Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Remembering Jerry Garcia

On this day way back in 1942 Jerome Garcia was born and as we have done in the past we wanted to take a second to remember Jerry in the best possible way, by listening to his music.


To kick things off how about an interview with Branford Marsalis (Go Mets!) Scott Poulson-Bryant, Anthony Decurtis and others on what it was like to play with Jerry and the Grateful Dead.

In past years we have focused on full shows from The Grateful Dead (who we featured in our Master series as well), but this year we wanted to post a few Jerry Garcia Band songs.

Enjoy them on this great day...oh and also, Happy Birthday Meg!

We are going to start off at the top, RtBE's favorite Garcia Band song (which The Dead played a few times) and that is "Reuben and Cherise". Amazing lyrics that pull in New Orleans, while delivering an upbeat strum and a really cool chorus. It is a great song that allows Garcia to also show off his underrated vocals. This is the studio version of the classic tune and while it does suffer from 80's sound and production, it is still worth hearing as Robert Hunter's lyrical tale rolls out:

Next we go with "Run For The Roses", a song that deals with one of our favorite topics, horse races. It is also a very underrated song (maybe because the studio version is very cheesy 80's) and one that is near and dear to RtBE. Live is where JGB made their money, so here is "Run For The Roses" 6-27-82:

The really great part of any Garcia Band show were the endless amount of covers that could flow out from the group. Some of them are from out of left field, here is "The Harder They Come" featuring none other than Bela Fleck on banjo:

How about a second Jimmy Cliff cover? This is "Sitting Here in Limbo" from 3/1/1980 at the Capitol Theater:

Might as well go with could possibly be our favorite live JGB cover, "(I'm A) Roadrunner" featured on The Jerry Garcia Collection, Vol. 2: Let It Rock with the great Nicky Hopkins on piano and Ron Tutt on Drums:

After that original JGB lineup ended, the New Orleans legend James Booker was brought in for a very short run (like a practice and a few shows). While the match didn't work out at all, it was a hell of a ride. Here is "Slowly But Surely":

One thing RtBE don't love about JGB stuff is how slow it could all become, so we had to showcase their laid back (to the point of sleeping/nodding off) style. Garcia never hurried whatever collection of players he was working with under the title JGB, just like on this cover of Wings "Roll With It" from 7/30/77

Kicking it up to end, the last cover (and song) we had to showcase is "Midnight Moonlight" as it was the first version of this song that RtBE ever heard and to this day JGB is what we think of when we think about this fantastic number. This one is from 11/8/76:

Jerry rolls on forever...

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