Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux has revealed plans for the newest installment in his archival series! The new Dave’s Picks Vol. 22 will highlight a beloved era in the Dead’s career, spotlighting the band’s performance on 12/7/71 at the Felt Forum in New York City, from the famous run of shows in the lower level of Madison Square Garden.
The show features the return of Pigpen, who had been absent from the Dead since 8/26/71, and features five Pigpen-sung songs, including what Lemieux describes as “arguably the best version of ‘Smokestack Lightning’.” In announcing the new release, he continues, “Every song from this show is played to perfection, presenting definitive live versions of every song played from this era.”
Because the show is relatively short at only two and a half hours, they’ve added the bulk of the second set from the previous night, including a massive “Other One” jam, and exceptional renditions of “Wharf Rat” and “Uncle John’s Band”. You can get a taste of what’s to come from the taper recording of this show below, though the sound in the upcoming release will be unbeatable.
To make this release akin to a mini-box set, the 2017 Bonus Disc will feature the bulk of the rest of this 12/6/71 show, giving you two nearly-complete shows from one of the most requested and sought-after runs in Grateful Dead history. For more information on the new Dave’s Picks release and 2017 subscriptions, head here.