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Garcia - Jerry Garcia

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Garcia - Jerry Garcia review  

Garcia review

The self-titled CD Jerry Garcia came out in 1972 and is more of a follow up to the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty album than a Jerry Garcia Band release. Only two of songs were performed by the Jerry Garcia Band on a regular basis, “Deal” and “Sugaree.” Of those two, “Sugaree” was dropped from the concert rotation, and “Deal” was performed by both Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Six of the songs from this CD were regular concert rotations in the Grateful Dead’s repertoire. 

The compositions on Garcia show the direction that the Grateful Dead was moving in, that is, from country style towards a rock tone, and very strong in melody. Many of the songs have pedal steel guitar solos showing his vast music diversity - an offshoot of American Beauty and Garcia’s New Riders of the Purple Sage stint in 1970 – ’71.  Jerry Garcia played all the instruments but drums. While he did a competent job he is no Phil Lesh and his piano parts are able to add melody, but not much more. 

This CD has outstanding song writing with many of the songs becoming fan favorites such as the classic “Bird Song,” the under-played beautiful love song “To Lay Me Down,” the cheerful “The Wheel” to name a few. Jerry Garcia’s first solo disc is a classic. by Barry Small © 
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Garcia Bonus Material

The bonus tracks from Garcia offer a rare glimpse at the creative process of a musical genius constructing songs and is priceless. This album was basically recorded with acoustic guitar and drums with the other sections overdubbed. 

First up, "Sugaree" offers a gorgeous bare acoustic guitar and drums rendition of the classic. There are two versions of "The Wheel" that are completely different The first highlights pedal steel experimentation while the latter offers an instrumental piano based workout. Certainly neither is radio ready, but they are not supposed to be. They sure sound good to me.

The "Late For Supper / Spidergawd / Eep Hour" segment doesn't delve into "To Lay Me Down" like the final version, but it interesting to hear its framework. 

Does anyone else hear inferences of "Bertha" in "Study For The Wheel?"

"Study For “Eep Hour" shows Garcia's mastery of controlling dynamics where he changes moods on a dime. The conclusion sounds a bit like "Death Don't Have No Mercy,"  or if you use your imagination "The Other One" > "Stella Blue." All fun things in the key of E.

Overall, The original Garcia album has always been a classic and to hear glimpses of the creation of it is required listening. 

Garcia box-set: All Good Things: Jerry Garcia Studio Sessions  

Garcia track list
Track List

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 1. Deal (Garcia / Hunter) - 3:11
 2. Bird Song (Garcia / Hunter) - 4:25
 3. Sugaree (Garcia / Hunter) - 5:54
 4. Loser (Garcia / Hunter) - 4:07
 5. Late for Supper (Garcia) - 1:37
 6. Spidergawd (Garcia / Hunter / Kreutzmann) - 3:25
 7. Eep Hour (Garcia / Kreutzmann) - 5:09
 8. To Lay Me Down (Garcia / Hunter) - 6:19
 9. An Odd Little Place (Garcia / Kreutzmann) - 1:38
10. The Wheel (Garcia / Hunter / Kreutzmann) - 4:04

Garcia bonus tracks
Sugaree (Alternate Take)
Loser (Alternate Take)
Late For Supper / Spidergawd / Eep Hour
The Wheel (Alternate Take #1)
The Wheel (Alternate Take #2)
Study For “Eep Hour”
Dealin’ From The Bottom (Studio Jam)
Study For “The Wheel”

Initially, the bonus tracks were only available in The Garcia box set, All Good Things: Jerry Garcia Studio Sessions released in April 2004. In April 2005 they were sold as individual discs. 

Garcia - Musicians

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Jerry Garcia - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass, piano, organ, samples, vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - drums
Robert Hunter - lyrics

Garcia - Notes

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Label - Warner Brothers 
Remastered by Rhino 2004

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