I've been a DMB fan since the earliest of days.. and I was fortunate enough to be in the audience on the night of this recording, looking down in awe on the band from the upper balcony. Dave's presence was still developing but you could sense the greatness that this blended jazz, world, funk, blues, rock, bluegrass poetry was going to achieve. It was an intimate encounter that set me chasing the band with great regularity and plunged me even deeper into my expensive DAT trading hobby, just so I could hear more of the magic.
Carter's drumming was "athletic" to say the least. I swear I remember him busting a skin that night, and still he was smiling ear to ear like the cat the got the cream. Leroi (bless his memory) was on his game and honking up a storm. It was raw, but perfect on all fronts. It was hard not to realize that these men were on the cusp of something truly wonderful.
This is a tapers/traders/bootleggers recording. It's a "hybrid," meaning it's a digital tap off the soundboard combined with field microphone feeds that capture not only the bands gift to the audience but audiences feedback as well. It puts me right back into my stage-left balcony, beer in hand, smell of excitement and the feel of electricity in the air. It's a true capture of that winter night, and the early days of the band. It puts a tear in my eye to know that the Bayou is no more, and that we will never again have a chance to reproduce this experience (the Bayou was destroyed flooded a few times, closed and ultimately destroyed a few years after this recording was made.)
If you've ever wondered just how true to their origins the band has remained over the years and their success, this is the reference recording you need. Ten minutes into listening to this show and you'll know, the music and the energy have grown but the seed from which it came has not been molested.