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Various Artists

A Night At The Family Dog DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Those looking to recapture the 1960’s should really dig this DVD. Originally captured for PBS Television, this show from 1970 featured Santana, The Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead. It has been remastered and digital extrapolation has been used to create a dolby 5.1 experience on the audio track. This is not without its flaws, but the positives certainly out weigh those. For one thing, just the act of catching this killer show would make the whole thing worthwhile. We get two songs from Santana (“Incident At Neshabur” and “Soul Sacrifice”), three from the Dead (“Hard To Handle,” “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider”) and two from The Airplane (“The Ballad of You And Me And Pooneil, “ and “Eskimo Blue Day”). In addition, all three band participate in a show closing, all star jam. This part can be a bit awkward, but still it’s wonderful from an archival point of view. The only real issues that someone might have with this set start off with the brevity. Since this was filmed for TV it weighs in at under an hour in length. Secondly, by today’s standards the videographer was caught in a “hippie mode” of sometimes being more interested in capturing the mood of the audience and performer than the musical firestorm taking place on the stage. Also, the video itself was limited by the technology of the time. Beyond these fairly minor issues, though, this thing is top notch. It’s a great addition to the collection of fans of any of these bands, or 1960’s music in general. Or, to put it in the vernacular of the time, "this is far and out and groovy, I was blown away."

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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