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Ya know, I have Sketches of Spain on vinyl and I've listened to "Solea" to hear the influence of the Spanish Jam but I couldn't discern anything.

When I was a kid I read somewhere that Jerry was inspired by Joaquin Rodrigo, the original composer of 'Concierto de Aranjuez' on which Miles Davis Solea was based. In fact, it always makes me remember that piece, very popular here in Spain, rather than Solea, which I have not heard in eons. I have the Miles CD, will check it out.

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So, I've always preferred the '72 China>Riders to any other era. Which ones from '73-'74 would you fanatics recommend as the best?

I like the tightness of the '72 ones, too, maybe it has something to do with the guitar tones as well, just a hair more country rock sounding?  But for '74, in addition to those mentioned, 5/19/74 Portland, Oregon is a good one.

 

https://archive.org/details/gd74-05-19.sbd.clugston.6957.sbeok.shnf

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I like the tightness of the '72 ones, too, maybe it has something to do with the guitar tones as well, just a hair more country rock sounding?  But for '74, in addition to those mentioned, 5/19/74 Portland, Oregon is a good one.

 

https://archive.org/details/gd74-05-19.sbd.clugston.6957.sbeok.shnf

That show is an all timer, particularly the seamless Truckin> thru GDTRFB.

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Yeah Spotify is great for the OOP stuff, escpecially  since lots of the stuff is going for a high price.

 

I take more advantage of the Phish stuff that is on Spotify - mostly because I don't have many Phish releases.

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I love that Spotify has all the Dick's Picks and lots of other live stuff. As a casual fan, it's a great way to explore.

 

NP: Dick's Picks 32 - 8/7/82 at Alpine Valley

I love that set 1. One of the best cowboy sets around.

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I'm not totally sure what you mean by trading solos, but maybe you are talking about this kind of stuff?

 

There are not a lot of times, to my ears, when Bobby plays what I'd call lead guitar or takes a solo, other than the at-times horrendously off-key slide solos he'd take in the blues tunes (Minglewood, Rooster, Walkin' Blues, etc).    But when he did play a lead or solo or just a picked counter phrase (as opposed to his rhythm strumming) it could be really good.  He had a prominent lead part in China Cat, as you mentioned, that could really make or break the version, IMO, that was clear and strong in the early years but got increasingly lazy and sloppily played later on.  I think the best China Cats were in '72 - '74.  He also did some pretty strong guitar leads in Here Comes Sunshine, my faves being 12/19/73 and 3/23/74   http://headyversion.com/song/118/grateful-dead/here-comes-sunshine/

 

But take a listen to Bob's guitar in hot versions of Easy Wind in 1970, he usually took the first solo after Pig's harmonica solo and then Jerry took the second solo.  This one is my fave  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ozp2P_ENBo

Another good one is https://archive.org/details/gd70-09-20.aud.remaster.sirmick.27583.sbeok.shnf

I was listening to the 2/20/71 Hard To Handle today. There's a pretty good example of Weir doing some fine soloing in the jam. Those early '71 versions did this quite a bit.

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