Grateful Dead

Road Trips, Vol. 2, No. 2 Bonus Disc

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The Grateful Dead's archival release Road Trips, Vol. 2, No. 2: Carousel 2-14-68 chronicles the band's Valentine's Day 1968 show at the Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco. The group's mail-order company offered a free bonus disc to initial buyers of that set, and it contains nearly 78 minutes of similar performances recorded during a tour of the Northwest in the weeks before the Carousel show. The seven tracks are all songs also contained on the main album, just in different versions. But the album stands up on its own because this was such a potent period for the Grateful Dead, as it continued to evolve from an R&B band playing songs like "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and "Turn on Your Lovelight" (both with lead vocals by Pigpen) into the more exploratory group that developed its own material, including "Dark Star" and "China Cat Sunflower." There are many other recordings of these songs in the Grateful Dead's catalog, including those on the main album, but Deadheads, who are the fans most likely to get copies of this album, will appreciate the differences between one 20-minute rendition of "Viola Lee Blues" (as heard here) and another (as heard on the main album).