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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Joined: Mar 18 2010
Digipak's Please

I'm not sure how realistic this request is, but I would jump at the chance to buy new cases for the Road Trips series. Out of every release, from One From The Vault to Dave's Picks Volume Two, only the Road Trips discs won't be returned to their packaging for safe keeping. If new cases are designed to house this series, I'd buy them in a heartbeat.

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Got it

Happily enjoying disc 1 here in France. What is there not to like? Yes there are some flaws in the sound, but I am sure JN did the best possible job with the avialable material. I am finding that making some small adjustments to speaker positions and tone controls makes a real difference. If I position them so I am listening from just in front of what should be the 'sweet spot' and push the bass a little it sounds much richer and fuller. But that is probably just me.

The packaging is so much better than the Road Trips, Blair's essay is of the usual high standard...... Yup, one happy customer here.

Joined: Jun 4 2007

...for some reason, I've got '72 locked in my mind. Damned E72 box, I think it's fried my brain ;)

Syracuse78's picture
Joined: Jul 15 2010

...I think you mean 6/9-10/73.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Must Have Shows

There are quite a few shows that have been tape trader/collector favorites for many years that would be welcomed by most of us.

A few examples of popularly traded recordings that haven't been released yet and in no particular order...

3/29/90, 7/13/84, 8/27/72, 7/16/72, 7/27-28/72, 6/9-10/72, 10/26/89, 9/10/91, 9/26/91

There are many others, but these I listed off the top of my head.

Joined: Aug 17 2007
bonus-disc Cap Centre Sugaree

Jerry's guitar is out of tune, which he gradually corrects (while performing), though maybe not completely; even so, his note textures are SO rich (though, as usual for this song in this era, yes?, there's no soloing lengthier than eight bars). I love the sound of that Irwin Wolf guitar, and its living presence in the '73(pre-"Wall")-'74 PA (and Jerry's note-sculpting).

(And the instrumental-ensemble fit and harmony in "He's Gone" on this disc are wondrous!)

Joined: Mar 18 2010

I can't watch the video either Wilfred, but am unable to tell if it works or not. Not having a computer, the only access I have is my phone, and can't see anything that uses flash. Sorry if this isn't much help.

Joined: Oct 7 2011

Finally made it to Canada! Got my email on May 8 that it had been shipped Jan 31, which was a typo obviously. Our post is slow, but not nearly that bad! Just relaxing into Scarlet, grate listening for the sunshine this weekend! !

Joined: Nov 12 2010
Excise Duty

I've not received mine yet but looking at Yeti_UK's comments brings back the argument of how much we have to pay this side of the pond to be a fan of the Dead.
I know no one is forcing us to buy this stuff but when you pay your subscription up front and postage then get hit with a hefty duty charge and a further $12 charge from good old Royal Mail for collecting the duty on behalf of Customs and Excise it adds up to a pretty expensive purchase.
Also noticed that in the past we were only charged duty on the goods, however now they are adding the postage cost to the sale price and taxing on the overall cost!
I have asked before if these items cannot be marked gift on the excise label as these have been pre-paid and are not individual purchases but no one seems to be taking me up on this.
I suppose we could buy the sets from retailers at this end but then we loose out on the bonus stuff.
I'm wondering what proportion of the 12000 were sold to fans outside the US and therefore what percentage of the fans worldwide are being hit with similar charges.
Sorry to whine but times are hard here in dear old blighty! Happy listening to all those who have received their discs!!!

Joined: Jul 9 2007
No discs here

The set hasn't arrived in MA yet (at least for me). I'm not worried, just commenting. I listened to part of the show on discs that I've had for years. I think it's a great show. Nice pace, nice selection, and I think the jam out of Eyes is fantastic. Looking forward to the upgrade.


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