DICK'S PICKS VOLUME SIX is currently available through mail-order by contacting Grateful Dead Merchandising at 1-800-CAL-DEAD or online at www.dead.net.
DICK'S PICKS VOLUME SIX is the sixth in a series of archival live Dead CDs that were overseen by the late Dick Latvala. It differs from the band's "From The Vault" series in that the "Dick's Picks" releases do not feature entire concerts and are mastered from two- and four-track recordings, rather than eight- and sixteen-track recordings. Latvala was the official keeper of the Dead's tape archives. The Grateful Dead organization describes him as "one of the original Dead tapers."
Grateful Dead: Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir (vocals, guitar); Brent Mydland (vocals, keyboards); Phil Lesh (vocals, bass); Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann (drums).
Recorded live at the Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut on October 14, 1983.
Personnel: Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir (vocals, guitar); Brent Mydland (vocals, keyboards); Phil Lesh (vocals, electric bass); Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann (drums).
Recording information: Hartford Civic Center (10/14/1983).
Photographer: Michael Conway .
By 1983, the Grateful Dead had abandoned all pretensions of being a regular, record-releasing band. The industry didn't give a damn, and the feeling seemed mutual. But on the road, the Dead always seemed able to pull together an evening of musical magic just by willing it. Hence, this little gem from Hartford, in the middle of a great fall run, is Dead archivist Dick Latvala's first foray into the '80s vault.
The first set is extremely well played, and stocked with Dead standards both old ("Greatest Story," "Tennessee Jed") and new ("Hell in a Bucket" wasn't put to record until 1987 and "Day Job" went unrecorded). Fun, but not special. It's in the second set that the band begins to really smoke. The "Scarlet Begonias/Fire on the Mountain" combo grooves with a Caribbean slinkiness and blistering Garcia solos, and the so-called "Spinach Jam" shows off the Dead's continuing ability to play off one another. And, as always, Weir's festive "Sugar Magnolia," the quintessential Dead party anthem, closes the proceedings with mucho joy and hoopla.