Trying To Get To You

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bootleg Friday: Grateful Dead & Etta James, 1982

As 1982 turned into 1983, the Grateful Dead, as per custom, were onstage at the Oakland Auditorium, bringing in the new year. Their set that night was an uneven one, and during a somewhat tepid "(Turn On Your) Lovelight," Grateful Dead rhythm guitarist and vocalist Bob Weir brought Etta James on stage, and immediately, the energy shot up several notches. The combination may have seemed an unusual one, but Etta brought the Dead back to an important part of their roots - when Pigpen, an unruly and low down blues and r&b devotee, fronted the band.

With the Tower Of Power horns behind them, Etta fronted the band for a four song mini set, including her own "Tell Mama," Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me To Do," Wilson Pickett's "In The Midnight Hour," and Otis Redding's "Hard To Handle." I don't know if the Dead were "the baddest blues band in the land," as Etta called them, but the combination for what I'm sure in the moment was a pretty amazing end to the evening.

Download: "(Turn On Your) Lovelight" 12/31/82, Oakland, CA
Download: "Tell Mama" 12/31/82, Oakland, CA
Download: "Baby What You Want Me To Do" 12/31/82, Oakland, CA
Download: "Hard To Handle" 12/31/82, Oakland, CA
Download: "In The Midnight Hour" 12/31/82, Oakland, CA

1 comment:

Cody B said...

That was tons of fun..thanks. Sounded damn good too.

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