The Grateful Dead will release the massive Listen To The River: St. Louis ‘71 ‘72 ‘73 box set via Rhino on October 1. Listen To The River contains audio featuring seven previously unreleased concerts recorded in St. Louis between 1971 – 1973.
Various configurations are coming with the 20-CD set — limited to 13,000 copies — and accompanying digital downloads (FLAC, ALAC) containing the band’s Fox Theatre shows from December 9 – 10, 1971 and October 17 – 19, 1972 as well as two performances at Kiel Auditorium on October 29 – 30, 1973. Jeffrey Norman mastered the audio in HDCD sourced from tapes recorded by Rex Jackson, Owsley “Bear” Stanley and Kidd Candelario.
“There are only few truly great eras in the Grateful Dead’s performing history that span more than a year and one of the very best is the transitional period that covers December 1971 through Fall of 1973,” noted Grateful Dead archivist and producer David Lemieux in a statement as per Rolling Stone. “This was a period during which the Dead solidified their touring format (several distinct, somewhat short, geographically defined tours every year), where every night the Dead would wow their fans with a mix of over six years of music that clearly demonstrated their many transitions and transmutations. The seven shows in this boxed set perfectly summarize 22 months of Grateful Dead music, performances, and growth.”
The 1971 performances came just weeks after keyboardist Keith Godchaux joined the original Grateful Dead lineup of guitarists Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh, multi-instrumentalist Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and drummer Bill Kreutzmann. Pigpen had played his final show with the band by the time the band returned to St. Louis in 1972 with vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux in tow.
Liane Plant created artwork for the box set’s slipcase. The package includes an 84-page hardbound book along with “other Dead surprises.” Sam Cutler, the band’s tour manager at time, wrote an essay for Listen To The River’s liner notes as did Grateful Dead scholar Nicholas G. Meriwether and others.
The Grateful Dead’s December 10, 1971 concert is available separately as FLAC and ALAC downloads as well as 5-LP vinyl and 3-CD sets. Additionally, Light Into Ashes features the October 18, 1972 performance on vinyl.
Stream “Sugaree” from December 10, 1971 as a preview of the new box set via Rolling Stone:
Watch David Lemieux’s “Seaside Chat” regarding the box set below:
Head To Dead.net for more information, the tracklist and to pre-order the various configurations and merch.