Monday, January 12, 2009

Bertha - Grateful Dead Song Review


Bertha was a great rocker, and when the Dead were around I really liked it. The main version I originally familiarized myself with was the one off of the Skull and Roses CD, and it is a catchy upbeat song. I have a great memory of rocking out to it on the lawn at Shoreline, having just ran into a bunch of my Deadhead friends on 8/26/1993 (I missed the opener Hell in a Bucket that night - those must've been some crazy days for me to be all the way at Shoreline and not get my a** inside for the opener…).

Years later, Los Lobos also played Bertha as an encore when I saw their concert at the Fillmore and we rocked out to it (the song is on Los Lobos excellent greatest hits).

But as much as I liked Bertha during the Grateful Dead’s concerts and touring days, I have to say that in the 14 years that have gone by since during which all I’ve had are tapes to listen to from the past – I’m kind of tired of hearing Bertha. It has a pretty one dimensional rock structure in G, not much of a jazzy feel, Jerry doesn’t step out on it too much, and is about 2 verses too long.

Bertha Song Rating on a Scale of 1-10: 7.1

Disclaimer: This is part of my review of every Grateful Dead song from A-Z. Music is a beautiful thing because it is so personal and subjective, so keep in mind that this is one man's opinion (and be sure to read my blog manifesto to understand a little more about where I'm coming from).

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