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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Great American Music Band: Wednesday, April 24, 1974, Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA

Clearly identified as the Great American Music Band by the emcee at the end, this is the quartet of Grisman (mandolin), Greene (fiddle), Nichtern (ac-guitar, vocals) and Taj Mahal (ac-bass). The performance doesn't light me up the way some of them do. The tape, via 'fstop',  is quite nice, though I'd guess that the Will Boswell/Matt Smith version may be even better. I'd have to do a side-by-side comparison. No Garcia Content, but since I mentioned this in GSCBF9 I thought I'd lay this out here.

Arlington Theatre is amazing, by the way. I saw the Allman Brothers there in the early 90s and it was one of the finer musical experiences I have had.

Great American Music Band
Arlington Theatre
1317 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

April 24, 1974 (Wednesday)
49 min sbd tape via fstop

(19 tracks, 49:09)
--main set (16 tracks, 44:21)--
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t01. crowd and tuning [0:31]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t02. Katy Hill [2:39] [0:37] (1)
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t03. Limehouse Blues [3:11] [0:11]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t04. banter (2), tuning [0:42]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t05. I'll Be A Gambler If You'll Deal The Cards [2:27] [0:14]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t06. banter (3), tuning, banter (4) [1:25]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t07. Swing '42 [4:46] [0:21]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t08. Dawg intro (5), song intro [0:26]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t09. Dawg's Bull [2:02] [0:10]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t10. "Tex" Mahal introduction [0:37]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t11. Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms [2:56] [0:42]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t12. David Nichtern intro, song intro [0:45]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t13. My Plastic Banana Isn't Stupid [3:13] [1:06]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t14. Midnight At The Oasis [3:46] [0:18]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t15. Dawg's Rag [5:38] [1:22]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t16. Sweet Georgia Brown  [3:50] [0:32] %
--encore (3 tracks, 4:47)--
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t17. pre-encore crowd and tuning [0:10]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t18. Orange Blossom Special [4:08] [0:09]
gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t19. outro (6) [0:19]

! band: Great American Music Band
! lineup: David ("Dawg") Grisman - mandolin;
! lineup: Richard Greene - fiddle;
! lineup: David Nichtern - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Taj ("Tex") Mahal - 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.
! TJS: n/a
! db:
! venue:
! map:
! R: fstop's unknown (low) gen sbd reel > CD > EAC > CD Wave > TLH (16/44 FLAC8).
! song: "Katy Hill" (gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t02): a traditional popularized by Bill Monroe (Allan).
! gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t02. (1) RG: "OK, here's a little something Hot Club style. ... Django Reinhardt ... It's called Limehouse Blues."
! song: "Limehouse Blues" (gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t03): (Lyrics: Douglas Furber; Music: Phillip Braham) (Allan).
! gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t04. (2) RG: "I'd like to introduce David Nichtern on guitar. He's also a very prolific and successful songwriter, and this is one of his songs. It's called 'I'll Be A Gambler If You'll Deal The Cards'."
! song: "I'll Be A Gambler If You'll Deal The Cards" (gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t05): I am using the title as given here, on the 6/13/74 GASB show, and perhaps another time or two. Deaddisc calls it "I'll Be A Gambler", noting "Registered title is 'I'll Be A Gambler'". I am not sure if, by this, the curator means has registered it that way, or it's officially registered that way somewhere.
! gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t06. (3) RG: "This is something called 'Swing 42', named after the very successful year of my birth."
! gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t06. (4) requests for soundman
! gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t07. R: Swing 42 SQ anomalies @ 2:45.
! gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t08. (5) RG: "This here's Dawg. I'd like to present Dawg. [Grisman laughs] Dawg is permanently trapped in The Zone."
! song: Dawg's Bull (gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t09): a Grisman instrumental, released in 1979 on Hot Dawg.
! gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t15. R: Dawg's Rag @ 2:40 some overload, mostly from the bass.
! gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t16. R: SGB more bass overload
! gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t16. P: SGB is all-instrumental, whereas on other occasions (4/20?) Taj also took vocals.
! gamb1974-04-24-fstop-t19. historical: emcee twice calls the band "Great American Music Band", including in note (6), the outro.


  1. As another footnote to this sequence, on April 10, 1974 (a Wednesday), David Grisman and David Nichtern were booked at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. Whether they played as a duo or had additional friends isn't clear; given the tiny size of the Freight at the time, it was likely just the two of them.

    Regardless of what music The Two Davids played--I'd love to know--it's another sign of the flurry of activity Grisman was undertaking in Spring 1974. It would take another year (actually longer) to blossom into the David Grisman Quintet, but April 10, 1974 seems to be one of the first inklings.

  2. Hm, I wasn't aware of the 4/10/74 date. That is a good part of the prehistory of the GAMB/GASB right there. At some point I'll be able to write up what I know. It's an interesting and still somewhat mysterious story.


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