low in the mix here so you don’t get the full gusto of the screech, but it connotes a sense of urgency that I like. Brent is playing B3 on this tune and if you’ve read any of my previous posts you know how I feel about B3. Brent’s backing vocals blend very nicely with Bob’s too.

Jerry’s solo takes the melody out for a stroll around the block before deviating from the beaten path. Bobby and Brent pick up their playing and Jerry follows suit. These guys are clearly very active listeners on stage. The next solo section Phil is going up and down the bass, touching down in all registers. Jerry is still soloing and Weir whips out a slide. It’s not terrible, not great either, but not terrible. Let’s say just say I noticed the slide but wasn’t bothered by it.

The final “I would tear this old building down” sounds like it’s going to be the end, but it seems like at the last moment the band decides to repeat the line. They do, and the song ends.

Complete Setlist 3/15/90

Also In Rotation: Allen Toussaint – From A Whisper To A Scream. Man’s a genius.
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4 comments to “Day 62: Samson & Delilah, 3/15/90”
  1. Not posting about this show or cd, but about the next DP chat from Dave. Should we expect an announcement today with the forum gone or might the site admins simply gotten tired of listening to the moans and groans?

    • That suggests to me 2 things: 1. An announcement is looming very soon, and 2. it confirms everything I’ve ever said about the terrible forums/commenting structure over at

      • Agree with your take on the forums. They are less than friendly, disappear like this one to where etc. Have a difficult time wrapping my head around their sites logic and who has a hand in it and for what reason.

  2. There is some confusion leading up to this as various warm-ups could lead about anywhere. Then, the drummers set the compass for biblical tales gone mad, and Bob begins to testify. He strings the first verses together without allowing for an instrumental interlude, which is pretty nice. Jerry takes his first chance at wailing after that and yes, decides to wail, albeit mildly. Pray to god almighty! This tone prevails for the next good while, with verses and guitar breaks alternating. The tune crashes down and without any ado at all, we are deposited at Terrapin’s door.

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