"Bob Weir backed by the Grateful Dead serves up one gul-dern heck of a rock and roll album. From the beginning ,"The Greatest Story Ever Told" ("you know the one thing we need is a left handed monkey wrench") flies out of the barn to the end "Cassidy" (a ballad for Cowboy Neal) it is a slick rockin' yet somewhat twisted winner. The album is somewhat speedy, macho (as mach as a rat dog could be) and very clever. "The Greatest Story Ever Told" is slightly manic and among other instruments features an organ that sounds like it was stolen off the set of a game show. There is not much warm up here - the song comes flying at us. Song 2 is my favorite song on the album - "Black-Throated Wind". It for the most part is a little slower than the rest of the songs on the album and somewhat bluesy. The lyrics are poignant but not maudlin and are clever to the point of sometimes being humorous. It is one of those story telling types of songs. Song 3 "Walk in the Sunshine" is classic Weir. Weir always seemed like the approachable self-depricating white knight of the band and here he offers "Look out here comes some free advice"(Some of that advice: Walk in the sunshine, "deepsix your wrist watch, be all those things your able to be"). Although he was always a member of these psychedelic cowboys the face he always seemed to put forward was a caring Everyman. The album includes Weir's version of the Dead standard "Playing in the Band" and ends with a rousing tribute to Neal Cassidy. I think everyone who loves the Grateful Dead will love this album."
Bobby Backed By The Dead
strawrider | Santa Rosa, CA United States | 02/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't let the title fool you, this is really a Grateful Dead album, not a solo work from Weir although it is all of his material. The Dead were so prolific at this time that they decided to release two albums (this one and Garcia's first 'solo' album) in this manner. Give credit where credit is deserved, I suppose. Now that the history of this work is covered, what about the music itself? It's a phenominal CD which features many staples the band would include in their shows forever: Mexicali Blues, Playing in the Band, etc. The musicanship is top shelf and I am pleased that it is finally available here at Amazon. The lesser known pieces, such as Walk in the Sunshine and Black Throated Wind, are great but just never permanently made it into the set line-ups of the Dead's shows. If you love Bob Weir or The Grateful Dead, you must own this."
Weir totally rocks
Kay S. Cramer | PA | 02/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fantastic album. My favorites on it are 'Looks like rain", "Playing in the band" (which its impossible not to love), "Cassidy", The wince-inducing "Mexicali blues" and the weirdly (no pun intended) uplifting "Walk in the sunshine". "Greatest stroy ever told" could easily be my favorite Weir song, but not on this album. If you want a really great version of it youll have to get the Dead Set. It's good on Ace but not great. The only real damper on this album is the head bangery "saturday night", which A) goes on too long, and B) Oh God, it just awful. But if you don't mind skipping over it when you listen to this cd your in for a real delight. Bob Weir's got one hell of a voice."
Don't be put off by the name of the artist...
Mike | Philadelphia, PA, USA | 05/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The album says Bob Weir, but this album is purely Grateful Dead! All of the songs (except for the underrated coulda-shoulda-woulda been counterculture anthem "Walk In The Sunshine") on this album go on to become staples the Dead's live shows. But just like "Workingman's Dead" and "American Beauty", "Ace" provides a snapshot into what these great tunes sound like in the studio.
The horn section on "Black Throated Wind", "Mexicali Blues", and "One More Saturday Night" really add a new dimension to the Dead sound that unfortunately would not be explored much furthur (yes I mean to spell it that way).
This album isn't lacking in jams either, this studio version of "Playing In The Band" (which improves greatly over the short version on the "Skull and Roses" album) includes a middle jam section that is just as satisfying as every other live version released.
If you liked the "Garcia" and "Rolling Thunder" albums, you'll be especially pleased by this set. For Dead studio completists, this provides a perfect bridge between their sound on "American Beauty" and what they would sound like on "Wake Of The Flood"."