This is "raw" indeed....our earliest live recordings of the band.
I find a lot of it rather painful to listen to....but if you want to hear the Dead as an amateur garage band, this will fill the ticket! The setlist is dominated by blues and r&b songs - you can definitely see where they started at.
Garcia's playing much better than the others, but at this point mostly only sings lead on some blues songs!
Hearing this, it's hard to believe they'd been playing since May 1965....
I think my favorite bit is You Don't Have To Ask with a blazing Garcia solo. The Viola Lees are pretty primitive, but Midnight Hour shows how they could already stretch out a dance-song. And Schoolgirl>You Don't Love Me is one of our first Dead segues (though very awkward, to my ears).
1/8/66 actually sounds more accomplished I think (in spite of the Acid Test setting), and there's lots more Pigpen & blues, plus a surprisingly full-formed Caution:
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