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Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

The Americana-ization of Bob Weir

I think you're right Ed about the Dead's contribution to what we now call Americana. I remember I was working for a construction company when "Workingman's Dead" came out and I was talking to a carpenter about music and he said he never cared for the Dead until that album which he thought was great. I remember thinking at the time that it was well-named for indeed it was the working man's Dead. I felt the same and although I had some of their earlier albums I thought they were a mixed bag with some good songs mixed in with rather boring, self-absorbed experimental ones.

I saw them perform in 1968 in the student lounge of Modesto Jr. College in Centeral California which was atteneded by only a handful of students. In my fading memory banks I always thought they were so underwhelmed by that gig that they just played one song for two hours. But with the internet I was recently able to track down that gig and saw a playlist of many songs. I guess they may have morphed into the next song without a break and so it seemed like one long song to me at the time.

Or you were super high.

I doubt I was super high as weed wasn't that strong back then and I didn't have reliable connections. I'm sure the band was much higher than I.

Just in case anyone really cares, I had the wrong date for that MJC concert. It was on 3/28/1969--not in 1968 when I was still in high school.

The first Grateful Dead song that I remember hearing was Morning Dew on WYBC in New Haven, Yale University's FM rock station.  This was 1967, I was 14, and had one of those musical moments while listening which set me on the lifetime road of loving the Dead.  Although not a Dead Head who followed the band from city to city, I have seen them maybe a dozen times over the years including a couple of shows after Jerry passed on.  I've also seen Bobby and Phil apart from the Dead.  There is nothing like putting my original copy of American Beauty on the turntable and sitting outside enjoying a fall day and some great tunes.  And yes, the Dead's contribution to Americana music is certain. Thanks for the article.

Man, I SO want the band Blue Mountain to put out a new album, and call it "Bob Weir".

I had walked out on a Dead show, but decided to try again.  So they were finishing something as I entered Fillmore Easr, and then struck up Mama Tried.  At that time in NYC getting to hear either good country or bluegrass  was rare, but I already had Merle's single and that was my gateway drug to the Dead.    The proper term for "Americana" is "Too Creative to Categorize".

Old and in the Way is one of my favourite albums. Got it when I lived in the States in the 1970s and never travel without it (in MP3 now). No better sound for the road.

I must say, my experience with the Grateful Dead is quite similar to yours with Workingman's Dead, and American Beauty as my true entry into getting to know the band. Like you, I eventually kind of lost touch with the whole scene. But I always knew that Garcia, Hunter, Weir, Dave Nelson and all those guys kind of came out of that scene. I did go to Sunset Park in '64 where Jerry and Dawg first met. Truly has been a long strange trip