Grateful Dead

Dave's Picks Volume 2

Dave's Picks Volume 2
July 31, 1974

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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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segan63's picture
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.

Joined: Mar 18 2010

Just in case you missed it, the Slipknot-Franklins Tower from 9/24/76 was featured during last year's 30 Days:

rdevil's picture
Joined: Nov 2 2007
right on, jbr1230

William and Mary '76 would be a fantastic choice. Another great choice would be the Portland '74 show Dave mentioned in one of the videos here and based on the sales of DaP2, there seems to be some demand for '74 shows.
Waiting to see what's next is part of the fun of the subscription; I've been checking pretty often.

Joined: Jun 3 2012
Petition for 9/24/76

Respectfully submitted, that while there are many fine suggestions for official release in this thread, most of them have circulated in soundboard format for decades.We have never had the soundboard from William & Mary, 9/24/76.
We know at least part of it is in the vault, since the Playing>Supp>Playing is on the Cow Palace bonus disc (as were selections from 6/9/76, subsequently released as the last RT). Knowledgeable Sources have stated that the whole soundboard is there, inexplicably dormant.

It contains, to my ears anyway, one of the very finest Help>Slip>Franklin's ever performed. Lesser renditions have seen commercial release. What follows it is equally exceptional. It is a missing piece of one of the most interesting musical maps in the band's career, and it deserves greater recognition. Please consider it.

Joined: Jun 7 2007
Next Show

One from The Ark.

Joined: Aug 3 2009
whats next?

84 85 maybe?

guit30's picture
Joined: May 1 2009
mixes with wall recordings

You must remember with the Wall of Sound, each member had control of their own sound. So, for example, if it is a 2 track recording and you are not hearing Keith, it is because He doesn't have himself turned up enough. There were also no monitors, because they had speakers behind them and above them. This is one of the Best Wall recordings that I have heard.'s picture
Joined: Nov 3 2007
The next release...

Hopefully, something with a smoking Alligator->Caution!!!


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