Grateful Dead

Dave's Picks, Vol. 10: Thelma, Los Angeles, CA 12/12/69

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As the '60s drew to a close, death and darkness hung heavy with the ongoing Vietnam war, the Manson murders, and the violence and lives lost at Altamont. Ever dedicated to peace and love, the Grateful Dead would reflect these harsh times with one of their most subdued statements, the folky but stern tones of Workingman's Dead, released in 1970. Dave's Picks, Vol. 10: Thelma, Los Angeles, CA 12/12/69 captures the group in performance directly before they would enter the studio to record what would go on to be one of their most loved albums, and they're working through the material by playing seven of the eight songs that would be included there as well as an uncommonly high number of songs written or led by keyboardist Pigpen. On the last of a three-night stand at a mysterious California club simply called Thelma, the Dead turned in stellar performances of the aforementioned Workingman's Dead material as well as a half-hour jam on their bluesy live staple "Turn on Your Love Light."