Jerry Garcia Solo/JGB/Grisman/etc. - S/D

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Slightly more interested in talking about the studio recordings here, but let's say anything is fair game. His first solo album is generally regarded as classic and rightfully so-- in another thread a few people mentioned that they liked it better than any Dead studio release. I've liked parts of Cats Under the Stars for a long time (esp. "Rubin & Cherise") and tonight I picked up Reflections, which is way better than I expected.

What else is good? How about his other collabs like w/ Grisman, etc? It seems like song-wise, there's really not much to differentiate Jerry solo from Dead, since so many songs from these solo records eventually made it into the Dead repertoire.

Mark, Saturday, 4 June 2011 01:12 (eleven years ago) link

live stuff w/ merl saunders is some of my favorite garcia with or without the dead.

tylerw, Saturday, 4 June 2011 01:30 (eleven years ago) link

Like which records?

Mark, Saturday, 4 June 2011 01:32 (eleven years ago) link

the record with howard wales is a blast, rendevous with the sun

blank, Saturday, 4 June 2011 01:59 (eleven years ago) link

his pedal steel soundcheck solo jam in last days of the fillmore is so beautiful, he fucking ruled on pedal steel

blank, Saturday, 4 June 2011 02:03 (eleven years ago) link

Reflections has the Dead backing him on half of it. It was recorded in 1976, and sounds much better than Terrapin and Shakedown!

Mark, Saturday, 4 June 2011 02:10 (eleven years ago) link

I like the versions of "So What" he did w/ Grisman. From reading the Dark Star oral history, his life sounded pretty miserable the last few years, and it seemed like situations like this where he could play music for fun in a low-key way were the thing that made him happiest. This makes me feel good, anyway.

Mark, Saturday, 4 June 2011 02:18 (eleven years ago) link

I love the stuff with Grisman. The grateful dawg soundtrack is a nice comp of their work together. Live their take on "the thrill is gone".

blank, Saturday, 4 June 2011 02:47 (eleven years ago) link

Live = love

blank, Saturday, 4 June 2011 02:48 (eleven years ago) link


Mark, Saturday, 4 June 2011 03:13 (eleven years ago) link

Didn't I read somewhere that his first solo record is (partly? mostly? all?) electronic/collage/musique concrete?

(I'm brand-new to the Dead, and am treading lightly through their missteps so far...)

shake it, shake it, sugary pee (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 4 June 2011 04:29 (eleven years ago) link

yeah, most of the 2nd side of his first album is far out abstract.. but the winner on side two is the final track "the wheel", one of my favorite jerry songs.

blank, Saturday, 4 June 2011 04:39 (eleven years ago) link


scott seward, Saturday, 4 June 2011 04:48 (eleven years ago) link

Nice. Rad. I gotta say, my first exposure to solo Garcia was in a record store, where the clerk and I agreed that it was "the album Grandpa released" (as referenced in the Simpsons episode "Homer & Apu"), but this has me intrigued.

shake it, shake it, sugary pee (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 4 June 2011 05:54 (eleven years ago) link

Search the 1990 live album Jerry Garcia Band. Band as a whole sounds way tighter than GD ever did in the 90s, and Garcia is on-point from start to finish. Nice understated background vocals from Gloria Jones and Jackie LaBranch, too. It's basically all covers, save a really energetic performance of "Deal." Never understood why more people didn't love the hell out of this release.

Highlights for me are "Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down":

CompuPost, Saturday, 4 June 2011 13:23 (eleven years ago) link

Don't Let Go bootleg (76) - up there with May 77 and Europe 72 Dead. But I love Keith and Donna (who play on it), so grain of salt. But it's so awesomely mellow in places, and the playing is astounding.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Saturday, 4 June 2011 14:23 (eleven years ago) link

CompuPost OTM re: that Jerry Garcia Band live album. By far, one of my favorite Dead related things from the 1990s.

the fey bloggers are onto the zagat tweets (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Saturday, 4 June 2011 22:20 (eleven years ago) link

Not uncommon for a people in the early 90s to have Without a Net and that Jerry Band release, and agreed that the latter is good.

Mark, Sunday, 5 June 2011 04:39 (eleven years ago) link

Also this is awesome. Nicky Hopkins plays very well w/ Jerry.

Mark, Sunday, 5 June 2011 04:48 (eleven years ago) link

Esp. the "Sitting in Limbo"

Mark, Sunday, 5 June 2011 05:02 (eleven years ago) link

Thirding Compupost's love for JGB. That record was my gateway into what Dead I do enjoy. Love it tons more than any actual Dead.

The hoppiest hop hopper now with xtra hops (Dan Peterson), Sunday, 5 June 2011 14:00 (eleven years ago) link

Come on, Without A Net isn't that bad! Good "Mississippi Half-Step," if nothing else...

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Sunday, 5 June 2011 14:41 (eleven years ago) link

Oh I agree, I listened to it into the ground during that time. The "Eyes of the World" w/ Branford is also awesome.

Mark, Sunday, 5 June 2011 17:26 (eleven years ago) link

Yes! That's the most 'recent' Dead boot I own, but I like it quite a bit.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Sunday, 5 June 2011 17:38 (eleven years ago) link

Come on, Without A Net isn't that bad! Good "Mississippi Half-Step," if nothing else...

Wow, been a while since I listened to Without a Net. Forgot how incredible that second disc was, Chinacat -> Franklin's, especially the last halves of "Looks Like Rain" and "Victim or the Crime."

CompuPost, Sunday, 5 June 2011 19:23 (eleven years ago) link

merl saunders collab OTM

LL Coolna (absolutely clean glasses), Sunday, 5 June 2011 19:25 (eleven years ago) link

eleven months pass...

Really, really great interview with Jerry Garcia here - the intro makes you figure he's gonna spout a lot of bullshit, because he's at doing-it-in-front-of-strangers level of coke addiction, but when he's talking about his musical ideas, wow: just illuminating, great stuff. Weird to me that he's pretty "eh, whatever, the important thing is the electronics" about his acoustics, but - anyway, if you're into his music, this is a great read

cosi fan whitford (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:25 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Dammit, have to run out, but bookmarking that interview aero mentioned. It took place in '85, the year before he went into that coma and had to kind of relearn how to play guitar, and that was around the time dude was gorging on steak and lobster and his lower legfat would double over his sock, so not surprised that he's already in idgafuck mode :/ Love reading him talk aimlessly about other musicians/songs, though-- dude was a lil encyclopedia.

2nd ¶, yikes: I’ve never been a Deadhead, but friends who are tell me that my meeting with Jerry took place during one of the lowest points of his life. Garcia, unwashed and disheveled, shuffled slowly into the living room, his black T-shirt sprinkled with white powder. His fingertips were blackened in a manner consistent with “chasing the dragon,” as smoking heroin was commonly referred to in the Bay Area. Ten minutes into our interview, Garcia nonchalantly chopped a large rock of cocaine into about twenty lines and consumed all of it during the next hour.

*:? (CompuPost), Sunday, 17 June 2012 02:17 (ten years ago) link

check this guy's stuff while you can--his graphics can be confusing, but if nothing else, keep scrolling down the right margin, he's got a link for the list of all his Dead/JGB etc links, re-gathered in one (more) re-post,

dow, Sunday, 17 June 2012 03:08 (ten years ago) link

All his sets I've heard are well worth checking, though you may have some

dow, Sunday, 17 June 2012 03:09 (ten years ago) link

Haven't made my way to the GD/JGB stuff yet-- got side-tracked by some of those fantastic-sounding Lou Reed shows. Thanks, dow.

*:? (CompuPost), Monday, 18 June 2012 17:51 (ten years ago) link

three months pass...
this thing is out today, streaming it now, good times. not sure how much is actually unreleased or whatever, but cool to have all of these bundled up in one place.

tylerw, Tuesday, 25 September 2012 18:25 (nine years ago) link

it's great there are photos where jerry isn't the most stoned looking person in them

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 25 September 2012 22:05 (nine years ago) link

I thought this had Garcia on it, but no--just Grisman and Doc Watson. In any case, pretty great:

canonical casual cordouroy (Eazy), Tuesday, 25 September 2012 22:29 (nine years ago) link

three months pass...
two years pass...

damn, this is amazing

tylerw, Friday, 7 August 2015 14:55 (seven years ago) link

so good

Brad C., Friday, 7 August 2015 17:53 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

love reuben so much...such a happy song

calstars, Saturday, 26 November 2016 02:43 (five years ago) link

Would like to check this one-mic, apparently one-take Hart Valley Drifters set (now with pretty good sound apparently, unlike the bootlegged bits I've heard):
Editorial Reviews
This release, a previously unheard studio recording of Jerry Garcia at age 20, fills in a nearly empty slot of his musical canon, and is the earliest known studio recording of Garcia. One day in late 1962, Garcia and four band mates walked into Stanford University's KZSU radio station to make this recording. They called themselves the Hart Valley Drifters, and the spoken introduction tells us that the band included Jerry, future Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter and guitarist David Nelson, who would later form the New Riders of the Purple Sage with Garcia. They were joined by Ken Frankel, another early musical partner of Jerry's, and Norm Van Maastricht. The Hart Valley Drifters was one in the long line of groups that Garcia put together during the folk revival of the early 1960s, but it was perhaps his first band to present a professional level of musicianship and vocal harmony. The session captures an early moment in Jerry's career when he'd become well educated in American roots music, and showcases influences from which Garcia and Hunter would later draw on for the Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead and American Beauty.

Reviews by Verified Purchasers dig it, while also reporting that if we're not into bluegrass, we're shit out of luck here, but we knew that--more info:

dow, Sunday, 27 November 2016 00:45 (five years ago) link

haven't heard that one, but it looks enjoyable.
convo with bill vitt here:
also! i put together this comp of Garcia's very busy november 1973:

tylerw, Sunday, 27 November 2016 00:57 (five years ago) link

^^^^^ nice '73 mix, tylerw

ヽ(´ー`)┌ (CompuPost), Sunday, 27 November 2016 16:13 (five years ago) link

Love those Jerry Rolling Stone magazine covers

calstars, Sunday, 27 November 2016 17:52 (five years ago) link

Just listened to xpost Hart Valley Drifters' album on Spotify (they've got a lot of JG sidetrips---the whole GarciaLive series to date, for a start---and even more Dead). Relaxed vocals, not nasal or otherwise trying to sound mountain-y---maybe a little too relaxed at times--but the picking is sharp and vivid, also without trying too hard, as Garcia trades off guitar and banjo with Frankel; Nelson's rhythm guitar and Hunter's bass keep chugging along, and things get more engaging when the fiddle shows up for all of the second half (not much dobro that I've noticed, but Norm Van Maastricht gets bonus points for his name). Bluesier on "Sugar Bandy" and then, right at the end, Mississippi Sheiks' "Sitting On Top Of The World", cool and bouncing us to another, contiguous world, just down the mountain aways, where Garcia has no prob suggesting Mississippi John Hurt sitting in with the Sheiks. I'd put this track in a Garcia acoustic comp (he's already the star here, but never ever hogging the spotlight, not that there is one).

dow, Saturday, 3 December 2016 01:25 (five years ago) link

"Sugar *Baby*", that should be.

dow, Saturday, 3 December 2016 01:31 (five years ago) link

Frankel plays the fiddle.

dow, Saturday, 3 December 2016 01:32 (five years ago) link

eight months pass...

No release date or track list yet, but incl. the above Hart Valley Drifters live-in-the-campus-station set, ---anyway a great story, incl. the collector's vision---"Jerry was just one guy," and this box is just one speck of early-mid-60s Bay Area Godhead rising, man:

dow, Sunday, 27 August 2017 20:53 (four years ago) link

four months pass...

"On the heels of a diabetic coma," jeez---but may-be:
(more info/audio:
We are pleased to announce the tenth installment of GarciaLive due for release on February 23rd! GarciaLive Volume Ten documents the Jerry Garcia Band's May 20th, 1990 performance at the Hilo Civic Auditorium in Hawaii. On the heels of a diabetic coma in 1986, Bill Kreutzmann encouraged Jerry to find peace and healing in the pristine blue waters of the Big Island's reef system. What was initially a hobby became a passion for Garcia as he later publicly advocated for the protection of Hawaii's natural areas and directed earnings from this show, held in the modest Hilo Civic Center, to The Ocean Recreation Council of Hawaii.

In this relaxed setting complete with leis on stage, it's no wonder that the music from this show shines so brightly - both in Garcia's strong vocals and guitar playing but also the joie de vivre setlist spanning some of Jerry's favorite corners of popular music - Dylan, Motown, Reggae, and Rock & Roll. Spurred on by the ever steady rhythm section of Dave Kemper and John Kahn, the Garcia Band this night seemed to pull out all the stops complete with the celestial sounds of Melvin Seals' organ and the background vocals of Gloria Jones and Jacklyn LaBranch.

The sum of these parts that defined the 1990s Garcia Band sound would make for a magical Sunday night that first kicked off with the Holland-Dozier-Holland favorite "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" followed by an idyllic "They Love Each Other" - LISTEN NOW. Sprinkled in throughout the night are five Dylan covers including powerfully delivered vocals on versions of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," "Forever Young" and a positively soaring "Tangled Up In Blue" as the encore. Along the way, covers like "Stop That Train," "Waiting For A Miracle" and "Evangeline" ably accent originals like "Deal" and "Run For The Roses."

GarciaLive Volume Ten: May 20th, 1990 Hilo Civic Auditorium is now available for pre-order at Garcia Family Provisions in advance of its February 23rd release date. The 2-CD set or digital downloads are available on their own or bundled with an exclusive t-shirt and/or a limited edition screen print by Nathaniel Deas signed and numbered by the artist in an edition of 500.

During the pre-order period, we are pleased to offer a reduced shipping rate of $4.99 on the GarciaLive Volume Ten CD and bundles. Additional items added to your order will result in additional shipping fees. Use code USGL10 for domestic and INTGL10 for international orders at checkout to apply.

Disc One // Set One:
1. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
2. They Love Each Other [Listen Now]
3. Tough Mama
4. Like A Road Leading Home
5. Run For The Roses
6. The Way You Do The Things You Do
7. My Sisters And Brothers
8. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
9. Deal

Disc Two // Set Two:
1. The Harder They Come
2. Forever Young
3. Stop That Train
4. Tore Up Over You
5. Tears Of Rage
6. Evangeline
7. Waiting For A Miracle
8. That Lucky Old Sun
9. Tangled Up In Blue

dow, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 00:53 (four years ago) link

three months pass...

Finally a date for the pre-Dead box, and a couple tracks: Also, the aforementioned legit released Folk Time(good 'un) will be in there, and prob the early sets here, or others from the same era (he's got a bunch of JG, much more Dead, more quite a few other artists) Also has flacs for everything.

dow, Thursday, 19 April 2018 18:05 (four years ago) link

two weeks pass...

DJ McGriddle mentions, in the intro to his seemingly astute, track-by-track review of xp Folk Time(named for the KZSU show it was recorded on, rat thar at Stanford), that here young JG "manages the banjo despite his ax-shorn middle finger"---whut, no middle? Is this true?? Thought I knew the man! Whole thing here:

Reminds me that Jagger supposedly bit off the tip of his tongue when punched by a schoolyard bully, which helped the distinctiveness of his vocal style.

dow, Monday, 7 May 2018 18:01 (four years ago) link

tylerw, Monday, 7 May 2018 18:02 (four years ago) link

That picture is a parable thx

dow, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 04:31 (four years ago) link

eight months pass...

Ah damn

dow, Monday, 4 February 2019 02:15 (three years ago) link

Before I got sidetracked by the death notice< meant to paste these posts from Rolling Country 2019:
...Now I want to check the s/t of the Strange Creek Singers: D&G w Mike Seeger and Tracy Schwarz of the New Lost City Ramblers (also Lamar Grier. maybe better known for playing banjo with Bill Monroe). Also want finally to check the Ramblers---where should I start?

They're namechecked several times by Garcia on Before The Dead, incl. the set prev released sep as as Folk Time, after the Stanford radio show where it was taped. (Already have a couple other inclusions on boot, but BTD=4 remastered CDs for $19.99, so no prob.) The whole thing starts on May 26, 1961, with a hootenanny at Brigid Meier's sixteenth birthday party (she's so excited!) Set is very nice, made distinctive by Garcia's instantly recognizable singing, which, as on most of the rest of the box, doesn't have that high lonesome Dead etc. pitch, but is clear and contemplative and unaffected. Usually with future New Rider David Nelson, pretty often with Robert Hunter, and several guys I really need to look up, he gets more and more into banjo--a bit more than I am, at times---but still got the guitar and those pipes.
Oops I meant to mention one blemish on Garcia's aforementioned Before The Dead: a set of songs of the American People complaining about marriage/wives, carefully selected* for polished performances with his own first wife (who sounds pretty good), about a week after their wedding (he calls the exact time). She and the audience chuckle when he mentions this, but it reminds me of a bootlegger who claimed that Jerry sold all their wedding gifts to buy a guitar, and I'm sure he played it well. This disenchanted evening's a bummer, man, but at least it's brief.

*Carefully selected, but tiresome as a set.

dow, Tuesday, 5 February 2019 00:21 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

Freeform transmissions from Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard. Our four-hour broadcast airs every third Sunday of the month on Dublab, featuring regular shows, AD friends, and collaborators. Tune in November 15, from 4-8 PM Pacific on Dublab, for this month’s broadcast, featuring a special program, One Kind Favor: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders, to celebrate the December 4 release of GarciaLive Volume 15.

The new album documents a complete concert from May 21, 1971 at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco, where Garcia and Saunders and drummer Bill Vitt and and special guest Martin Fierro on saxophone. Surf on over to Garcia Family Provisions to get your copy as we share an hour of mostly unheard music, selected by Marc Allan and Kevin Monty on behalf of the Jerry Garcia Family and Round Records, drawn from the new live set and the Garcia Family vault.

dow, Saturday, 14 November 2020 01:40 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Had to go out in the car for a couple of hours today, so I burned the first two Garcia albums, which have been sitting on my computer for a while.

I liked most of Garcia. As someone who was hoping for two albums of "China Cat Sunflower," "Bird Song" is the highlight for me--"Deal"'s very catchy too. Could definitely do without the two pieces of musique concrète, or whatever they're supposed to be. The kind of thing where someone needed to step in and say, "I know this seems like a good idea right now, but looking down the road, not really."

Compliments is only two years later, but whatever drove him to experiment on the first album is gone--the world has changed. Most of it just felt like a tepid, white-folkie attempt at R&B. "Mississippi Moon" does suggest he was paying attention to Randy Newman.

clemenza, Monday, 1 February 2021 20:15 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Happy 80th to Jerry — here's a mix I made a few years back that holds up nicely ...

— Tyler Wilcox (@tywilc) August 1, 2022

dow, Monday, 1 August 2022 22:52 (two weeks ago) link

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