Demand it on Vinyl: Grateful Dead, Road Trips Vol. 2 No. 3–Wall
of Sound
2-CD set in stores 5/15

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Road Trips was the successor to the Grateful Dead’s Dick’s Picks series, offering previously unreleased live shows for sale only to the Dead’s online audience. Now, Real Gone Music is bringing the Road Trips series to music retail for the first time. Road Trips Vol. 2 No. 3—Wall of Sound shines a light on the Grateful Dead’s infamous sound system.

Dead chronicler Dennis McNally’s liner notes to this Road Trip are a must-read, succinctly expounding upon how Bear’s vision of creating a sound system free of distortion morphed into a 641-speaker monster (there’s a great picture of it inside the booklet) that required three trucks to transport and five hours to set up, almost bankrupting the band and causing them to retire from the road for almost two years.

But it was truly a singular sonic achievement, one that, as McNally puts it, “allowed the band to go places they’d only dreamed of.” The two shows excerpted on this 2-CD set, 6/16/74 at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines and 6/18/74 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, beautifully illustrate the point: with a PA this loud, the band could play softer, freeing them to mesh ever more subtly and intricately.

The Des Moines “Eyes of the World” is simply definitive, and the Louisville medley of “Weather Report Suite”/”Jam”/”The Other One”/”It’s a Sin Jam”/”Stella Blue” is one-of-a-kind. This Trip’s a treasure…first time ever available at regular music retail.

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