Workingman's Dead - Grateful Dead (Warner Bros. WS 1869)|
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Jerry Garcia - guitars, pedal steel, vocals, songwriter
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan - keyboards, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, guitar, piano, vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - percussion
Mickey Hart - percussion, engineer, mixing, sound design
Full album download includes Bonus Material:
New Speedway Boogie (Alternate Mix)
Dire Wolf (6/27/69 Veteran's Memorial Hall, Santa Rosa, CA)
Black Peter (1/10/70 Golden Hall Community Concourse, San Diego, CA)
Easy Wind (1/16/70 Springer's Ballroom, Portland, OR)
Cumberland Blues (1/17/70 Oregon State University Gym)
Mason's Children (1/24/70 Civic Auditorium, Honolulu, HI)
Uncle John's Band (12/23/70 Winterland, San Francisco, CA)
Released on June 14, 1970
The album was recorded at the Pacific High Recording Studio, which was located in back of the Fillmore West. Pacific High had a 50 by 50 foot recording space, with 14 foot ceilings, two isolation booths, and much of the equipment built by Ron Wickersham. The sessions started in mid-February, 1970, the album was recorded over a nine day period, and mixed in the first week or two of April, 1970. For the recording sessions, the band was arranged in a half-circle around the drums, resulting in some leakage of the instruments. The songs intended for the album were rehearsed in one to two days, then
re-arranged to have a beginning of Side 1, end of Side 1, a beginning of Side 2, and a finale.
"Mason's Children" was recorded for this album but was not released; it was intended to be the closing song on the album. It is included here as a bonus track.
An alternate version of "New Speedway Boogie", with Weir singing falsetto, also included here.
On "Cumberland Blues", David Nelson plays a Martin D-18 acoustic guitar from 1940; it had been previously owned by Garcia, who traded it for a Weymann banjo from the Lundberg music store in Berkeley.
Garcia plays a Martin D-28 on "Black Peter".
Garcia also played a Martin D-18 acoustic guitar and a ZB pedal steel guitar.
"Uncle John's Band" contains a fragment of a Bulgarian tune, music to which Garcia was listening at the time.
"Dire Wolf" was recorded on February 16, 1970. "Dire Wolf" was written while Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia were sharing a house on 271 Madrone, in Larkspur, California. The "...please, don't murder me..." lines in "Dire Wolf" were inspired by the "Zodiac Killer", who murdered over a score of people in San Francisco between 1968 and 1978.
The "driving that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones you better watch your speed" lines in "Casey Jones" had been written down by Hunter in his notebook; he later re-discovered the lines and used them as the hook in the song.
Produced by Bob Matthews and Betty Cantor
(notes excerpted with permission from "The Compleat Grateful Dead Discography" by Ihor Slabicky)