CD Review: Grateful Dead “Crimson, White & Indigo”

CD Review: The Grateful Dead Crimson, White & Indigo (Rhino, 4/20/10)
by Adam Perry for The Albuquerque Alibi

Despite the stereotypically cheesy cover art that will probably shoo away non-Deadheads as usual, Rhino’s new 3-CD, 1-DVD set Crimson, White & Indigo (or “Philadelphia 7/7/89”) includes a whole lot more than the mindless hippie drool suggested by the horrible ponytails worn by Mickey Hart, Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia at the time. Just one year before his fatal drug overdose, keyboardist Brent Mydland (third in a line of four Grateful Dead keyboardists who died tragically) delivered a simultaneously uplifting and jarring improvised monologue during “Blow Away” and was really the MVP of this super-charged evening in Philly. From covering Willie Dixon, James “Sugar Boy” Crawford and Bob Dylan (twice) to mesmerizing the 60,000+ audience with their often-peaking space-folk, highlighted by poet Robert Hunter’s powerful lyrics in “Box of Rain” and “Wharf Rat,” the Dead were an impressively diverse and effectual band worth checking out circa Crimson, White & Indigo.

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