Throughout their legendary 30-year run, the Grateful Dead were a constantly evolving musical organism. From the bluesy Bay Area surf rockers of the mid-1960s into the acid rock kings of the turn of the decade, through an Americana-infused country-folk outfit, into jazz-inspired rockers, all the way to a tour de force stadium act with a little bit of everything, the band was constantly taking in new influences. Add to that a lineup that shifted over the years, primarily in the keyboard position, and the Dead always found a way to keep their sound fresh.
That evolution is plainly apparent in a new supercut stitching together 25 Grateful Dead performances of “Row Jimmy” recorded between 1973 and 1995. The compilation comes from the latest episode of the Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast, devoted to “Row Jimmy” and just one installment of a season Deadicated to 1973’s Wake of the Flood in honor of the album’s 50th anniversary.
“The alluring not-quite-reggae of ‘Row Jimmy’ remained a central part of the Grateful Dead’s live repertoire from when is was introduced in 1973 to the end of the band’s touring in 1995,” the video’s description reads. “Through those two decades, the form of the song stayed the same, but the band playing it continued to change. The ‘Row Jimmy’ supercut highlights changes in the band’s lineups, instrumentation, voices, and more, moving chronologically and seamlessly through 25 versions of the song.”
The “Row Jimmy” supercut begins with Jerry Garcia counting off the simplistic, un-dated demo version recorded at a home studio in Stinson Beach, CA. Transitioning to the stage, listeners hear the song’s live debut on February 9th, 1973 in Palo Alto, CA. From there, the recording moves through the years, going from one Grateful Dead era to the next as Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux leave the band in favor of Brent Mydland who accompanies the Dead through its 1980s rise to national fame. Tragedy befalls the band with Brent’s death in 1990, with Bruce Hornsby coming in on an interim basis before Vince Welnick joins the Grateful Dead through the remainder of their career. The “Row Jimmy” supercut ends with a recording from May 28th, 1995 in Portland, OR, less than two months ahead of the final Grateful Dead concert on July 9th, 1995.
Listen to the Grateful Dead supercut featuring 25 performances of “Row Jimmy”, and check out the latest episode of the Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast. See below for the full list of recordings used in the supercut. The Grateful Dead’s upcoming Wake of the Flood 50th anniversary reissue is available here for pre-order in a variety of formats.
Grateful Dead – “Row Jimmy” (Supercut 1973–1995)
Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast: Wake Of The Flood 50: Row Jimmy (S08 E05)
Demo version, Sans Souci home studio, Stinson Beach, CA
February 9, 1973 Maples Pavilion, Palo Alto, CA
June 10, 1973 RFK Stadium, Washington, DC
August 7, 1973 Record Plant, Sausalito, CA
June 28, 1974 Boston Garden, Boston, MA
June 10, 1976 Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA
June 8, 1977 Winterland, San Francisco, CA
January 22, 1978 McArthur Court, Eugene, OR
December 28, 1979 Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, CA
May 16, 1980 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
May 11, 1981 New Haven Coliseum, New Haven, CT
September 20, 1982 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
October 20, 1983 Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA
April 17, 1984 Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY
June 25, 1985 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
December 16, 1986 Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
March 26, 1987 Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT
July 2, 1988 Oxford Plains Motor Speedway, Oxford, ME
July 4, 1989 Rich Stadium, Buffalo, NY
March 26, 1990 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
June 14, 1991 RFK Stadium, Washington, DC
December 16, 1992 Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
September 20, 1993 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
March 23, 1994 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
May 28, 1995 Portland Meadows, Portland, OR