Here we are, already pretty well underway into January 2023, and I’m still reflecting on some of the great music I discovered/rediscovered throughout last year. I didn’t include any reissues, or archival releases in my “best of” lists, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some of those releases that I found worthy of mention. Probably my favorite of those gets delivered to my mailbox quarterly each year in the manner of the Grateful Dead’s “Dave’s Picks” subscription series. Regrettably, I slept on this series for far to many years, only first subscribing in 2020 with #33 (10/29/77). This past year’s subscription was probably my favorite yet, touching on a different era of the band’s evolution with each release. The first release of the year began with #41 of the series, 5/26/77 at the Baltimore Civic Center, followed by #42 Winterland 2/23/74, which also included 2/22/74 as the coveted, highly collectible “bonus disc” available each year only via subscription. I’m a big fan of early, primal Grateful Dead, and as such, #43 a dual release of 11/02/69 Family Dog & 12/26/69 Dallas was particularly special for me. Finally, 2022’s subscription was rounded out with a fine 1990 Brent-era show from Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR on 6/23/90.
Each year the subscriptions go on sale in mid November, for around $100. Really, one hell of a bargin all things considered, and 2023’s edition looks especially promising, with the already announced release of #45 Oregon, 10/01/77 & 10/02/77 (two complete shows!) and #46 09/09/72 Hollywood (also the bonus disc with music from 9/3/72 and 9/19/72, with the last two releases still unannounced. Unfortunately, by the time you’re reading this, the window for 2023 subscriptions will have probably closed. A limited number of copies will be available to non-subscribers with each release. Touch base with the good people over at https://www.dead.net/ for more information.
I’ve got a lot of things in the works already for this year that I can’t wait to share with y’all. From a upcoming release schedule, J.D. Clayton’s debut album releases in a couple weeks on 1/23. It’s really sensational, as you’ll find out in my upcoming review. I’ve also got fingers crossed I can catch his upcoming show here in OKC for photos and a live report. I also just got the upcoming Carter Sampson album Gold, which releases on April 7th on Tulsa’s Horton Records, and I can’t wait to hear some brand new material from the Queen of Oklahoma.
I think there’s going to be a lot of music releases coming quickly in 2023. Just today I checked email and had a promo from a new to me songwriter named Austin Mayse catch my eye. I also just got info on the long awaited new album from Iris Dement Working on a World releasing February 24th .
I also get a lot of metal and hard rock email blasts, and I’m always really excited to see an email from the legendary Metal Maria. Even more when the subject line includes Motörhead. This time it’s some top notch deluxe treatment for Bad Magic the band’s 2015 release, re-issued with two additional tracks and also releasing February 24th.
From a live music perspective, I’m pretty excited for Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, who blew me away last year, and are returning for another show that I hope to cover once again. Same goes for the March visit of Drive-By Truckers and possibly the return of Ramblin’ Jack Elliot in May.
In the bigger picture, Bruce Springsteen is bringing E Street to Tulsa, and I’m hoping to be there. Same with Bobby Weir in Dallas, both with The Wolf Brothers in March, and then Dead & Company in May and I’ll hopefully be back in Okemah this July for the 26th annual Woody Guthrie Festival. Hope to see you somewhere down the road!