The latest installment of the Grateful Dead’s recurring YouTube series All The Years Live features another late-era Garcia/Hunter gem, “Foolish Heart” from the June 11, 1993 concert at the Buckeye Lake Music Center (now known as Legend Valley) in central Ohio.
Introduced at a 1988 concert and then recorded on Built to Last the following year, this song showcases a unique jam that developed nicely in concert over its nearly 90 live outings through 1995. It also features some overtly advice-dispensing Hunter lyrics, a topic which the author discussed during a 1991 interview. “Over the years I’ve learned what [Garcia] will accept and what he’ll reject, and what he’ll accept is what he can feel speaks for him. Although we did have some problem with ‘Foolish Heart,’ where he wasn’t sure where it was coming from…He trusted me on it. I think it’s good advice, but perhaps it’s only minimal advice and maybe you don’t really need to know this; maybe it’s not a world-shaking issue.”
Despite some admittedly shaky vocals from Garcia, this version is ultimately bolstered by Phil’s driving bass lines and some pleasant melodies from keyboardist Vince Welnick en route to a satisfying execution of the song’s trademark jam.