The Grateful Dead
Born out of the burgeoning West Coast hippie scene in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district during the late '60s, and inextricably linked to psychedelic experimentation, the Grateful Dead blended psychedelic folk music and a transformative live experience that grew into the largest, most devoted and longest lived cult following in the history of popular music. Deadhead culture rapidly became more ubiquitous than the music -- the Dead's friendly jams, laid-back tunes and open attitude towards bootlegging inspired a tightly knit community that followed the band around the country and traded tapes of concerts years after they'd been recorded. The Dead's concert performances live forever in the often-altered minds of those who attended show after show, and in thousands of hours of recorded material. The majority of these Dead bootlegs were recorded really well and sound like someone took the time to master and equalize them. Hardcore Deadhead classics like "Jack Straw" re-emphasize why the band's live shows were a musical phenomenon. Those who identified best with the Workingman's Dead and American Beauty LPs will be pleased to know that there is an overwhelming amount of well-recorded and downloadable live jams from that era when Jerry was younger, the songs were fresh, and the guitars sounded especially warm.