Bob Berberich - drums , vocals; Bob Gordon - bass; Nils Lofgren - guitar, keyboards, vocals; Tom Lofgren - guitar, background vocals
Before he was a part of Neil Young's Crazy Horse and one of the six-stringed crew members of the Good Ship Springsteen, Nils Lofgren had a great little rock 'n' roll band called Grin, which eventually morphed into his solo career. Grin was formed in 1969 and had enormous promise. Initially formed as a trio, Nils' brother Tom joined the band late in their tenure on rhythm guitar, giving Grin the harder edged sound that is on display in this show. They were a terrific rock band that focused on solid songs and great musicianship. Coupled with Lofgren's passionate lead vocals this led to consistently great reviews.
However, great reviews don't always transcend into great sales. None of Grin's four studio albums sold very well and after a run on Epic Records, they moved over to A&M. This show was recorded on Grin's first tour after they had released their initial A&M release, and includes "Beggars Day," one of the best songs Lofgren ever wrote. Recorded at Gaithersburg, MD's Shady Grove venue in what was one of the earliest of all the King Biscuit Flower Hour shows, this performance is a lively blend of three-chord rock and Americana lyrical landscapes—a formula that would later be adopted by John Mellencamp.
Highlights are the aforementioned "Beggars Day," "Like Rain," which was included on Grin's self-titled debut, and the spirited "Moon Tears," which clearly inspired Mellencamp's "Rockin' In The USA."
Grin lasted another year or so before falling apart in 1975, when A&M offered Lofgren his own solo deal. He took the vibe and foundation that he built with Grin and used it to build a viable and critically acclaimed solo career that he maintains outside of his work with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.