Grateful Dead: Dave's Picks Vol. 4
Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76

CD407 - 3 CD
Rhino records 2012

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Grateful Dead: Dave's Picks Vol. 4
College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 9/24/76

Where does the time go? Is this really the end of Year One of the phenomenally successful Dave's Picks series? Why, it seems like only yesterday that we were promising to blow your little minds with our initial offering from 1977. Well, its time to dip into that Golden Decade one mo' time, as we unveil Dave's Picks Volume 4: College of William & Mary, 9/24/76.Thats right, rabid collectors - you read that date correctly. We have located the uncirculated soundboard master reels of this highly regarded show and are pleased as (psychedelic) punch to send it your way for your listening and dancing pleasure!

The Dead had played a pair of fine shows at William & Mary - located in the history-rich town of Williamsburg, Virginia three years earlier (9/11-12/73), and obviously dug the vibe enough to warrant a return during one of their comeback tours following their hiatus. The concert at William & Mary Hall was the second show of the Deads brief fall East and Midwest swing, and it stands as one of the strongest outings from this period - its best moments up to the level of the following 9/25 and 9/28 shows that made up the superb Dick's Picks Vol. 20 (released in 2001) and the October 9 and 10 Oakland Stadium shows that became Dick's Picks Vol. 33 (2004).

The first set is packed with goodies. The bouncy Sugaree stretches to about 10 minutes, and Looks Like Rain is a true thing of beauty. Cassidy finds Bob and Donna in lovely harmony, while Big River has plenty of kick. But the real gold in this first set is to be found in the 21-minute closing sequence of Playing in the Band > Supplication > Playing reprise. This was one of only two times in the Deads history that the full, sung Supplication appeared without its usual partner, Lazy Lightning, and its a wonderful version. It emerges quite naturally out of one of those drifty but intense Playing jams so characteristic of 76, builds nicely, and then goes full-throttle for a couple of minutes, before floating back to the Playing. Niiiiice! Following one of Bobs more humorous exhortations to take a step back (in which he urges folks to give each other a sharp jab with their elbows) the band kicks into the still-new Might As Well, followed by another 76 introduction, Samson and Delilah. A couple of songs later, they roll into Help on the Way > Slipknot! and the latter finds the whole band conversing at a very high level as they negotiate that pieces many strange turns. Bill and Mickey take over for a spell before the whole ensemble reconvenes for a breakneck return to Slipknot! and then a loping entrance into Franklins Tower. The Music Never Stopped surprises coming out of Franklins and then Jerry pilots an emotional Stella Blue; another highlight. A couple of rockers bring the show to satisfying end.

As most of you know by now, because of the large number of people who bought the full years subscription to the limited edition Dave's Picks series, we have only a few copies of the 3-CD Dave's Picks Vol. 4 for sale individually. So you better jump on it pronto or you will forever be filled with that awful feeling of regret.

As always, the original tapes have been lovingly mastered to HDCD specs by Jeffrey Norman, and the beautifully designed package includes a colorful booklet with photos and a historical essay in this case by the esteemed curator of the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz, Nicholas Meriwether. Check out the complete set list below and ordering information above. And keep a keen eye out for next years Dave's Picks subscription offer!

Disc 1
1 Promised Land [4:41]
2 Deal [5:07]
3 Cassidy [4:34]
4 Sugaree [10:25]
5 Looks Like Rain [7:53]
6 Row Jimmy [9:48]
7 Big River [5:33]
8 Tennessee Jed [8:55]

Disc 2
1 Playing In The Band> [11:53]
2 Supplication> [4:55]
3 Playing In The Band [4:43]
4 Might As Well [7:36]
5 Samson and Delilah [7:02]
6 Loser [8:06]
7 New Minglewood Blues [4:30]

Disc 3
1 Help On The Way> [5:06]
2 Slipknot!> [5:07]
3 Drums> [5:36]
4 Slipknot!> [5:28]
5 Franklin's Tower> [8:12]
6 The Music Never Stopped> [5:49]
7 Stella Blue [7:35]
8 Around and Around [6:54]
9 U.S. Blues [5:56]