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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Garcia's Penultimate Sonoma County Gig, and a Great 'Don't Let Go'

LN jg1988-02-05.jgb.all.aud-CC.xxxxx.flac2448

My favorite year of the canonical Jerry Garcia Band, i.e., what I mean when I say The Jerry Garcia Band, i.e., Garcia-Kahn-Seals-Kemper-Jones-LaBranch.

Jerry's penultimate show in Sonoma County.

Top-three version of "Don't Let Go", along with the next night (2/6/88) and 5/19/89 in Irvine. some of my favorite Garcia music of all time.

Anyone know who has the master tape, or who taped it?

Jerry Garcia Band
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
1351 Maple Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

February 5, 1988 (Friday)
123 min Closet Call aud (complete) (flac2448)

--set I (9 tracks, 57:07)--
s1t01. Crowd & Tuning [0:30]
s1t02. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [6:43] [0:04]
s1t03. They Love Each Other [7:55] [0:20]
s1t04. Forever Young [8:13] [0:22]
s1t05. Get Out Of My Life Woman [8:00] [0:23]
s1t06. /Like A Road [7:20]
s1t07. Evangeline [3:32] [0:01]
s1t08. //My Sisters And Brothers [5:12] ->
s1t09. Deal [8:22] [0:07]

--set II (8 tracks, 66:26)--
s2t01. //Harder They Come [8:48] [0:15]
s2t02. Stop That Train [7:07]
s2t03. //Don't Let Go [12:22]
s2t04. //Think [6:12]
s2t05. //Mississippi Moon [8:37]
s2t06. //Run For The Roses [4:52]
s2t07. //That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day) [8:32]
s2t08. //Tangled Up In Blue [9:36] [0:02]

! Band: Jerry Garcia Band
! Lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! Lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! Lineup: Melvin Seals - keyboards;
! Lineup: David Kemper - drums;
! Lineup: Gloria Jones - vocals;
! Lineup: Jacklyn LaBranch - vocals.

! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = recorded event time. The recorded event time immediately after the song or item name is an attempt at getting the "real" time of the event. So, a timing of [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! TJS:

! db: none as of 9/6/2009.

! map:,+Santa+Rosa,+CA&ie=UTF8&om=1&ll=38.435203,-122.699862&spn=0.014052,0.029182&t=h&z=15&iwloc=addr

! venue: Its official site gives venue as Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Hall.  Handbill from TJS bills gives "Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Auditorium". The Auditorium is a room in the Hall, holds 1200 for assembly and 1000 seated. Since the TJS ticket shows General Admission, I'll use the "assembly" number to estimate capacity in 1988 at 1,200, and I'll use "Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Auditorium" as my canonical venue name. The GD had played here in the 1960s (6/17-18/66, 6/27-28/69). This would be the fifth and last time Garcia would play the hall.

! band: Handbill from TJS bills "Jerry Garcia Band Electric".

! R: specs: xx gen audience cassette (Maxell XLII90 no Dolby) > Nakamichi BX-300 playback (no Dolby) > Pyle Pro cables >WaveTerminal 2496 > Samplitude 10.1 Download Version (record @ 24 bits/48kHz) > CDWave 1.9.8 (tracking) > Wavelab 5.0.1a (cross-fades, etc.) > shntool (stripped non-canonical headers) > Traders Little Helper 2.4.1 (FLAC encoding, level 8) > Foobar (tagging), September 6, 2009, by JGMF.

! R: This recording is not going to win any field recording prizes, but it's totally decent and unterrible. The only real problem is that every song in set II clips or cuts in. But who am I to criticize? The overall SQ of set II is inferior to set I. Things are probably running fast, perhaps considerably so. Mississippi Moon would be one to check.

! historical: I consider 1988 to be the very best year of the canonical Jerry Garcia Band of Garcia-Kahn-Seals-Kemper-Jones-La-Branch. The next night (2/6/88) is one of my all-time favorite Jerry Band shows, and this one, while perhaps not quite its equal, had provided a really high-level warmup. I also have big love for the July '88 shows, and this period really holds up well to repeated auditions. While the Halloween (10/31/88) and Tahoe shows (11/4-5/88) disappoint me, the Wiltern (11/25-27/88) and Orpheum shows (12/2-3/88) are top-shelf, as is everything through May of 1989.

! historical: The geography of this show is fascinating. In earlier times, even into the early 1980s, Jerry would start off a new year, as he'd start off a new band, a little bit off the beaten path. In the 70s, this would have meant playing the Inn of the Beginning in Cotati or the River Theater in Gurneville (both Sonoma County), the Lion's Share in San Anselmo (Marin), etc. From the early 80s it seems like he mostly warmed up in Santa Cruz (The Catalyst) or Keystone Palo Alto in the South Bay. Garcia's previous Sonoma gig had been 1/21/83 at the Phoenix Theatre in Petaluma. This would be his penultimate appearance in Sonoma County, in which he spent a lot of his childhood, before the 7/7/88 JGAB gigs at the Cabaret in Cotati.

! P: I haven't spent enough time with the rest of the show to have a strong opinion, but my sense is that it is an appropriate start to  The real stuff is deep without dragging (see s1t06 Like A Road, s2t05 Miss Moon, s2t07 Lucky Old Sun). The latter, especially, is a song that I don't usually dig, but it's just really nice here, as are the others. I always love Like A Road, always, in every period. Period. The peppy/bouncy stuff is peppy and bouncy (s1t02 How Sweet, s1t03 TLEO, s1t08 My Sisters And Brothers, s2t02 Stop That Train, s2t06 Run For The Roses). The songs that are supposed to rock rock. Good stuff all around, but you'll remember it for the "Don't Let Go" -- see below.

! R: s1t06 Like a Road clips in

! R: s1t08 Sisters and Brothers cuts in

! R: s2t01-02 mic adjustments at end of HTC and start of STT

! P: s2t04 Think is also outstanding. Jerry's first solo is blistering hot. He was higher and feedbackier in the first go-round, then as he turns the second minute he drops down lower. Later in 2-min mark he's right in the middle range, drops some fanning @ 2:54, twist in some edge and feedback, drop to Melvin @ 3:20 or so. Late 4, he's fanning again, shredding pretty well. This is not early 1981 shredding, or mid-1983, but it's good. Enthusiastic on the vocals, rocking and swaying in whatever nondescript comfyshoes he's wearing.

! P: s2t05 Miss Moon Jerry starts with a little vocal flub, and I think he is too high up in the vocal register, though he seems to pulling it off.

! P: s2t03 Don't Let Go: I have been waiting years for this show, ever since the next night knocked my socks off. I was especially waiting for the Don't Let Go, which represents the return of the song after a 3.5 year absence (12/7/84). And it doesn't disappoint me. Listen to Jerry belt in the four-minute mark and tell me he isn't psyched. Like the next night and the other '88 versions, this one is very upbeat, but doesn't feel truncated. Jerry is already screaming and growling his singing in the 3:30ff mark and tearing ragged edges with his guitar, then drops down into some plucky lower-register stuff. Up high. Jerry explores lots of cool spaces with it. At the same time, it's punchy enough not to wander. From 10:30 ish Garcia is playing some super fast chords that remind me of the summer 1974 GD jams into U.S. Blues. The return to the song around the 11-min mark is super fast-paced, almost double-time ... yeah!! It may even be just a little too fast, but I gotta say everyone is locked in. It's structured just about perfectly, IMO. FANTASTIC @@ This is in my top three versions of "Don't Let Go", along with the next night (2/6/88) and the 5/19/89 monster.

! P: I haven't spent enough time with the rest of the show to have a strong opinion, but my sense is that it doesn't quite equal the next night in overall strength. Still, sixteen songs is a solid indicator that Our Man felt like playing on this night.

! R: s2t07-08 L channel very out from 2:09-3:24 of LOS, out again LOS 5:28- then low until 1:35 of TUIB.

! R: s2t08 TUIB some discontinuities (skips) at start, sound analog.

! Disclaimer: This is part of a "Closet Call" project aimed at getting missing Garcia dates into the digital realm. These are "warts and all" ... straight transfers of the source cassettes with editing only of the most offensive tape transitions and such. If you don't like hiss, possible speed problems, etc., etc., then move along. And, to anticipate a FAQ: no, I don't plan on doing 16/44s of these.Thanks to wk for supplying these tapes!

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