Monday, October 15, 2012

Dylan Cover #58 Jerry Garcia Band- "Tangled Up In Blue"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by The Jerry Garcia Band playing "Tangled Up In Blue"

Thoughts on Original:
Have we really gotten to #58 on the Dylan cover list and not touched one cover of "Tangled Up In Blue"?  Wow.  The song that never ends, the tune that might just best sum up Dylan and we waited this long.  Well it just goes to show you how many great tunes he has.  Dylan constantly toyed with this song (check out the Rolling Thunder and Real Live version's if you haven't yet) and even he knows it can't stay stagnant in one form for long, so covering it is a good bet.  Needless to say it is in the top 5 greatest songs he ever wrote if we were ranking them...hmm.   

Thoughts on Cover Artist
We have much love for Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead.  They started our Monday's series and we even showcased them in our very first Dylan cover.  However, this is the first time we are mentioning JGB proper and with reason it was always our least favorite of Jerry's wanderings.  The shows had too laid back of a vibe that could nod out at times; where as Reconstruction and his playing with Grisman feels alive the JGB shows often feel like one long groove that doesn't always find its mark.  Granted it is still better them most live groups, but if we have a choice we would normally pick up anything else Jerry is playing on.       
Thoughts on Cover
That said this cover is pretty solid.  Since Garica was such a huge fan of Dylan's, Bob's songs used to pop up in JGB setlists often.  However, JGB had structure for them.  I am not sure what year or tour this is from (Guessing around 90) but the way the JGB played the song never changed.  Jerry took on the words the best he could (this version he nails them all) as his backup singers guided the song beautifully along while Melvin Seals punctuated things on the organ.  Then there were spaces (usually 3 or so) for Garcia to solo, and that is where the highlights usually lie.

This version has it all working perfectly, perhaps it is the show closing spot (or encore) but everything glows.  The solo he goes into around the 7:10 mark is textured and worth the cost of admission alone.  I am sure Bob would love this one and what more could you want in a cover?

Grade: A 

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