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JEFFERSON STARSHIP Mick's Picks Volume 4: Live At BB Kings Blues Club 09/09/07 Bear Records (2008)

Jefferson Starship

Growing out of Jefferson Airplane in the early 70s, J.Starship have much in common with fellow San Francisco bad the Grateful Dead; the acid, West Coast and jam angles on their rock/pop, and the back catalogue interest that continues to this day, hence this play on the latter's Dick's Picks, with their own set of Mick's Picks, an official outlet to the plethora of live recordings in vaults various (the Mick being manager Michael Gaiman who curates many of these live recordings).

Led by original guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner, and here also by fellow founder Marty Balin, the band are augmented by vocalist/guitarists David Freiberg and Mark "Slick" Aguilar", drummer Mike Scioto, bassist/pianist Chris Smith and vocalist Diana Mangano.

So having that Grace Slick feel is kinda essential, and mixed with 4 singer/guitarists, there is the Americana feel to that West Coast pop/rock. And on the 40th anniversary of the Summer Of Love, the set list was as long as ever.

The set covers both Airplane and Starship material, with a few solo gems thrown in. The 26 tracks feature "With Your Love", "Runaway", "Count On Me", "Ride The Tiger Jane", "Somebody To Love", "Three Fifths Of A Mile" and "DCBA".

Pretty well recorded, the songs are played out well, and extended in places too. There's plenty of inter-song banter, in fact in places too much, where it becomes idle chit-chat. Mix that with the tuning and the odd stumbling intro, it could be either a rehearsal or a performance at a private party.

If you're a fan or collector, this will rank as essential and rightfully so, this is a decent official bootleg that's well packaged, but anyone else who doesn't want to experiment in at the deep end will want a package and performance that is a lot more succinct.

*****(for fans)

**½ (for everyone else)

Review by Joe Geesin

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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