Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I love Shakedown. I’ll get a hankerin’ for it for a spell and listen to it often until another song takes over as the current “hot” song in joeworld. The song itself is good enough, but as with most Dead songs, it’s the jam that makes this song one of my favorites. I love Jerry’s more traditional solo in the middle of the song and especially like the jam at the end. When it’s good, the ending jam is quintessential Dead. Jerry usually goes full “wah-wah”, and the jam extends for as long as it takes for the band members find each other on the same page. Sometimes it works better than others. When they find that groove and Jerry’s guitar gets to cracklin’ it can be one of those magic moments at the shows that becomes almost hypnotizing as the waves of dancing bodies go through the crowd bouncing up, down and all around while the “twirlers” are in full force on the perimeter.
I’ve found some good versions of this song over the years and I’m gonna use this page to sort them out to try to determine a favorite, which may change from time to time. I’ll add ‘em to this page as I review them and try to give them a current ranking. (titles are links)

Apparently Jerry’s too wasted to remember the lyrics but his guitar work has made this one a favorite of mine for some time now. Can’t really articulate why. It just is. It’s not available on the internet as a single so you have to find it at 1:12:50.

Just recently discovered this one so it’s fresh enough to sit near the top for now. Jerry gets to snapping off the notes pretty good here and catches a nice groove at 10:48 turning it over nicely at 11:05.

After a brief call and response between Brent and Jerry, the boys melt into a workmanlike, business-as-usual jam that just subtly grows on me like a soundtrack to the moment, gets into my system to the point that it’s taken for granted. It’s not until they come out of the jam that I truly notice/appreciate how good it is. Just another day at the office for the Dead. 

This one’s a favorite among Deadheads. Many say it’s the best. The jam is a nice stew - everyone throws something into the pot with Brent prompting a nice crescendo near the end. 

Another melting pot jam as everyone contributes with Brent going “Sanford and Son” for a while at the beginning. Jerry takes over towards the end to bring it home.

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