Workingman's Dead

Workingman's Dead

Postby Lembic » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:09 pm

Pardon me if this has been discussed before. I have been charting out some of the tunes on this album and something struck me odd about a few tunes. Listening to "New Speedway" I started having doubts that I was hearing Phil. The parts are a little more repetitive that his usual lines, to me it doesn't sound like his bass, more muddy that the other tunes and it sounds like finger style playing. I have other questions on other tunes, but, this is a start. Anyone have any thoughts?

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Re: Workingman's Dead

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:08 pm

I'll have to give it a listen - but Phil absolutely experimented with fingerstyle in 1970-1971.

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I'd say the repetitiveness is likely a reflection of their change in focus from long, open explorations to short folksy songs. His approach on the big Jerry songs is very different than his approach on Bobby tunes and throwaways IMHO, even today.
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Re: Workingman's Dead

Postby Lembic » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:54 pm

Rusty, I know what you are saying, but, it still sounds very un-Phil-like to my ears, not even a "going thru the motions Phil". Now I know the only credit outside the band is for David Nelson, but, I think there are other uncredited players. "Easy Wind" sounds to me like it could almost be Cipolina playing behind Pigpen. The guitar sounds a little extra brittle, if you know what I mean. Maybe I'm hearing things that aren't there.

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Re: Workingman's Dead

Postby Grant » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:55 pm

I'd say the court case would have been raised by now if it wasn't phil
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Re: Workingman's Dead

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:36 am

I totally agree that it sounds like it could be someone other than Phil but I'm not convinced by that. In McNally's book there's a story about an early recording session where Billy was having trouble with a rhythm and the producer suggested using a studio drummer. The band just stared at him like he was sub-human. :lol:

I really doubt that Phil was replaced on bass a few albums later. He probably just took some different drugs that day. I also don't think he really found his core style until 72/73.
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Re: Workingman's Dead

Postby ugly rumor » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:03 am

I know that on American Beauty Dave Torbert played bass on several songs (Box of Rain being one of them); also, David Grisman and Martin Fierro were also players on that album, uncredited if I remember correctly. I'll have to check the album cover when I get back to Virginia next week. It's possible that since these albums were released so close together that some sessions overlapped. Maybe, maybe not.
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Re: Workingman's Dead

Postby tcsned » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:14 am

I also heard Phil used an upright bass on a few tracks on those two albums.
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Re: Workingman's Dead

Postby astroman99 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:45 am

From memory I think the first solo is Bobby Weirs, and the 2nd is Jerry G's
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Re: Workingman's Dead

Postby strumminsix » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:18 am

astroman99 wrote:From memory I think the first solo is Bobby Weirs, and the 2nd is Jerry G's

Just listened... Only heard 1 on the album cut. My notes:
Lots of fading techniques on harmonies
Sounds like Jerry's guitaring is electric and super strong in the right channel
Bob is acoustic and very low in the left channel with Phil

Now onto the solo, it sounds like Jerry gets panned to the left for the first 4 bars then back to the right.
Sounds like the same guitar and same tone settings....

But the fretting and noting doesn't sound like Jerry, and sounds like Bobby.

Very hard for me to say....
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Re: Workingman's Dead

Postby Adam Deckard » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:03 am

I have been listening to Speedway lately thinking the exact same things. My brother and law and I concluded that perhaps jerry is playing acoustic and bobby is playing lead. my two cents.

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Re: Workingman's Dead

Postby astroman99 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:32 am

I am not sure which order, , but one of those solos is definately Bobby W's.
I will look for the cd.
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