There's a certain sonic gravitas in hearing Bob Weir's guitar in the trio format, and when he sings, "you can buy a whole god damn government today", he's reporting more truth than any corporate news media outlet dares.
Anthem of the Sun is where things really took off for the Grateful Dead. Rhino's new deluxe edition is a reminder of how explosive and musically adventurous this band already was back in those early days.
Their partnership lasted about four years and 250 shows but a new archival record suggests that it was some of the best music either Merl Saunders or Jerry Garcia made at the time. And just who is that mystery trumpeter?
No matter if you feel love, hate or indifference toward them, the Grateful Dead mattered. They were indisputably one of the most important and influential bands in rock history, in part because they defied convention at almost every turn.
Divorced from the energy of the room, the careening tidal wave of dancing heads surrounding you while the band plunged into another extended jam, the visual experience of the band onstage is remarkably flat.
Given all this history, it's often a surprise to those who got off the proverbial bus a long time ago that the New Riders, in 2012, are going strong, even with 69-year-old Nelson the lone original member.