Pullin’ ‘Tubes: Playin’ Dead, Part 5

Well, we’ve reached the end of Dead week around here having covered a decent amount of ground. We hope you’ve enjoyed the clips we dug up as we look forward to the announcement of next year’s reunion. We’ve touched on psychedelia, roots/Americana, their ’70s foray into synth-rock and a classic blues cover, but we seemed to be ignoring a genre that Jerry excelled at – the ballads. Jerry just seemed to have a knack for singing the slow stuff and selling it – you really could feel the emotions of Robert Hunter’s lyrics coming through his voice.

To me the song that exemplified it at its best was Wharf Rat – its got a heartbreaking story and a huge crescendo that often lead to some great exploratory jams. Let’s check out this version from the monster third set of their NYE performance at the Closing of the Winterland in 1978…


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