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.
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-» Ripple
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 @ Archive.org: As of March 7, 2009, no RH at the Archive.|