Before The Dead – Jerry Garcia

Before The Dead brings together a rare collection of the earliest known performances by Jerry Garcia. From an informal and intimate 1961 performance of simple folk songs at a birthday party with future songwriting partner Robert Hunter to more polished coffeehouse gigs with old-timey and bluegrass bands through 1964, this collection showcases Garcia’s deep study of the folk music tradition and it’s influence on his musical journey leading to the formation of the Grateful Dead.

 

Before The Dead is produced and curated by longtime Grateful Dead publicist and author Dennis McNally and documentarian Brian Miksis who also contributed extensive liner notes to the collection bringing historical context for each performance and the carefully researched lineage of each recording. The liner notes, along with the track by track essays and listening notes by musicologist & bluegrass historian Neil V. Rosenberg, essays from Sara Ruppenthal Katz (Garcia’s first wife) and Stu Goldstein (former owner of The Tangent) and rare photos and memorabilia comprise the 32-page book included with the collection.

Before The Dead will be released in two physical configurations – a limited edition 5-LP boxed set and a 4-CD edition. The 5-LP boxed set is pressed to 180-gram vinyl in a limited edition of 2,500 by Quality Record Pressings from lacquers cut by Ron McMaster at Capitol Records. The recordings contained within Before The Dead were restored and mastered by Fred Kevorkian. Both configurations are now available for pre-order at GarciaFamilyProvisions.com in advance of their May 11th release date.

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Dear Jerry Let’s Play 2

Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 two epic concert events honoring the diverse musical talents of Jerry Garcia. Set to take place Friday, October 14, 2016 and Saturday, October 15, 2016 in the MD/DC/VA metropolitan area, the milestone events pay tribute to the iconic musician with two-nights of unprecedented performances by an extraordinary lineup of musicians. Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 follows Blackbird Presents’ and the Jerry Garcia family’s acclaimed 2015 concert, Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia, set for release on Friday, October 14, 2016 and currently available for pre-order.

Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 – kicks off October 14th at Washington D.C.’s DAR Constitution Hall with “Jerry Uncovered: Exploring Jerry Garcia through the JGB Songbook,”. Featuring performances by Warren Haynes (on lead guitar and vocals), Alison Krauss, John Medeski, Don Was, Jamey Johnson, Raymond Weber and more.

The following night, at Fairfax, Virginia’s EagleBank Arena, Haynes, the Avett Brothers and other special guests will lead “This Is 30!,” a performance that recreates a classic Jerry Garcia Band show from October 1986, a gig that marked the Grateful Dead singer’s return to the stage.

Pre-sale tickets go on sale, today, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 12PM via ticketmaster.com. Use code: JERRY to purchase pre-sale tickets.

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Dear Jerry, “Touch of Grey” and more!

Pre-order “Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia” today!

Dear Jerry: Celebrating The Music Of Jerry Garcia was recorded live at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia Maryland on Thursday, May 14, 2015. This historic one-night concert event honored the music of Jerry Garcia, one of the most influential musicians and cultural icons of our time.

The two and half hour concert film and available audio recordings feature over 20 once-in-a-lifetime performances from this momentous event by Phil Lesh & Communion, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann’s Billy & the Kids, Mickey Hart, Eric Church, Jimmy Cliff, The Disco Biscuits, Peter Frampton, David Grisman, Jorma Kaukonen, Los Lobos, Buddy Miller, Moe., O.A.R., Grace Potter, Allen Toussaint, Trampled By Turtles, Widespread Panic, and Yonder Mountain String Band.

Captured and presented in stunning HD with true Dolby 5.1 surround stereo, the full length concert film and available audio records include some of Garcia classics, like ‘Touch of Grey’, ‘Friend of The Devil’, ‘The Wheel’ and more.

Jerry Garcia Band – GarciaLive Volume Four

GarciaLive Volume Four: March 22nd, 1978 Veteran’s Hall highlights an oft-requested Jerry Garcia Band line-up featuring Jerry, John Kahn, Buzz Buchanan, Maria Muldaur and Keith & Donna Godchaux. Falling just days after the conclusion of the Garcia band’s tour and days before the release of Cats Under The Stars, this intimate performance in Sebastopol, CA showcases a particularly relaxed, vibrant and soulful Garcia Band evident on moving versions of “Mission in the Rain,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and the gospel standard “I’ll Be With Thee.” Rocking takes on “Mystery Train,” “I Second That Emotion” and “Midnight Moonlight” bring the surging tempos that offer beautiful balance to the performance and showcase the band’s tremendous musical range. The performance also marks the first guest appearance from future Jerry Garcia Band keyboardist Ozzie Ahlers.

Jerry Garcia’s Rosebud Guitar

I was pushing the grocery cart down the magazine aisle at Stop & Shop when a music magazine cover rang out to me.

Photograph by Rayon Richards

I didn’t hesitate to reach for the magazine when I saw the cover of Guitar AficionadoThe Deadhead in me gingerly placed the magazine in my shopping cart. I said to myself as I headed to the checkout, “I have my idea for a music blog post this weekend.” 🙂

Jerry Garcia‘s Rosebud guitar is pictured inside the magazine. An American beauty of a guitar that Don Irwin, guitar luthier custom-built for him. Jerry Garcia considered Rosebud Don Irwin’s masterpiece. One look will tell you why.

(The photos below and above are from Guitar Aficionado, Copyright 2014. If you love guitars I urge you to pick up a copy of the May/June 2014 issue or any of their other fantastic back issues here. They do guitars total justice)

EPSON MFP image
Photograph by Jay Blakesberg
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Manassas – Stephen Stills and Friends

 

Rolling Stone Magazine posed the weekend question yesterday, What is your favorite double album? My answer was The Beatles (album), a.k.a. The White Album. 

 

I have added thoughts about other favorite double albums in my collection. The album Manassas from Stephen Still‘s band in the early 70s plays strongly in the music of our heart.

 

 

I’ve always found Manassas to be a pleasurable, well-flowing recording. What I love the most about Manassas is how the music gels as the four sides play out. The assembled musicians follow each other in a natural groove that builds into polyrhythms that envelop the listener.

 

Manassas has been relegated over time to the status of an overlooked and forgotten album in the annals of rock. The band was an intuitive, collaborative nucleus who knitted together cohesive sound. Along with the band members listed on the début album cover above, added people included Byron Berline (fiddle), Bill Wyman (bass) and Jerry Garcia (pedal steel guitar). Bill Wyman was reported as saying that he would have left the Stones to join Manassas.

 

I found an interesting video segment of Manassas on YouTube. Like many of the 70’s videos I have watched it was filmed and broadcast on Beat-Club for German television. It has held up well over time capturing the band live before Manassas was released in April 1972. I like witnessing Chris Hillman playing guitar and sharing vocals with Stephen Stills. There is a magic between that works effectively. My favorite song by Manassas is, “It Doesn’t Matter” which appears on the video.

 

 

 

 

 

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