Can't believe I have never posted about the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band (JGAB), a.k.a. the "Black Mountain Boys" (1987 model), a.k.a., in a weird little Bill Graham marketing campaign, "Jerry Garcia: The Band Acoustic". This is the wonderful band consisting of Jerry (ac-g, vocals), John Kahn (ac-bass), David Nelson (ac-g, vocals), Sandy Rothman (dobro, mandolin, vocals), David Kemper (drums), and sometimes Kenny Kosek (fiddle). I won't get into the details of the configuration's origins and playing history here, though it's a neat story from a neat time in Jerry's musical life.
Instead, I just want to say one thing about how the JGAB ended, based on a just-completed read of a great Sandy Rothman interview from ca. 1989 (1).
Sandy says that the JGAB was supposed to do a studio album, but ended up with the live album (Almost Acoustic) instead because the planned studio time never materialized. This was "partly because Jerry was in high gear on a couple of other projects and partly because a certain enthusiasm about playing with these old buddies had cooled off ...” (1, p. 18).
This last phrase really intrigues me. It's never been clear how the JGAB ended, though like so many other Jerry configurations it may just have withered for inattention. There were a few super-fun shows in the summer of 1988 (early and late shows at the tiny Cabaret Cotati on July 7th, and a sweet show at the Frost Ampitheatre on July 9th), and then nothing more. Ever, AFAIK.
The way Sandy phrases this interests me, too. The phrase "a certain enthusiasm" and the use of the passive voice are both constructions that seem intended to obscure whatever agency lay behind the sentiments. We are not told whose enthusiasm this was that had cooled off, less still why..
So my simple question, almost certainly strictly rhetorical, is this: Jerry's, or the GD's?
(1) Juanis, Jimbo. 1989. Old and Even More in the Way: An Exclusive Interview with Sandy Rothman. Relix 16, 2 (April): 15-18.