The Grateful Dead have announced a new box set, Listen To The River: St. Louis ’71 ’72 ’73 featuring seven previously unreleased concerts. The box set is available on October 1st via Rhino.

Listen To The River will be housed in a 20-CD set limited to 13,000 copies and accompanying digital downloads. The Dead’s latest box set will feature complete recordings of the band’s shows at the Fox Theatre on December 9th and 10th, 1971; October 17th, 18th, and 19th, 1972; and the Dead’s upgrade to the larger Kiel Auditorium on October 29th and 30th, 1973. The audio was sourced by tapes recorded by Rex Jackson, Owsley “Bear” Stanley, and Kidd Candelario, and mastered in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman.

With an undertaking of this magnitude, the Grateful Dead archival team aims to tell a story of a band in transition. By examining these seven shows performed over a 22 month period, fans are able to get a glimpse of the band as it underwent one of its first major transitions. The December 1971 shows feature the band’s original lineup of guitarists Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh, drummer Bill Kreutzmann, and multi-instrumentalist Ron “Pigpen” McKernan joined by the new guy Keith Godchaux, who played his first show with the band less than two months prior on October 19th.

When the Grateful Dead returned for another run at the Fox Theatre the following year, they were without their original frontman Pigpen, who played his last show with the group on June 17th. The band soldiered ahead in this new dynamic which now featured vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux, and would return to St. Louis once again in 1973—this time to the Kiel Auditorium—with the lineup firmly in place like hardened cement.

“There are only few truly great eras in the Grateful Dead’s performing history that span more than a year and one of the very best is the transitional period that covers December 1971 through Fall of 1973,” Grateful Dead archivist and legacy manager David Lemiuex in a statement per Rolling Stone. “This was a period during which the Dead solidified their touring format (several distinct, somewhat short, geographically defined tours every year), where every night the Dead would wow their fans with a mix of over six years of music that clearly demonstrated their many transitions and transmutations. The seven shows in this boxed set perfectly summarize 22 months of Grateful Dead music, performances, and growth.”

Along with Wednesday’s announcement, the Grateful Dead have shared a preview of Listen To The River with audio of the band performing “Sugaree” on December 10th, 1971. Listen To The River: St. Louis ’71 ’72 ’73 is available for pre-order via Scroll down to watch David Lemieux’s Seaside Chat as he digs into the details of the new box set.

Grateful Dead – “Sugaree” – St. Louis, MO – 12/10/71

[Video: Grateful Dead]

Seaside Chat: David Lemieux On St. Louis

[Video: Grateful Dead]