In 1976, the Grateful Dead returned from a year and a half hiatus during which time they recorded the amazing studio album BLUES FOR ALLAH. ’76 has a reputation for being a somewhat lackluster year. I, personally, find that to be a gross misconception. The Dead were well rehearsed and feeling precise. The music was often on the mellow side, particularly in the first months back but, for me, there was an extreme beauty that flowed from the band during this period.
Below are two soundchecks from the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco in July. I think it shows a band in top form. From their funky rendition of DANCIN’ IN THE STREETS to Jerry’s ode to love, THEY LOVE EACH OTHER, it’s a perfect way to welcome in a mellow Sunday morning.