Pure Jerry - The
Jerry Garcia vault series
Garcia Band: (2 CDs)
Warner Theatre ~ Washington, DC
This line-up of the Jerry
Garcia band is similar but not identical the one from releases such
as Don't Let Go, and Theatre
1839. The differences are that Buzz Buchanan replaced Ron
Tutt on drums (a minus), and a second back-up vocalist, Maria
Muldaur was added (a plus). This personnel was together from Aug.
1977 through November 1978.
There were two shows played
that evening. Upon listening to the them, the obvious conclusion is
that the lucky folks attended the late show.
The early show is fairly
short. Jerry opens with an apology so time must have been short. But
more, the performance is average. Jerry seems to hold back his
explosiveness. Also, the set list is just ok as I do not care much
for reggae rendition of "Heaven's Door." The strongest
song is one of two Motown tracks, "That's What Love Will Make
You Do," and they stretch out "Love in the Afternoon"
in an interesting manner.
The late show is sort of
like two chapters. The first is a typical Jerry band set with an
abundance of musical genres. Some of the highlights include the
opening track, "They Harder They Come" that features Jerry
and Keith locking into a good jam. During "Midnight
Moonlight" Jerry takes his good old time and features several
moments of guitar bliss. During the Dylan
cover "Simple Twist of Fate" Keith adds some nice complementary
runs to interact with Jerry's vocals. The version of "Mission
in the Rain" is perfect.
The second chapter
emphasizes material from the Cats
Down Under The Stars album. It begins with the bible based
"Gomorrah." Much of that album is vocal oriented and some songs
are light on the guitar. This material is perfectly suited
for this two back-up singer line-up. As a result, some of this
material never sounded better live. For example, a track like
"I'll Be With Thee" sounds fantastic vocally. The vocal
brilliance carries over to the next song "Lonesome And A Long
Way From Home." Packed within the track is a Grateful Dead like
jam that ventures into several different modes, but generally
emphasizes a spacey theme, yielding a solid piece of music. The jam
is mostly dominated by Jerry and John Kahn.
There is quite a bit of
excellent music packed onto these two discs. Superb sound
Barry Small ©
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