Bob Weir & Ratdog – Easy To Slip (Live in Chicago in 2014)

Bob Weir & Ratdog just wrapped up their first spring tour in five years. I was lucky enough to see three of the shows, and each one was a unique and joyous experience. In Chicago, we were right up front. Literally leaning against the stage. It was epic, and we didn’t pay any extra for the tickets. It was just the luck of the draw through the ticket mail in.

Lucky for us, an intrepid fellow traveler with a video camera captured the “Easy To Slip” from the first set and posted it on YouTube. It was one of the highlights of the three shows. There are a couple of points in the video where you can see me. At least, the back of my head around 4:30 and me doing some fist pumping around 7:50. And there are still another 2 minutes to go in the song. Ratdog doesn’t do short songs!

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Jerry Garcia Band – Mission In The Rain (Live in 1978)

Check out this outstanding footage from a Jerry Garcia Band show in 1978, where the band does an impassioned “Mission In The Rain”. Jerry’s voice needs a rest, you can tell, but it adds a nice patina to the vocals. And Jerry is having a good time.

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Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddam (Live in 1965)

On December 25 in 1965, Nina Simone did a show at the Mickery Theater in Loenersloot, a town outside Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Simone and her band – Rudy Stevenson on guitar, Lisle Atkinson on bass, and Bobby Hamilton on drums – played a short set of six songs, and “Mississippi Goddam” was one of them. It’s an angry, bitter song about the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi in 1963. The song was a little over a year old at this performance, and originally released on Nina Simone in Concert.

Nina Simone is not interested in going slowly…

The entire performance is available on the DVD Jazz Icons: Nina Simone – Live in ’65 & ’68.

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Ben Harper – Rock and Roll Is Free (Live on Letterman in 2011)

“Rock and Roll is Free” popped up on shuffle when I was working out earlier, and I can’t get it out of my head now. It’s a Beatles feeling rocker from Ben Harper’s 2011 album Give Till It’s Gone. It was the lead single off the album, and has a cool animated lyrics video. This version is from Letterman. Watch.

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Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Cortez The Killer (Live in Glasgow in 1976)

“Excuse me, could you tell me where the Bank of Scotland is?”

Check out this great live version of “Cortez The Killer” from Neil’s show in Glasgow on his 1976 Tour Of Japan & Europe with Crazy Horse. It’s an outstanding black and white clip. If you watch until the end of “Cortez The Killer”, you’ll get to see walking the streets of Glasgow and asking people where the Bank of Scotland is. Then he plays “Old Laughing Lady” on a street corner. Yes.

“Cortez The Killer” is from Neil Young’s 1975 record Zuma.

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Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Portrait Of Those Beautiful Ladies (Live at Montreux in 1975)

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was a musical visionary whose music deserves more attention than it gets. “Portrait Of Those Beautiful Ladies” is from his 1975 record The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color. There are two different versions of “Portrait Of Those Beautiful Ladies” on the album. One is very similar to this – a more “standard” jazz version – while the second is a slicker, funkier exploration of the song. The album was double sided, with one side blank (except for a “hidden” track, apparently) – thus the “3 Sided Dream”. The songs are interspersed with spoken bits in which Kirk is traveling through a dreamscape. Trippy.

The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Red House (Live in Stockholm in 1969)

Great footage of The Jimi Hendrix Experience in Stockholm in 1967. Here we’ve got a 10 minute or so “Red House”, and you can find the rest of the concert on YouTube if you are so inclined. Enjoy!

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