Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hunter Goes To College

I think I last put up some of these tunes in mid-November? Of course I could check but sometimes I'm too lazy. Hunter/Garcia-Kahn, 11-23-84 Norfolk, I believe. Mayhaps I put it up on that day -- November 23 -- and now here we are 3½ months later and it's definitely time for some more RH. There are some who'd argue this but I say one cannot live on GD (and JG) alone.

Grateful Dead - Steal Your Face - University of Delaware Blue Hens~MNS-2009-Volume-022

Robert Hunter -- March 7, 1983
Bacchus Theatre, Perkins Student Center
University of Delaware, Newark, DE

1st Set: Amagamalin Street, Candyman, One Thing To Try,
Run For The Roses, Slack String Quartet, Reuben And Cherise

Set 2: Friend Of The Devil, Touch Of Darkness,
Tiger Rose, Box Of Rain, Streetwise, Touch Of Grey, Eva,
Promontory Rider Terrapin Station, Passing Through

Another fine show from the Grateful Dead's master lyricist Robert Hunter. Just him, his acoustic geetar and harmonica. His whole heart and soul he puts into his performances. A lot of these songs we Deadheads know and love but these, while they've got the same titles, they're not exactly the same songs. Robert's arrangements are different and so this isn't for everyone. Box Of Rain's different especially at the beginning and it completely sneaks up on people. Like so many other songs here, it's stripped down and different. And I've not done a proper comparison but it seems like there's much more harmonica played in '83 compared to later years. He's not blasting away on harp like Pigpen sometimes did, adding just enough when appropriate. Reuben & Cherise, for example, wouldn't be nearly as perfect as it is without the harmonica.

Another interesting harmonica section comes in the middle of Tiger Rose: Robert's hummin' along when he slides into a bit of "Oh! Susanna!" on harmonica. Everyone knows this. I was singin' along -- "Oh! Susanna, don't you cry for me, I come from Alabama, with a banjo on my knee." A minute or so of that and he's rockin' through the end of Tiger Rose again. That's a great example of the kind of playfulness that Mr. Hunter likes to add into his shows for the fans.

A few tunes here are rarities including Slack String Quartet, Streetwise, Eva and Passing Through. Arguably one of the Grateful Dead's most popular songs ever, Touch Of Grey, requires a mention because it is so weird here. The Dead debuted this the previous September, playing it five times on the East Coast and then five out west. Not a lot of people knew it yet and what those who did, they didn't know it like this, that's for sure. I'm pretty sure Hunter debuted this even before the GD began playing it so it's not really that new to him at the time. Fairly new to everyone in the crowd, though.

My favorite part of the show has gotta be the Promontory Rider-> Terrapin and the Passing Through-> Ripple
to cap it off. Passing Through (by Dick Blakeslee) is a tune I'd never heard before now and it suits Robert wonderfully. He romps through it and the lyrics make me think it's something he could've written.

The recording has its flaws including FOTD fading in and Ripple getting cut before the proper end of the show. But oh well, what are ya gonna do? This is all there is for this and, other than those minor flaws, it's basically exceptional!

Hunter 3/7/83 @ As of March 7, 2009, no RH at the Archive.
Audio Quality:

Source/Lineage: shnid=97303
Soundboard> Master Cassette> Cassette> FLAC
Part 1 - Hunter - 3/7/83
3/7/83 - Hunter - Part 2
3-7-83 aka 03-07-83 aka 3/7/83 aka 03/07/83 aka 83-03-07 Bacchus Theater


Anonymous said...

Thanks Zooma! I'm not always in the mood for Robert Hunter's music, but there are some times when he's the perfect choice to listen to.

Nice writing about Hunter to go along with the download. I saw him acoustic back in 1980 at the Back Door at San Diego State University (give or take a year) accompanied by either Barry Melton or one of the Albins (I can't remember which - it was long ago) and he was truly great.

From the Dead perspective, Hunter's versions provide great insight into both the lyricist (obviously), but they are also a great window into Garcia as a song writer as well. For instance, why did he leave off the third reason that the devil is on his trail from "Friend Of The Devil." Of course, the Dead's version is one of their perfect masterpieces, but Hunter's extra verse is really great. I also think all of Hunter's Terrapin Saga is amazing - there are very few writers who can write in the classic myth style and pull it off.

Thanks again for posting the "Dead peripherals", they're much appreciated (although please don't take this as an endorsement to post a late-seventies Keith & Donna Band show.)


Zoooma!! said...

Hey Now Swahanfan... thanks for the comment! Much appreciated. Maybe someday that SDSU show will surface. I think with Hunter ya just never know. Seems every so often a show comes out of the woodwork that wasn't really known to exist. I've tried to keep up on what's out there from Hunter and this show I had no clue about until very recently. Ya just never know.

Hunter's definitely unique and a true genius with words. He's got a few things that don't go over so well live but still he seems to always be having fun. Sometimes after a long (or semi-long in this case) absence from my ears, a Hunter show is the perfect listen!

Oh and coincidentally I'm about to post a recent Donna show. I don't foresee putting up any other recent Donna shows but there is one Keith & Donna show in particular that I'd like to post eventually. Any more than that and my ears will bleed me to death.

Thanks again for the comment! Enjoy the tunes!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Zooma,

This one straight to my IRIE POD!


Anonymous said...

dansk voiceover

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated