One Man Gathers: Song-by-Song Reviews of the Officially-Released Live Music of the Grateful Dead

Thanks for navigating your way to One Man Gathers.  We don’t know how you got here, but we hope you’ll stick around long enough to find out what this is all about. 

This website is a place where you can read song-by-song reviews of the officially-released live music of the Grateful Dead.  Eventually, you will also be able to interact by writing your own reviews or by commenting on anything here.  At the moment, it is limited to the performance year 1973, but that will change soon.  Many fans will agree that this is one of the peaks in the 30-year career of this most unique band, so it's a good place to start.  Additional performance years will be added occasionally, until all years are represented.

As of this date (2013) there have been 240 song versions released on CD from Grateful Dead performances in 1973.  This includes the titles Dick’s Picks 1, Dick’s Picks 14, Dick’s Picks 19, Dick’s Picks 28, the 9-CD box set Winterland 1973, Road Trips Vol. 4 No. 3, and Dave's Picks 5, plus some scattered bonus discs and compilation tracks.  That’s a lot of music (and a lot of reviews) for one performance year.  Try to imagine what the whole 30-year enchilada entails.  Let’s just say it contains literally thousands of reviews of song versions.

So, what we are hoping at this juncture is that you will select some song versions from the Song Version Index, read the reviews, and react in some way.  Nobody will agree completely with what is written here -- that’s not the point.  This is called One Man Gathers because it is the opinion of one man.  Others will have wildly different opinions, and that is part of what makes the consumption of this music so unpredictable and enjoyable.

We’ll make it easy for you to write your reactions or your own reviews of the song versions included here.  Once the link is up, just send an email and we’ll read what you have to say.  We’ll publish some of them on this site, too.  At some point, we'll provide links from the Song Index to reviews by writers who want to submit them.

Finally, please remember that this is all written in good fun.  The reviews here don’t pull any punches, but they are not intended to be mean-spirited.  The “failures” are as interesting as the “successes”.  Each of us has our own biases.  Let’s see what we think they are and discuss them.  Oh, and please read the introductory parts called “Prologue” and “Introduction” before you get started.  That way you can get an idea of where this is coming from and you won’t be startled by any personal prejudices.

Above all, please have fun here.  We plan to have the remaining content (it's a lot!) up and running soon.  We’re right there with you, digging into every note.

Gratefully Yours,

One Man Gathers

NOTE: All content of this site is copyright 2012 by One Man Gathers except all illustrations by Edmund J. Sullivan (public domain)