The unexpected return of the masters of the Grateful Dead's triumphant show at the Albuquerque Civic Auditorium, November 17, 1971, yields great rewards. The Dead came in HOT for their first New Mexico show. Aided by clarity and precision and abetted by confidence and focus, they finessed old standards with definitive takes. With Keith now blending in seamlessly on keys, the first set offered up a triple shot of electric Blues, an exceptional "You Win Again," and a stellar "One More Saturday Night" to wrap things up. And the second set, well, it might just be unlike any you've ever heard.
Willie Nile, The Bottom Line Archive 1980-2000, is two disc set, separated by a 20 year gap, and is a great example of Nile's long term staying power, and the loyalty that Bottom Line owner/curator, Allan Pepper (booker, or talent buyer does not suffice) extends to the artists that he really believes in. Exhibit a is this double-disc affair, highlighting two distinct eras in Nile's 35-year career. It is worth noting that one of the primary reasons we can enjoy the temporal contrasts contained in this collection is simply because, when Willie was ready to come back, Allan Pepper was just as ready to welcome him back to The Bottom Line. It was a second home for me, gushes Nile. Allan and the whole vibe of the club was so musician-friendly and warm. It was just the best place to play for that reason.