In 1978, just about every artist dipped their toe into the disco pool. It's present throughout Pink Floyd's epic The Wall (1979). The Rolling Stones played with it on "Miss You." Even the Grateful Dead got funky on Shakedown Street (1978). It was produced by Little Feat's Lowell George and like most Dead studio efforts, the music was better served up live. In fact, every show I saw where the band played the title track was an above average concert. Most notable for me, the first time they played Soldier Field in 1991. It was a cold summer day, but the show was hot hot hot. After opening with a powerful "Hell in a Bucket," they roared into a stellar fifteen minute "Shakedown Street." Bruce Hornsby was playing with them at this time and he was able to coax the band into a "Dark Star" jam. For you non-Deadheads, "Dark Star" is probably the grand daddy of Grateful Dead songs. At least to witness. I was lucky and caught three of them over the years. Enough of Flashback Theater for now.

In honor of the Grateful Dead's three Chicago shows in July, we're featuring the band on the Brizz Record Bin. I've heard it said that the band did this album to distance themselves from their fans, to try to cool things out a bit. Thinking that maybe it would turn off some fans. It seems to have backfired, and I don't believe that anyhow. The three concerts at Soldier Field should bring in nearly 250,000 people to see what is being dubbed the 'Fare Thee Well' concerts.

Put on your dancing shoes or kick 'em off and let your toes feel the grass beneath your feet and enjoy "Shakedown Street."

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