Grateful Dead have released another live track from the February 18th, 1971 concert at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, set to be included on the upcoming 50th anniversary reissue of American Beauty. Tuesday’s selection features soundboard audio of Bob Weir / Robert Hunter‘s upbeat tune “Sugar Magnolia”.
This latest live cut joins previously-released tracks “Truckin‘” and the debut of “Wharf Rat” from the same concert. Set for release on October 30th from RHINO, the American Beauty reissue will see all ten original album tracks lovingly restored by Jeffrey Norman at Weir’s TRI Studios, and include full soundboard audio from 2/18/71.
The evening of 2/18/71 found the Dead in fine form at The Capitol Theatre, which became a home away from home for the band from 1970 to 1971 as they played 18 shows there in a year’s time. This particular evening saw keyboardist and Dead collaborator Ned Lagin sit in with the band as they debuted a number of new songs including “Wharf Rat”, “Playing In The Band”, “Bertha”, “Greatest Story Ever Told”, and “Loser”. This concert also marked Mickey Hart‘s last until October 20th, 1974—which in turn was the Dead’s last before a brief touring hiatus.
This energetic romp came at the tail end of set two, and precipitates a monstrous segue of “St. Stephen” > “Not Fade Away” > “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” > “Not Fade Away” > “Uncle John’s Band” to close the show. That closing movement will be a must-hear when the full concert is released on October 30th. For now, however, we have this early, wah-soaked rendition of “Sugar Magnolia”, which had yet to find its partner in “Sunshine Daydream”.
As time would go on, Jerry Garcia would largely limit his extensive use of the wah pedal until the “Sunshine Daydream” coda. While this live cut may run for over seven minutes, the song itself is done in five-in-a-half and the rest is bonus banter of Weir saying the band is almost through “scratching our asses, and we’ll come up with something in a minute.”
Listen to the Grateful Dead perform “Sugar Magnolia” at The Capitol Theatre on 2/18/71. The 50th anniversary edition of American Beauty is available on October 30th, click here to pre-order.
Grateful Dead – “Sugar Magnolia” –Port Chester, NY – 2/18/71
[Video: Grateful Dead]