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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/61e6w8uzv6l-1394211407.jpg Dave's Picks Volume 9

The Grateful Dead

Dave's Picks Volume 9

Grateful Dead/Rhino
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March 7, 2014

In 1974, the Dead toured with the gargantuan "Wall of Sound" system designed by LSD chemist Owsley Stanley; partly due to the expense, they'd quit touring by year's end. But on this era-epitomizing set, recorded at the University of Montana, they're on point. Jerry Garcia's wah-wah and Keith Godchaux's Fender Rhodes pull jams into Miles Davis free-funk territory; vocalist Donna Godchaux adds signature off-notes; and the slow stuff shines brightest. See the 48-minute "Weather Report Suite/Dark Star/China Doll," a journey through ion-storming space, landing gently. Those piloting skills are still unmatched.

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