This coming Friday, June 24th, the next edition of GarciaLive will be released upon the masses for your listening pleasure.
GarciaLive Volume Six is the latest installment of the GarciaLive archival series. This performance was recorded at the 200 capacity Lion’s Share club formerly located in San Anselmo, CA, 20 miles north of San Francisco. The performance features Jerry Garcia performing with friend, mentor, keyboardist/vocalist Merl Saunders. The duo is joined by drummer Bill Vitt and bassist John Kahn.
The recording will be the subject of an hour-long special premiere broadcast on SiriusXM’s Grateful Dead Channel on day of release. However, ShakedownNews got an advance copy and we gave it a listen.
First out of the box is a slow an lilting version of J.J. Cale’s “After Midnight”. Garcia’s sleepy vocals and reserved guitar licks give over to powerful organ work by Sanders. The music goes on and there’s a fair bit of familiar tunes from Garcia and company like “That’s Alright Mama”, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, “Second That Emotion”, “Money Honey”, “The Road” and a show ending “How Sweet It Is”.
It’s the other ones (no pun intended) that make this three disc package a real treat of musical delight. Disc two kicks off with a funky 19 minute long Saunders tune called “The System” and closes with a cover of “My Funny Valentine” (oh, that trumpet jam) and a truly funky and unique, “Finders Keepers.”
The treats keep coming on disc 3 with a fat “Merl’s Tune->Lion’s Share Jam” for nearly 27 minutes of tasty jamminess.
This July 5,1973 show took place during a pivotal time in Garcia’s creative arc. Five days following this show, the same ensemble would perform just miles away in Berkeley and record what would become the acclaimed Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders: Live at Keystone releases. The Grateful Dead were at the top of their game around this time, and about to head East to perform to over a half million fans at Summer Jam in Watkins Glen, NY with The Band and The Allman Brothers, which became the largest single day concert in U.S. history. The Dead were only weeks away from laying down the foundation to record what would become one of their most celebrated albums, Wake Of The Flood. Garcia was also indulging his bluegrass roots in 1973 with the ensemble Old & In The Way, featuring David Grisman and Peter Rowan. To top it all off, the core band on the this recording (Garcia, Saunders & Kahn) would go on to form Legion Of Mary in 1974 with Elvis Presley’s drummer Ron Tutt and sax player Martin Fierro. It was clearly the most creative and inspired period Garcia had experienced to that point. In retrospect, it’s pretty evident that these interpretations illustrate that Garcia was at the precipice of a journey that would define all that he touched moving forward.
1. AFTER MIDNIGHT [10:35] (John W. Cale)
2. SOMEDAY BABY [9:14] (Sam Hopkins)
3. SHE’S GOT CHARISMA -> [18:40] (Merl Saunders)
4. THAT’S ALRIGHT, MAMA [13:16] (Arthur Crudup)
1. THE SYSTEM [18:45] (Merl Saunders/Pamela Dianne Carrier)
2. THE NIGHT THEY DROVE OLD DIXIE DOWN [6:00] (Robbie Robertson)
3. I SECOND THAT EMOTION [13:29] (Alfred Cleveland/William Robinson)
4. MY FUNNY VALENTINE [19:16] (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart)
5. FINDERS KEEPERS [9:29] (General Norman Johnson/Jeffrey Bowen)
1. MONEY HONEY [8:37] (Jesse Stone)
2. LIKE A ROAD [9:21] (Don Nix/Dan Penn)
3. MERL’S TUNE -> [16:44] (Merl Saunders/John White)
4. LION’S SHARE JAM [9:52] (Jerry Garcia/John Kahn/Merl Saunders/Bill Vitt)
5. HOW SWEET IT IS (TO BE LOVED BY YOU) [6:04] (Lamont Dozier/Brian Holland/Eddie Holland)