Grateful Dead

Dave's Picks Volume 2

Dave's Picks Volume 2
July 31, 1974

Check out the
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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cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Stone the crows

that bird on the cover looks like it's been overdoing it!

and while we're talking ornithology, those were indeed Canada Geese.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
All right....

....pre-order at last....and still a few left!

Didn't subscribe this year, but this sounds great. Looking forward to the book, too, after hearing from Dave.

Here's hoping the four shows he's whittling down land on either an '84 (Merriweather? Augusta? Greek?), an '85, or a Fall '68.....

But that's for the end of the summer. Can't wait to hear this Springtime release. I love Dick's 31, and the photo gallery & stories about this show have really put my psyched factor over the top.

Joined: Mar 30 2012
Can't Wait!!!

I am so excited for this release! I'm loving the album art on the bonus disc too. This can not arrive at my door step any sooner!!!

Also, as cryptical70 mentioned, will "Seastones" be included??? I really hope so..

can't wait!!!

Raleigh's picture
Joined: Mar 18 2008

are those Canadian Geese?

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Oh Yeah!

Looking good David! Sounding great! Look forward to the bonus disc, & DP vol 2

Joined: Nov 12 2007
Great show

Thanks, looks good

Joined: Nov 12 2007
Seastones (Phil Lesh and Ned Lagin)

The experimental performance of "Seastones" is on my old discs, right before "El Paso." But it doesn't seem like it's on this release.

Joined: Mar 8 2009
Bonus disc cover!

Thanks to whoever decided to post the bonus disc cover.

Is it still possible to get GOOD versions of the first 8 or so road trips covers and the bonus discs? Please!?!

winger's picture
Joined: Jan 17 2012
The Gift that keeps on giving!

My Christmas gift to me! The subscription was as awesome an idea as I ever had! Lookin' mighty good Dave!'s picture
Joined: Nov 3 2007
Great cover! I hope there will be a t shirt!!

Cool cover for a great show. I have to admit that I didn't care for the last cover but this one is out of the ball park.


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