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DVD: A Night At The Family Dog by Jefferson Airplane - The Grateful Dead - Santana

This is a welcome blast from the past for us over-50 types, as the footage captures a triple-bill featuring some of the founding fathers of psychedelic and Latin-jazz/rock. Complete with trippy strobe lighting expos and hippy chicks dancing to the music, this 1970 concert held at The Family Dog in San Francisco was produced by famed jazz and rock critic Ralph J. Gleason.

The festivities open with Santana’s thrusting, percussion heavy rendition of "Soul Sacrifice," consummated by a riveting solo by a then young drumming phenom, Michael Shrieve. The Grateful Dead follows with its familiar bump and grind boogie grooves, featuring vocals by Ron "Pigpen" McKiernan and Jerry Garcia, spiced-up with the latter’s quasi, jazz-rock improvised single note riffs. In addition to the slightly muddy sound and low-resolution color film, the camera crew intersperses some hippy-fied slo-mo shots into a few segments.

A very pretty and sensuous Grace Slick sings during Jefferson Airplane’s "The Ballad of You and Me and Ponneil." On a side-note, this performance came on the heels of the group’s politically-inspired Volunteers album. But the memory lane experience is sweetened on the finale titled "Super Jam." Here, members of the three bands converge for a torrid psycho-rock blowout.

Not a milestone type archival release by any stretch, this DVD simply serves as an upbeat reminder of the renaissance that came about during this most enchanting period of American pop culture.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jefferson Airplane - The Grateful Dead - Santana
  • CD Title: DVD: A Night At The Family Dog
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Eagle Rock
  • Rating: Three Stars
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