#160559  by nuthatchwinters
 Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:13 pm
just wanted to share some thoughts on Keith. I don't tend to pick one era over another or compare brent with keith, its all relative, but keith ways really, really terrific when he was playing well and his playing and his style couldn't have been a better fit. and i think you really have to give the guy credit and take into consideration that when he joined in 72 the Dead were really soaring to new heights with improvisation/experimentation, all band members firing on all cylinders if you will, and it could even be argued that he contributed more than a little to helping the band get to the new heights they were reaching on a regular basis 72-74. that short time span in the band is just f-ing mind blowing with what they were achieving. that beautiful grand piano sound on a 72 Dark Star or Bird Song or any of the other great extended jams of that period was just pure magic. just outstanding. Keith was a player, he truly understood improvisation, made the others he was playing with better, and was right there with Garcia when it came to taking an idea in a certain direction and feeding off the other players as only truly gifted musicians can pull off and make it look easy. did he get a little repetitive and stale in the later years? many seem to think so. the early 70s stuff is flat out stellar. just my thoughts, curious what the rest of youse think. and I hope this doesn't devolve into an all out royal rumble on the merits of Miss Donna Jean as is known to happen in these wacky forums we all love so much. keep it on Keith. thanks MK... ... ... correction--- keith joined in oct 71*
Last edited by nuthatchwinters on Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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 #160560  by alcorelectric
 Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:35 pm
I agree with your post
I believe his "shortcomings" were his stubbornness with not exploring different keyboard style instruments
I read somewhere that he basically refused to play anything but the piano
While it was was fine when Pig had the B3 and keith the piano, the other members may have felt it was limiting their sound
Purely speculation on my part
T
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 #160562  by Searing75
 Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:07 pm
Keith was a phenom no doubt. Early on in his career with the Dead, he was just a boppin’! Got a little scorched towards the end, but still added nice textures.
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 #160566  by Tennessee Jedi
 Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:48 am
The band def hit a high water mark w KG - which I feel had more to do w them having only one drummer but no doubt he gave them a jazzed up sound
72 to 74 is some of their best playing and he was right there
I'm not as much a fan of his late 70's sound at all - bad tones ( Estimated ) and that overly percussive rhythm style of his gets a bit irritating after a while
:D
 #160578  by nuthatchwinters
 Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:53 am
the Jedi brings up a good point. different band with one drummer. Its like Billy has different dna or something when he's drumming solo. entirely different style and he could flat out bring it.
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 #160582  by Tennessee Jedi
 Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:45 am
nuthatchwinters wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:53 am
the Jedi brings up a good point. different band with one drummer. Its like Billy has different dna or something when he's drumming solo. entirely different style and he could flat out bring it.
Im trying to figure out the 73/74 Eyes end jam right now - BK brings that great sense of groove
Relentless

Its tough to pick winners and losers in the GD world - There is something about every year/phase I like -although I stick between 72 and 90 mostly
I like Kieth and Donna - Im a BIG FAN of the Bob/ Donna vocal pairing - it just screams GD !
I feel like the bands chops were strongest in the 80s - Brent took them to next that level w that B3 and his vocals - He had some strong musical chemistry w Jerry and breathed a lot of life into the band
I used to think that losing members was not a good thing for bands but w the Dead it proved to be a life saver in many ways - Keith was a big part of one of many rebirths the band would go through

- td
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 #160583  by strumminsix
 Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:45 am
nuthatchwinters , i think your post is spot on! From everything I hear KG was very much ahead on the theory but not as far ahead on the improvisation. Which made him IDEAL for where the band was and where they were going. Amazing intersection!
alcorelectric wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:35 pm
I agree with your post
I believe his "shortcomings" were his stubbornness with not exploring different keyboard style instruments
I read somewhere that he basically refused to play anything but the piano
While it was was fine when Pig had the B3 and keith the piano, the other members may have felt it was limiting their sound
Purely speculation on my part
T
T, you're right too. In one of the books he was very demanding about a grand piano too. Add that to his personal demons and a strained marriage and it's really sad that he crashed and burned :(

If he was a little healthier mentally and more open minded to organ, electric piano, etc. I think he would have been a straight up equal to JG in terms of fame and respect in the musical community.
 #160591  by nuthatchwinters
 Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:52 pm
Jedi, the 73 74 eyes jams usually would drop down to a g sharp minor for a little while and then burst back up to the e maj 7 jam, and then it would go to a d sharp minor transition to a d minor. Jerry would pack a lot of notes in these little transitions that would basically run the minor scale but you dont have to be all over the place. Jerry could really keep it tight, working in just a small area of the scale, if you will, but by doing little runs and riffs that made it just great.