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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Vassar's Debut With Old And In The Way

Listing for "Old And In The Way" featuring Jerry Garcia, Richard Greene, David Grisman, John Kahn and Peter Rowan, Tuesday, June 5 at the Aquarius Theatre", Boston Phoenix, May 29, 1973, p. 27.

Mention for "Jerry Garcia, Richard Green [sic], 'Old And In The Way', June 5th, 8 PM at the Orpheum", Boston Phoenix, June 5, 1973, section 2, p. 16.

Old And In The Way (OAITW) was at one point, by some of those involved with it, foreseen as touring out-of-state during the summer of 1973. For various reasons which mostly remain obscure, the band hit the road for only a small handful of gigs. They hired bluegrass legend Vassar Clements to fiddle for the occasion. He hooked up with them on June 4 in Boston, they rehearsed in the hotel, and Vassar Clements debuted with Old And In The Way at the Orpheum Theater on June 5th, 1973.

Follow the tag for Vassar Clements to see what I've had to say about him. No time. Time only for trivia.

The ads above raise two points. First, note that the earlier listing bills the band at the Aquarius Theatre on June 5th. I have no idea who or what that is, it may be a typo, but in any case we know that they played the Orpheum. Second, both pieces advertise Richard Greene on fiddle. It's interesting to imagine the timelines and/or information flows whereby that information got into the papers as late as the very day of the show. Hippies and their goofy marketing.

Anyway, there are two audience tapes known from the evening, and Andrew F. has recently compiled them into an optimal complete fileset, shnid-131167.

I listened to this recently, and, as has been the case lately, I don't have a lot of takeaways. Garcia's banjo really does not impress me, while Vassar's fiddle really does. There are a few little tidbits of color in the listening notes --local yelling for "Dahk Stah" to general amusement, and generally it sounds like a good time is being had by all.

Oh yeah, I believe t08 has been unidentified, but I believe it is the Grisman original "Cedar Hill".

Old And In The Way
Orpheum Theater
1 Hamilton Place
Boston, MA 02108
June 5, 1973 (Tuesday)
composite auds shnid-131167

--main set + encore  (29 tracks, 110:48)--
--main set (25 tracks, 98:08)--
t01. Jon Scher intro [1:12]
t02. Old And In The Way Breakdown [3:30] [0:27]
t03. Tragic Romance [3:55] [0:12]
t04. The Willow Garden [5:12] [0:12]
t05. Going To The Races [2:50] [0:27]
t06. Muleskinner Blues [3:03] [0:19]
t07. 'Til The End Of The World Rolls 'Round [2:22] [0:16]
t08. Cedar Hill [3:40] [0:16]
t09. Land Of The Navajo [8:45] [0:23]
t10. band introductions [2:08] (1)
t11. Pig In A Pen [3:04] [0:12]
t12. Lonesome L.A. Cowboy [4:37] [0:03]
t13. (2) [0:09] Hard Hearted [2:59] [0:10]
t14. Panama Red [2:47] [0:12]
t15. (3) [0:08] Wild Horses [4:44] [0:17]
t16. Fanny Hill [3:35] [0:20]
t17. The Hobo Song [5:10] [0:18]
t18. High Lonesome Sound [3:38] (4) [0:39]
t19. Down Where The River Bends [4:16] [0:12]
t20. Love Please Come Home [2:42] [0:16]
t21. Lost [3:40] [0:10]
t22. Knockin' On Your Door [3:05] [0:11]
t23. crowd (5) [0:57]
t24. White Dove [4:38] (6) [0:50]
t25. Blue Mule [4:43] [0:17]
--encore (4 tracks, 12:39)--
t26. pre-encore tuning [2:02]
t27. How Mountain Girls Can Love [2:15] [0:22]
t28. Mississippi Moon [4:21] [0:22]
t29. Orange Blossom Special [3:10] [0:07]

 ! ACT1: Old And In The Way
! lineup: Peter Rowan - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: David Grisman - mandolin, vocals;
! lineup: Vassar Clements - fiddle;
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - banjo, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass.


! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = recorded event time. The recorded event time immediately after the song or item name is an attempt at getting the "real" time of the event. So, a timing of [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording

! JGC:

! db: (aud, shnf); (allsoundz MAC), (composite, this fileset).

! map:

! venue:

! listing: Boston Phoenix, May 29, 1973, p. 27;

! mention: Boston Phoenix, June 5, 1973, sec. 2, p. 16.

! R: Source: This is a composite edit of audience tapes shnid-11889 and shnid-83303. Thanks to the tapers! Transfer: SHN & FLAC > TLH > WavMerge > Wavelab > CD-Wave > TLH > FLAC 1644 tagged.

! Show notes: This is Vassar's first gig with OAITW, and Jerry's first performance at the Boston Orpheum (of 20). Allsoundz - the taper of the 83303 source - states that there was only one show (not early and late as previously listed) and that Doug Sahm was the opening act. Allsoundz also recalled there was possibly a set-break somewhere but this is not evident from the tapes; it appears the show might have been one long set with a three-song encore.

! R: seeder notes 1: "Composite notes: For this show, both sources had pros & cons, and it appeared that the show could benefit from a composite that joined the two together. Allsoundz tape 83303 has the benefit of being complete and with known lineage, but was recorded farther back resulting in a more distant recording, with a lot of thumping near the mic. And, while shnid-11889 is incomplete and with unknown number of tape generations, it was recorded closer,
delivering a nice aural picture of the concert. The shnid-11889 taper appears to have been a lot closer to the stage, perhaps with the mic right on the stage, as the between-song banter from Spud and the boys can be heard clearly. shnid-11889 was chosen for the bulk of the show, with shnid-83303 providing patches and the final part that was missing from shnid-11889.

! R: seeder notes 2: "Allsoundz states that his tape is mono. It also appears that the shnid-11889 original recording was mono, as the Wav's are identical, albeit having been shifted out of phase, probably from the few generations of re-recording. For both sources, DC-offsets were removed, left and right channels were manually aligned, then each source was merged to mono for editing. Both sources were apparently running slow; shnid-83303 between 40 & 50 cents, and shnid-11889 between 75 & 85 cents. Each source was speed-adjusted as best as possible given the difficulties of dealing with these old tapes. It's probably not exact, but it's pretty close..."

! R: seeder notes 3: "Lots of small edits were done to soften mic-bumps, attenuate clapping, repair drop-outs, etc. Small FLAC size due to mono WAV data. Patches from shnid-83303 added as follows: Willow Garden 3:18 > 3:19, Lonesome L.A. Cowboy 4:29 > Hard Hearted 0:49, crowd end of Love Please Come Home 2:39 > Lost 0:06, crowd end of Lost 3:38 > Knockin' on Your Door 0:18, and crowd end of Knockin' on Your Door 3:04 > thru to end of the show. Enjoy! (Aug 2014)

! P: t02 interesting to have Jerry lead things off on banjo with this breakdown. Vassar steps up 0:34, oh my God!

! t10 (1) Note how PR introduces David: "David D. Dawg Diadem Grisman"

! t13 (2) PR: "We'd like to do a tune that Vassar recorded some years ago with Jim & Jesse McReynolds. The tune is called "Hard Hearted'."

! t15 (3) someone asks for Wild Horses, band member says 'you got it'. How could anyone in Boston have known to request this song? Maybe they set up one of the Brothers to ask for it, or these were some friends of the Rowans.

! P: t15 Wild Horses 3:06 JG's banjo just doesn't impress me. He sounds rusty, here and throughout.

! t18 (4) some talk over a dedication to Mr. Mcord? Mr. Gate?

! t23 (5) crowd yelling requests, some guy says play anything, some guy wrily says "Dahk Stah!" and everyone, including taper, laughs.

! t24 (6) Dawg: "We've enjoyed pickin' for you folks." Applause. Boston dude: "We enjoyed listening to you folks." Applause. Dawg: "We'll be coming back again sometime." "Dahk Stah" joker yells out again.

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