Theatre 1839
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Theatre 1839 

Theatre 1839 of  - Jerry Garcia

July 29 & 30, 1977
 
 
 
 
 
 
Order:  JerryGarcia.com
Theatre 1839 of Garcia - Jerry Garcia review

Pure Jerry - The Jerry Garcia vault series - the debut

Theatre 1839 review

Theatre 1839, is the debut of a series of live Jerry Garcia vault releases called Pure Jerry. Theatre 1839 is a compilation of two performances of the Jerry Garcia Band at Theatre 1839 in San Francisco, CA from July 29 & 30, 1977. The complete soundboard recordings are incomplete and what is released comprises the best of the two evenings.

The selection of a 1977 performance is surprising since the last Jerry Garcia Band concert release, Don't Let Go, featured the same personnel. Since this is one of our favorite periods of the Jerry Garcia Band we have no complaints about the era. However, the sound quality  does not hold up great at high volumes, which is disappointing. Between the two releases to date featuring Keith and Donna, Don't Let Go offers better sonic quality, while Theatre 1839 has a better song selection, and both performances are strong.

There are two songs that were not released to this point and they are both highlights. Paul McCartney's "Let Me Roll It," is very well done. Vocally, both Jerry and Donna sing together and the instrumental passage is excellent, where Keith nicely enhances Jerry during his solo, and Jerry returns the favor during Keith's. This was the second of six performances of this song. Meanwhile, the rendition of Bob Marley's "Stir It Up" features Donna on lead vocals,  a danceable beat, and excellent soloing. The way Garcia's guitar runs get behind Donna's singing, and the way Keith follows Jerry is pure beauty. When incorporated successfully, the combination of guitar and piano is a beautiful partnership.

Of the three discs the first is my favorite. I love the cover of Irving Berlin's "Russian Lullaby," and would consider it the best, or at least the prettiest, track on the release with a bass solo tucked between Jerry and Keith's melodic passages; what a beautiful song. The two Motown tracks "That's What Love Will Make You Do," and "The Way You Do The Things You Do" are winners, though not rare. There are no tracks to skip over from disc one, none.

The 27 minute version of "Don't Let Go" is meant to be jamming centerpiece of the release. Sure it has its moments, but the musical statement made does not warrant that much time, after all, it's not "Dark Star." During the main instrumental passage, Jerry's guitar solo after Keith's turn takes an aggressive attack with a energetic conclusion. 

The third disc begins with Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder they Come" yielding a good feeling with an excellent energetic rhythm ending. Next up is an early undeveloped version of "Gomorrah," the only true Jerry Garcia Band song on the disc, which would appear on the Cats Under the Stars album. Some may argue that "They Love Each Other" is a JGB song since it appears on the Reflections album and was played live by the JGB band, though I consider that a Grateful Dead track as it was on the side of Reflections featuring the GD and the track had a longer rotation within their concerts than the JGB. The song that rocks hardest is, no surprise, "Tore Up Over You." Garcia takes his time with his soloing, perhaps too much, trying out different tones, and selecting a frenzied chordal approach to conclude.

Theatre 1839 is a recommended addition to a collection of live Jerry Garcia material, and offers a great selection of diverse material of primarily cover songs. Though, don't let go of his last live release with this personnel because of this release, get them both. Barry Small
Grade  A -

Related Pages
Guitar and Piano

Theatre 1839 of Garcia  track list
Track List

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McCartney Wingspan

CD1

1. Mystery Train (10:19)
2. Russian Lullaby (12:52)
3. That's What Love Will Make You Do (11:33)
4. Stir It Up (12:41)
5. Simple Twist Of Fate (9:29)
6. The Way You Do The Things You Do (9:51)
7. Catfish John (11:58)

CD 2

1. Friend Of The Devil (8:54)
2. Don't Let Go (27:00)
3. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (9:49)
4. They Love Each Other (7:22)
5. I Second That Emotion (10:27)
6. Let Me Roll It (9:15)

CD 3

1. The Harder They Come (12:43)
2. Gomorrah (6:39)
3. Tore Up Over You (9:43)
4. Tangled Up In Blue (10:18)
5. My Sisters And Brothers (7:44)

The set list from the concerts:
7/29/77
Set 1 
Sugaree
They Love Each Other
Russian Lullaby
That's What Love Will Make You Do
Stir It Up
Simple Twist Of Fate
Mystery Train

Set 2
 
The Way You Do The Things You Do
Catfish John
Gomorrah
Tore Up Over You
Friend Of The Devil
Don't Let Go
Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

7/30/77
Set 1
Let It Rock
Stop That Train
Mystery Train
Knockin' On Heaven's Door
They Love Each Other
I Second That Emotion

Set 2 
The Way You Do The Things You Do
Let Me Roll It
Simple Twist Of Fate
Harder They Come
Gomorrah
Tore Up Over You
Tangled Up In Blue

Encore

My Sisters And Brothers

Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks
Legend w/Bonus Tracks
Jimmy Cliff Anthology
 
Theatre 1839 of Garcia - Musicians
Musicians:       

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Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals
Keith Godchaux - Keyboards, vocals
John Kahn - bass
Ron Tutt - drums, vocals
Donna Godchaux - vocals

Theatre 1839 of Garcia  - Notes
Notes:

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Label - JGCD 

Recorded by Betty Cantor Jackson
Source - 7 1/2 IPS Two Track

The "Pure Jerry" series will be selected from the substantial and remarkably diverse library that makes up Jerry's entire independent live archive. Theatre 1839 is the first installment in the series. Sold only direct at the Jerry Garcia website. 

From the Jerry Garcia Band website:
"This three-disc set was recorded July 29 & 30, 1977, at a small San Francisco music hall during a break in the Dead's touring. The lineup of the day included Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux, John Kahn and Ron Tutt. Running almost 2 1/2 hours, "Theatre 1839" features the 18 best performances captured from the two-night run. (Neither show was recorded in its entirety, reasons for which have been lost to time)."

Theatre 1839 of Garcia  - Buy

 

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