Jam Chart for McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters (32 entries)

Date City Timing Notes
1985-04-06 Burlington, VT 12:16 Debut. The lyrics are narrated by Trey, rather than sung, and Page had not yet joined the band. A fairly intense, mostly straightforward Jeff and Trey guitar jam follows the lyrical section. (Circulates as filler on 3/4/85 Hunt's).
1985-05-03 Burlington, VT 12:03 -> in from "Whipping Post." Again, the lyrics are narrated. Page sat in as a guest for this show, and he begins make his presence felt, adding color to the excellent, guitar-driven jam, which has moments that sound similar to "Drowned". Eventually getting back to "McGrupp," this version slowly winds down with a > to "Makisupa."
1985-10-17 Burlington, VT 9:26 The entire band breaks into a jam where Page would solo in later versions. Although the recording ends before the jamming section concludes, the nearly 5 minutes captured on tape give a good flavor for the open-ended nature of these early jams in "McGrupp."
1986-04-01 Burlington, VT 7:27 Trey speaks the lyrics in a "Dylan-esque" manner, while the jam portion features a soaring Trey guitar solo.
1986-10-15 Burlington, VT 7:57 Jeff has left the band at this point, and his departure is noticeable as Page plays a prominent role throughout (great recording too). The jam has an upbeat, Grateful Dead-like tone, and includes the whole band despite Page's leading role.
1987-04-29 Burlington, VT 7:30 Another early version with a jam following the lyrics and composed sections. This one is quite rocking and has a great vibe to it.
1987-08-21 Hebron, NY 9:42 The first version with lyrics sung rather than narrated. The jam follows a similar pattern to others from this period, with Trey strumming quite a bit while Page rocks the keyboard, but this one grows increasingly intense before seeming to veer towards "Possum." Instead, the jam explores more ground, then -> to "Stir It Up Jam" with no return to the typical closing.
1987-08-29 South Burlington, VT 8:30 Nice rocking vibe to the jam, with Page and Trey sort of trading licks at moments. The jam keeps on rocking, with no return to the "McGrupp" closing, and neatly -> to "Possum."
1987-11-19 Burlington, VT 8:38 First "McGrupp" to feature Page on the keyboards following the composed sections, rather than a whole band jam. Page's solo is dark and somewhat ominous, with nice background support from the others. Rather than return to close "McGrupp" formally, the jam continues and -> to "Sparks."
1989-11-02 Durham, NH 7:36 In Fall '89, the band was re-tooling "Fluffhead," and for a period tacked the "Who Do? We Do!" section onto the back end of "McGrupp." This date is a good example, and the band nicely rocks along with Page in "McGrupp" proper.
1990-09-20 Somerville, MA 8:51 The audience really gets into this one, clapping along with the band as they all rock it up with Page in a high energy and super fun version.
1992-05-14 Port Chester, NY 9:22 Trey and Mike offer great backing to Page, especially Mike as the jam section progresses, and Fish keeps the engine clicking along nicely throughout.
1993-08-07 Darien Center, NY 10:30 This classic version features a long, fantastic Page solo with solid backing from the others. As it continues, the energized nature of the playing increases, and Mike is noticeably strong before Fish fires off the Gatling guns to signal the closing section. Released on Live Bait 4.
1994-04-30 Orlando, FL 9:05 A lilting, musical intro features melodic Trey and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" teasing, a fun theme throughout this show. A loose, easy vibe dominates the composed section. Page's fast clip solo, which sparkles, is anchored by great Mike and colored by thoughtful and deliberate work from Trey. A fiery conclusion > to an excellent "Possum."
1994-05-13 Tempe, AZ 8:29 Excellent and active full band engagement during Page's section, especially some great interplay with Mike, and Fish on the wood blocks. The already energized nature of the jam builds to an intense conclusion before returning to the closing section.
1994-07-02 Holmdel, NJ 9:29 The jam section begins with good energy, settles, then rebuilds with Trey, Mike, Fish and the audience contributing rhythmic support. Then there's a brief "Landlady"-like section before the tension mounts and finally breaks as the closing section begins.
1995-12-29 Worcester, MA 9:04 -> in from the historic "Real Gin." "McGrupp" features an airy opening, replete with Trey's signature '95-style, Leslie-infused shimmering tone. Wonderful playing throughout. Page breaks for a dark calm, marked not so much by eeriness, but a general psychedelia, enhanced by an exotic, Eastern sentiment, combined with nice restraint by Trey. Great fills from Fish lead to a powerful conclusion.
1996-07-23 Hamburg, Germany 10:05 The jam section has a nice swinging vibe at first, with the others quietly supporting Page. Trey and Fish kick it up a few notches, then there's a sweet little salsa jam which sounds very much like "The Landlady." This fun little jam seems to magically segue back into "McGrupp" proper and the customary closing section. Great version.
1997-06-25 Lille, France 13:52 -> in from "Meatstick." A very unusual version. It starts in a swirly, funky mode, then shifts to a reggae style when the lyrics commence, and includes "Makisupa" teases. Trey narrates the lyrics in a style similar to the earliest versions (pre August '87). Page's solo is unusually quiet, but otherwise straightforward. A spacey ending transitions to "Makisupa."
1997-11-26 Hartford, CT 10:07 An excellent version arriving midway through an excellent first set. Following a strong composed section, Page crafts an inspired passage, gently working a pleasant melody. Trey responds in kind, offering the perfect counter to Page's playing. While different from the typcially comedic "Mule-Duel," the combination here jells, creating an inspired rise to the conclusion.
1997-12-30 New York, NY 9:33 With Mike and Page out front early, Trey ultimately enters the fray, and he and Page break into an eerie, counterpoint-based duet of sorts, with Mike and Fish nearly absent from the mix. Mike and Fish finally jump back in, creating a tense, throbbing sentiment which gradually dissipates with no concluding section, and instead spills into an epic "Harpua."
1998-04-05 Providence, RI 10:28 Great first-set placement affords room for dark, contemplative playing. Although Page dominates, full-band interplay takes hold, with Trey providing strong counterpoint to Page. Fish serves as the unsung hero, adeptly using the cymbals to keep a vibrant pulse, and adding tension as this swirling version builds to a cathartic conclusion.
1998-07-05 Prague, Czech Republic 9:28 Despite a couple of rough spots spread throughout, the jam section features a contemplative, but at moments playful Page, with an intense culmination. An iconic '98-style, ambient Trey-led "Jam" follows "McGrupp" proper.
1998-07-19 Mountain View, CA 9:25 With Fish nicely keeping time, Page embarks on a charged solo, playfully recreating Mike's bass line. Even with Page out in front, there is a growing sense that all are contributing to this classic '98 version. For the second consecutive time, an archetypal, ambient-style "Jam" emerges on the heels of a very fine "McGrupp."
1998-10-29 Los Angeles, CA 11:45 Super, subtle, and very '98. Page drives a quiet jam featuring great Fish, and colored by Mike and Trey.
1999-10-07 Uniondale, NY 11:08 Trey gradually joins in with Page's serene and contemplative solo, offering his uniquely '99 tone in contrast to Page's classic piano musings. Sounding as though it may end in an uncharacteristically subdued manner, Page and Trey instead drive the playing out for another brief circuit, before closing in a more spirited and customary manner.
2000-09-18 Cuyahoga Falls, OH 12:33 Trey deploys the Leslie, evoking shades of a '95 "Slave," a bit of an anachronism pleasantly befitting '00. The jam provides a welcome cool down, featuring great and extended Page soloing augmented by Trey, who leads the band through an outro notable for an additional ambient pasage.
2003-07-29 Burgettstown, PA 9:05 In the only version from 2.0, the others join in with Page for more of a rocking jam, with great Mike and Fish. There is also a sense of back and forth between Page and the others, giving the jam energy and a playful aspect as it builds to a solid conclusion.
2009-11-01 Indio, CA 8:21 Gorgeous acoustic version from Festival 8.
2011-07-02 Watkins Glen, NY 9:31 Strong vocals and snappy playing by Mike in the composed section give way to a great Page-led jam. Backed by the band, and with some inspired contributions from Trey, a nice little "McGrupp" jam emerges, which rises and swirls into the customary closing.
2012-06-28 Noblesville, IN 9:37 The rest of the band, particularly Trey, plays along during Page's solo, and there is some nice interplay between the two. Stepping into the lead, Trey migrates from the melodic to some mildly dissonant, atonal scales near the conclusion of this fine version.
2012-08-26 Charlotte, NC 8:54 A very strong composed section features great Trey. Then Page's forceful piano soloing is matched by a bit of full-band improvisation, with Trey coloring the jam with a few scattershot notes before settling into a nice, warm line. A really fun and inviting version.
Jam chart versions are selected because of improvisational and other characteristics that distinguish these from typical versions of the song.
The jam chart team has highlighted some versions with a yellow background; these are the versions the team believes to be especially improvisational, or otherwise notable.
A purple date indicates that you were in attendance.


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