Grateful Dead

Dave's Picks Volume 2

Dave's Picks Volume 2
July 31, 1974

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Subscriber's Only
Bonus Disc Cover.

Dave’s Picks Volume 2 is officially SOLD OUT.

Stay tuned for an upcoming seaside chat with David Lemieux as part of our Dave’s Picks series.


We warned you. We said there was a chance that the limited edition Dave’s Picks releases could sell out. And sure enough, Volume 1 is a goner. No copies left. (OK, even we were a little surprised it sold out so quickly.)

Which brings us to Dave’s Picks, Volume 2. The thousands of you who bought the full-year Dave’s Picks subscription have nothing to worry about. Your CDs (and the bonus disc that comes with this one for subscribers) will be winging their way to you shortly. But NOW is the time when all you other good people who are interested in purchasing this potent slice of Dead history can submit your orders.

The show in question is a three-set wonder from Hartford’s Dillon Stadium during the heart of the Wall of Sound era, July 31, 1974, four days after the release of the Dead’s fine Mars Hotel album. Dwarfed by the Wall’s irregular columns of speakers on a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon, the band thrilled the sold-out crowd of 20,000 with a far-ranging collection of tunes and jams that showed how far they’d come as musicians, songwriters and interpreters of others’ songs in their decade together.

The 12-song first set kicks off with the still-new “Scarlet Begonias” (opening a show for the first of just three times in the Dead’s entire history), and includes such other early ’70s favorites as “Jack Straw,” “Brown-Eyed Women,” a pairing of “Mississippi Half-Step” and “Must’ve Been the Roses” and “Row Jimmy.” The '73-’74 versions of “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” have a unique character, and this one exemplifies that nicely.

Things start to open up a bit more in the second set. An expansive “Eyes of the World” is partnered with a particularly fragile “China Doll” mid-set, and the concluding take on the complete “Weather Report Suite” is filled with impressive shifts in dynamics and purposeful jamming during a 12-minute “Let It Grow.” That set also has a good “Big River” and an excellent “Ship of Fools” (another new song that year).

Set Three starts with a couple of short selections, hits an early emotional peak with one of the better versions of “To Lay Me Down” from that era, and then really goes into gear with the onset of “Truckin’,” so often a gateway to wondrous possibilities. This one rumbles and wanders and flits and crashes and dashes all over the place during a half-hour exploration that includes what is popularly called the “Mind Left Body” jam and a full-blown Spanish jam, before eventually winding up at the docks for a deep “Wharf Rat.” The set closer, “U.S. Blues,” was one of the anchors of the Mars Hotel album (and an FM radio hit at the time); a perfect summer anthem.

All Dave’s Picks releases are mastered to HDCD specs from the original vault tapes by Jeffrey Norman, and include a booklet containing an essay about the show and period photos. The Digipak is made of 100% recycled and PCW materials on heavier paper stock due to high demand. The limited edition consists of 12,000 numbered copies.

— Blair Jackson

David Lemieux sits down for a seaside chat about his favorite moments on Dave's Picks, Volume 2: Dillon Stadium, Hartford, CT - 7/31/74 and sheds a little light on how Dave's Picks are selected. Watch the video here:


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Joined: Jul 6 2012
Did you get a copy of Dave's Picks 2, or the bonus disc?

Hey all,

I signed up for Dave's Picks last November, paid the subscription fee, but have only received Dave's Picks Vol 1. Anyone else have a similar experience? I never got Dave's Picks Vol 2 or the bonus disc for subscribers. Through close to two months, a dozen emails and several phone calls, I haven't been able to get any satisfactory answer to "where is my order", until today, when I was told Dave's Picks Vol 2 is on back order. So I'm a little bit frustrated, and I've asked for a refund. Honestly, I mainly signed up to be a supporter of the larger, ongoing Dead operation. Putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak. It's not like I have any shortage of quality shows to listen to, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on a whole lot by not getting volumes 2, 3, and 4 or the bonus disc. But I am surprised by how shabbily I was treated as a customer. Probably the worst customer service experience I've had, well, ever. Comcast is more responsive.

I was told I should get at least a partial refund. So that's something. But I don't think I'll be ordering anything else from Dead.Net in the future...

Excited to see Phil, Bobby, and Mickey at All Good, though

Joined: Dec 25 2011
Around & Around

It sounds to me like Bob is singing "They Never stopped 'Drockin'..." on this song from 7/31/74....

All thru it he sounds like he's singing 'Drockin' instead of 'Rockin'.

Anyone else pick up on this????

wilfredtjones's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
shoulda known...

...they'd have somethin' up on the solstice...nice!

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
This just in from our pal JC Flyer at Terrapin Crossroads

Jun 20, 2012 - 6:30PM
Join us at Terrapin Crossroads on Wednesday, June 20, for a Dave’s Picks Vol. 3 listening party followed by another installment of our Storytellers series! From 6:30-7:30, David Lemieux will play selections from the brand new Grateful Dead archival release CD, and from 7:30 to 8:30 he will join J.C. Juanis in conversation about music releases, the audiovisual archives, and whatever else comes up. To reserve a spot for this FREE event, call 415-524-2773. Space is limited.88

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

I loved that show... I loved that whole run. That would be fine with me!

Joined: Nov 1 2010

I just went back to the original page announcing Dave's Picks with all of the dates floating around. One of them was 11/22/84 at the Berkeley Community Theatre. That's my guess...

Joined: May 18 2010
Next release

Agreed - with the convention of switching band composition for releases, I would agree with a pre or post Donna release is up next. Personally, I'd love a 68 or 69 show (Ark woulld be nice . . . but what a grate run to release? ) but I think something like 10/26/89 or something from the Bruce/Vince era will be in the next 2 releases. As a Dead omnivore, I find moments to love in each era and am grateful for Dave and Jeffrey Norman for all of their work.

Joined: Nov 1 2010
It's either pre Donna or post Donna

Since David Lemieux is going to represent a different GD line up for each release for a given year, we know that we are not going to get anything from early 72 until early 79. My guess is that we will get something from the Brent years for vol. 3. I am also thinking that it will be from an underrepresented time like 84 or 85. Just a though...

Joined: Jun 2 2009
Dave's Picks Vol 3 & 4 (What shows??)

Do we know what shows will be featured in volume's 3 & 4????


Joined: Aug 27 2008
Dave's Picks Vol 3: The Ark '69

I'm with Scott-O, I'd be very GRATEFUL to have a show from the Ark '69 three night stand. Actually, the whole run would make a nice box set. And that's my opinion.


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