Forty-five years ago, Bill Graham hosted his first concerts at Winterland with two weekend runs featuring Jefferson Airplane, Muddy Waters and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. On the posters and handbills advertising the events, the concerts were called "The Sound: A Dance Party;" indeed, the lineup perfectly encapsulated the embryonic and psychedelic "San Francisco sound" and the improvisational electric blues that helped fertilize it.
With this playlist you can once again experience that special moment in rock history. Here, we present the surviving recordings from one of those evenings - 9/30/66, the Friday that began the second weekend run - in their original running order. Jefferson Airplane opened the evening with an early set, then the Muddy Waters and Paul Butterfield Blues Bands turned in sets, and the Airplane returned for a second set to close out the night. Also included here are songs recorded on that Sunday, October 2nd, where Muddy Waters and Luther Johnson sat in with Butterfield.
Here are a few specific notes about each individual set - you can click on the links in the Related Concerts box below to read more.
Jefferson Airplane, Set 1
Marty Balin dominates the vocals during this early period, but Kantner and Signe Anderson, create a vocal blend that's as unique as it is captivating. The band was beginning to diversify their sound, inspiring Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady to take on more dominant leadership roles in shaping the group's live sound; even at this early stage, the seeds of Hot Tuna are being sown.
Muddy Waters Blues Band
These four songs that survive on tape from Muddy Waters' set feature what many consider to be the finest backing band he would ever assemble, including George Smith on harmonica and Luther Johnson on guitar. The band was in fine form during these runs and obviously feeding off the hospitality of the San Francisco audience. It's remarkable to hear an entire generation welcome this blues legend into to their collective ear.
Paul Butterfield B