Keith Godchaux and his wife Donna Jean both left Grateful Dead in 1979, and were replaced by Brent Mydland, who had played in a country rock band called Silver, on their hit single “Wham Bam Shang-a-Lang”. He would become their longest -running keyboardist, playing until his death in 1990. The album was produced by Gary Lyons.
Jerry Garcia: vocals, guitar
Bob Weir: guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh: bass
Brent Mydland: keyboards, vocals
Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann: drums
- “Alabama Getaway”: What a great opener! The guitars and vocals are top-notch. One of my favorite songs on the album.
- “Far From Home”: One of two songs featuring Brent Mydland on vocals. He’s often been compared to Michael McDonald, and I can hear the comparison. I don’t mind the similarities, as I happen to like McDonald. The keyboards sound great.
- ” Althea” : Garcia sounds pretty good on the vocals.
- “Feel Like a Stranger “: Weir’s vocals are excellent. Another one of my favorite songs.
- ” Lost Sailor”: More great vocals from Weir. Some good keyboards too.
- “Saint of Circumstance” : The last of three songs featuring Weir on vocals, and this one is a banger!
- “Antwerp’s Placebo (The Plumber)” : What the heck?
- “Easy to Love You “: Mydland’s vocals are pretty good on this one.
- ” Don’t Ease Me In ” : What a fun way to close the album. The harmonies are well -done.
Final Verdict: Don’t let the awful cover photo fool you. The Grateful Dead are finally back to sounding like they’re supposed to sound. This is an excellent album and a great introduction for Brent Mydland.