greeting

Please make yourself at home! Check some tags, do some reading, leave a comment.

Monday, July 30, 2012

100k

Passed 100k pageviews. Of course, I probably account for 99,000 of those. But thanks to all of you who visit and read and comment.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

JGMS February 7-8, 1975: canceled?


The Jerry Site lists JGMS shows for Friday, February 7, 1975 and Saturday, February 8, 1975, based on listing in Hayward Daily Review, 1/31/75, p. 44.

The above are clippings of the Keystone's weekly ads, I don't know from which paper. The ad beginning with 1/25 indeed shows the JGMS shows, but the next one, starting 2/1/75, has California replacing JGMS on Friday and, tentatively, Butch Whacks doing so on Saturday.

Because we have such great data from so many sources, I haven't started going through and cross-checking various dates against these kinds of sources. It would be time-consuming. But here's an instance in which this little weekly listings, being sequential, reflects the kinds of fine-grained changes that we might find in them. Here's one case, anyway.

I suggest that Listings for this date --i.e., The List, i.e., now, The Jerry Site -- reflect a cancellation for JGMS. Thoughts?

Also, I believe that the Kingfish listings for 2/14-15/75 are new and should be added to the Kingfish lists.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Oakland Times

In at least June and July 1973 a paper called Oakland Times ran some Keystone articles, some Jerry data that are interesting. I have copies of some clippings, but there is no little publication information. 


Nothing turns up in any of the following
Kirsten Baldock of the Magazines and Newspapers Department at OPL gave me one other clue: "I suspect ... that you are looking for the Oakland Times that was published by W.T. Masterson starting around 1965."

Does anyone know anything about this publication? I'd love to paw through it a little.

 




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Rare Sight






A Jerryless month in Berkeley: April 1975. I'd bet it was a bad month financially for the Keystone.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

LN jg1976-03-12.jgb.late.aud-unk.xxxxx.flac1644


My love of audience tapes is evident to anyone who reads here. The anthropological instinct (and practice) underpinning field recording enthralls me. To me, everybody who ever taped a gig is right there with Alan Lomax and all the rest. Now, sometimes you have to be willing to sacrifice your aesthetics a little bit. Some of these tapes were bad from the start and haven’t gotten any better with age. But They Are What They Are. And if there’s any possibility at all of gleaning something relevant to Jerry Garcia’s Middle Finger, then I can only but sacrifice my ears in the line of duty.

I recently waded into a pretty good tape, Eric Coplen’s partial 3/12/76 early (7:30 pm) show and the first song of the late show, from an era that is extremely uneven in terms of the availability and quality of recordings. I did so for all kinds of reasons, but I guess my main motivation is to make sure that I don’t let selection bias around recordings generate biased analyses on other dimensions. We all have a tendency to gravitate toward the stuff that sounds good (or that we suspect will be musically interesting, well played, etc.). But insofar as the distribution of sound quality is not random with respect to other things that we care about (e.g., performance quality), then we are on inferentially problematic terrain. In plain English, sort of, we can’t safely generalize from the sample of tapes we have to the population of all tapes. This is also an era that I have historically found dull and uninspiring, and with which I have spent correspondingly little time. I am endeavoring to dig into this period a little bit more than I have up to this point. 3/12/76 early was part of that. I found it to be quite a nice performance.

Here I report on the late (11 pm) Jerry Garcia Band (JGB) show from the same date-location, March 12, 1976 at Cahn Auditorium, Northwestern University, 600 Emerson Street, Evanston, IL 60201.

First, the tape. It’s an unattributed audience tape, transferred sometime in the 2000s from cassettes, perhaps tapes supplied by Walter Keenan and transferred by David Minches. It’s not that bad, but it’s not that great. What I really like is how this tape captures some of the enthusiasm and intelligence of college kids. They are very, very excited at the start, and as the song winds down at least one young man appears to lose control [NSFW] of himself. The taper legitimately calls “Train, Train” as “Mystery Train” begins, and the whoop of recognition is audible, the whoosh palpable. Great energy in this crowd, the occasional flicks of Bics and ensuing mirth. Good times.

Second, the performance. I love it, with one real exception, and that is “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”. Let me get the griping out of the way first. Now, I will generally agree with the assertion that you can’t judge a book by its cover. There a couple of exceptions, however, and the rule any version of ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ exceeding 17 minutes in length is too long is among them. A great many, if not all, of the versions JGB played in 1976 fall afoul of this rule (see the official release Don’t Let Go [Grateful Dead Records, January 2001], recorded 5/21/76 at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, containing another classic example of the genre). In arguing that these numbers are just too darn slow, I have often encountered the retort that perhaps I lack the sophistication necessary to appreciating such masterpieces, perhaps I am just too impatient to let the impact make itself felt. Maybe. Or maybe they’re just too slow.

OK, I have made my point. As for the good stuff, I have to say that I am updating my priors on this period northward as I listen to the shows: it’s a really good show. Here’s some blow by blow.

“Harder They Come” finds Garcia bucking and snorting out of the gate, the crowd athunder, and the recordists’ deck getting kicked around in the initial mayhem. Coplen’s tape could replace the start if one had the time and inclination to do so. More notations: HTC is nice, comes out with the bounce it needed to be really successful in the Garcia Band. There are some very, very slow versions in 1976 that deprive the song of the lilt it needs. Keith nice solo in the 6-minute mark. Jerry steps forward in the 7-min mark for a solo, patient but inventive. He's so relaxed, just letting it flow, nicely lubed. Keith stepping up to weave around and through Jerry, so they are both upfront as we round the 8-minute mark. Tutt is hammering, like they are those big old marching band drums played with toms. Banging. Jerry takes another run around and puts some grit in it this time. A young man in the crowd loses his head as the song winds down, taper asks him to hush. It was ever thus!

“Tore Up Over You” is one that I too frequently overlook. This one’s an object lesson in why not to do that. Garcia pulls off a seriously loud and metallic solo in the 6-minute mark that has young man again exclaiming. Late 6 and into the 7-minute mark, Jerome John Garcia is pulling some ass-slapping power chords. This is where 1976 is good. Jerry was just starting to fatten up the power chords that would become a staple of his ’76-’78 period playing in the Grateful Dead. Here, there are still some filings in there, little bits of tin foil, metallic jolts. It’s a nice blend.

"A Strange Man" beautifully features Donna Jean Godchaux of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. This is sultry southern singing, with perfect main accompaniment from her husband on piano (probably a Steinway), everyone else back behind, Donna all swaying smoke and flowing shadow. She testifies beautifully and tastefully, in charge until 3:45 when Jerry, having hung back respectfully until this point, steps up and rhapsodizes to Donna, guitar-for-her-voice, for a minute or so. Lovely.

Song note: "A Strange Man" (t05): Allan lists it as "Strange Man", but that might perhaps his alphabetization/filing scheme drops indefinite articles, as others (my own included) do definite articles. Deaddisc uses the indefinite article in the title, which I follow. I dunno from alphabetization, but I guess I'll list it under 'S'. What Would a Librarian Do? Anyway, this appeared on Dorothy Love Coates and the Gospel Harmonettes' self-titled 1967 LP on Okeh Records. Note that the record also contains "I'll Be With Thee". Donna said that they just sat around in those days, listening to gospel records. Seems pretty clear that Dorothy Love Coates was among their inspirations.

“Mystery Train” operates on a more terrestrial plane. Jerry rolls it around in his hands for a few extra measures at the start, making sure everything is holding water. When he comes in with his "Train, train" opening, there's a hoot of excitement from the crowd, but it's controlled, tapering quickly, like they were hit by it, it drove the excitement out, but they lassoed it back quickly, still wanted to listen carefully. Fun to put yourself at Northwestern University on this Friday night and feel the excitement that Garcia doing "Mystery Train", with Elvis’s own drummer providing the locomotion, could bring to a crowd. This version just, well, chugs right along, as any self-respecting version of any train song should. Jerry is running it all around, and in the 7-minute mark Tutt starts revving the engine a little bit, a few extra splashes and things are rolling nicely downhill. Clean as a whistle, and as they are winding down Garcia must be windmilling, because he is power-chording very unusually, and the taper, who seems knowledgeable, chuckles and gives him a "yeah". Maybe, Forrest Gump style, he got the idea in this moment for the Garcia-qua-Jordan Nike ad stickers that used to sell wherever Deadheads gathered, and which made him a rich man. Just maybe. “It happens.”

“Friend Of The Devil”: Thankfully, the opiates hadn't yet bitten too hard into the pacing of FOTD. It's still sprightly at this stage. It would become a much slower plod not long after and would never re-acquire the lightness that allowed the music to counterpoint the lyrics to such good effect in early appearances with the Grateful Dead, for example. But this one also has more punch than the super-light acoustic versions from 1970, more heft. So, for my money, this is a very good version of the song.

Listening Notes:

Jerry Garcia Band
March 12, 1976 (Friday), Late Show, 11 pm
unattributed 80 minute audience recording

--(8 tracks, 79:39)--
01. /The Harder They Come [14:28] [0:33]
02. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry [8:38] [0:03] % [0:19]
03. They Love Each Other [6:43] [0:07] % (1) [0:20]
04. Tore Up Over // You [8:8:36] [0:04] %
05. //A Strange Man/ [#5:45#]
06. Mystery Train [9:17] % [0:13]
07. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [17:52] %
08. //Friend Of The Devil [#6:42] %

! Band: Jerry Garcia Band:
! Lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! Lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! Lineup: Keith Godchaux - piano, vocals;
! Lineup: Ron Tutt - drums, vocals;
! Lineup: Donna Jean Godchaux, vocals.

JGMF:
! 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.
! db: none in circulation for late show except first song (“Harder They Come”) from Eric Coplen’s tape, shnid 20700.
! venue: JBP: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/03/cahn-auditorium-600-emerson-street.html. See also http://www.pickstaiger.org/venues/cahn-auditorium. The data I have seen suggest that the venue capacity at the time of the show was approximately 1,100.
! R: tape has a lot more audience noise than the Coplen tape of the early show (and the first tune of this late show). Some taper talk here, things sound exciting. This tape is not terrible. It is a little oversaturated, but I have heard worse. All of the instruments are there. It may be running slow, but with this band it's a little hard to tell. While Donna's voice sounds a little draggy, I think she's just being laconic. Garcia's voice and the guitars sound about right to me, but then again I can't hear.
! context: Nice to hear how excited the kids are as the show starts.
! R: t01 HTC clips in. Not much missing, but could be patched from the Coplen recording of this song. Would also be able to cover some major rumbling and clipping at the start, as I believe (based on taper talk) that the deck got kicked in all the excitement.
! P t01 HTC is nice, comes out with the bounce it needed to be really successful in the Garcia Band. There are some very, very slow versions in 1976 that deprive the song of the lilt it needs. Keith nice solo in the 6-minute mark. Jerry comes around in the 7-min mark for a solo, patient but inventive. He's so relaxed, just letting it flow, nicely lubed. Keith stepping up to weave around and through Jerry, so they are both upfront as we round the 8-minute mark. Tutt is hammering, like they are those big old marching band drums played with toms. Banging. Jerry takes another run around and puts some grit in it this time. A young man in the crowd loses his head, taper asks him to hush.
! t03 (1) flicking of Bics and ensuing mirth.
! P: t04 TUOY Garcia pulls off a seriously loud and metallic solo in the 6-minute mark that has young man again exclaiming. Late 6 and into the 7-minute mark, Jerome John Garcia is pulling some ass-slapping power chords.
! R: t04 TUOY splice @ 7:46, then a few little repeated blips toward the end of the track.
! song: "A Strange Man" (t05): Allan lists it as "Strange Man" http://www.whitegum.com/~acsa/songfile/STRANGEM.HTM, but that might perhaps his alphabetization/filing scheme drops indefinite articles, as others (my own included) do definite articles. Deaddisc uses the indefinite article in the title, http://www.deaddisc.com/songs/Strange_Man.htm, which I follow. I dunno from alphabetization, but I guess I'll list it under 'S'. How's that for splitting the baby? Anyway, this appeared on Dorothy Love Coates and the Gospel Harmonettes' self-titled 1967 LP on Okeh Records. Note that the record also contains "I'll Be With Thee". Donna said that they just sat around in those days, listening to gospel records. Seems pretty clear that Dorothy Love Coates was among their inspirations.
! R: t05 Strange Man cuts in and clips out
! P: t05 A Strange Man. This is sultry southern singing, the piano the perfect lead accompaniment, everything else back behind, spotlight on Donna. She belts very beautifully and tastefully here. Very, very nice! Donna is in charge all the way until 3:45, Jerry, appropriately, having stayed way back. Here he steps up and rhapsodizes back to Donna, guitar-style, for a minute or so. Donna sings this song absolutely beautifully. I wish I had seen her sing this.
! P t06 Mystery Train is really nice. First, the taper recognizes it, and calls "Train, Train", which is a totally legitimate way to refer to this song, in my book. Then Jerry rolls it around in his hands for an extra couple of measures, making sure everything is holding water. When he comes in with his "Train, train" opening, there's a hoot of excitement from the crowd, but almost controlled, like they were hit by it but still wanted to listen carefully. Fun to put yourself at Northwestern University on this Friday night and feel the excitement that Garcia doing "Mystery Train" could bring to a crowd. This version just, well, chugs right along, as any self-respecting version of any train song should. Jerry is running it all around, and in the 7-minute mark Tutt starts revving the engine a little bit, a few extra splashes and things are rolling nicely downhill. Clean as a whistle, and as they are winding down Garcia must be windmilling, because he is power-chording very unusually, and the taper, who seems knowledgeable, chuckles and gives him a "yeah". Maybe, Forrest Gump style, he got the idea here and now for the Garcia-qua-Jordan Nike ad stickers that used to sell wherever Deadheads gathered, and which made him a rich man. Shit happens, right?
! P: t07 Knocking On Heaven's Door, this is an example of 1976 JGB drawing things out too deeply for me. Feels like slogging through mud to me. Such a dirge. Everyone is sleeping through it. At one point (@ 2:49) Garcia drops an alive-with-possibilities ascending eight-note run, you hear the crowd shift and a few little yips of anticipation, and then everyone falls back to sleep. Too much.
! R: t08 FOTD cuts in, not much missing.
! P: t08 FOTD: Thankfully, the opiates hadn't bitten too hard into the pacing of FOTD yet. It's still sprightly at this stage. It would become a deadly dirge not long after and would never require any of the lightness that allowed the music to counterpoint the lyrics to such good effect in early appearances with the Grateful Dead, for example. But this one also has more punch than the super-light acoustic versions from 1970, more heft. So, for my money, this is a very good version of FOTD.

JGB: June 23, 1977: Benefit Concert for the Survival of the Forest Community of Camp Meeker

On Thursday, June 23, 1977, Jerry Garcia Band (JGB) played an out-of-pattern show at Santa Rosa High School. High school gigs were pretty unusual for Garcia at any point (beyond early Grateful Dead), but by the late 1970s it almost always meant that there was some personal connection, somehow, to Garcia. For example, Garcia-Kahn (JGJK) played gigs at South Eugene High School on June 5-6, 1982 that had a Kesey family connection (see the June 5, 1982 Oregon State Pen post), as, I suspect, did the Churchill High School (Eugene, OR) OAITW gig dated May 8, 1973.

The whole event has a great Sonoma County vibe to it. A pretty poster reveals a billing as “Maria Muldaur and Special Guest” in a "Benefit Concert for the Survival of the Forest Community of Camp Meeker”:

The invaluable Paul Liberatore published a piece on Maria a week before the show, finding her leaning in, preparing for a tour, raising two kids in Mill Valley, and taking time to help a friend and a cause.
A very old friend of mine, Louise Patterson, lives in Camp Meeker, a little redwood community of about 1,500 people near Occidental. It's a beautiful, inspirational pocket in the woods. I've gone there now and then to lay out for a day or two. One day she called me in tears, sobbing about these two brothers who want to log it, cut down the redwoods.
About ten miles west of Guerneville, this is a breathtaking –no, breathgiving—little patch of earth that Garcia, who went to high school not too far away in Cazadero, would have known well. 

The show was announced again in the I-J on June 17th: "Maria Muldaur, accompanied by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, will sing at 7.30 p m. Thursday in the auditorium of Santa Rosa High School. The show is a benefit for the Camp Meeker Improvement Club, a group opposed to logging redwoods in the Southern Sonoma community of Camp Meeker." With brisk ticket sales, a second (11 PM) show was added a few days later. I take note, because it's what I do, of the phrase "Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead": it's strongly out-of-pattern. For his own paying gigs, the contracts always, from the beginning he started touring under his own shingle in 1974, forbade any mention of the Dead or his affiliation with the band in event publicity. That he'd allow that rule to be bent almost certainly reflects some combination of it being John's old lady Maria who recruited him (most likely most important) and it being a cause he really believed in.

I think the nature of the event also drives the primary historical interest here, which is that Ronnie Tutt experienced a direct conflict between his Elvis Presley employment and his Garcia involvement. Mr. Tutt had donned his “Blue Light” band suit and was drumming in Des Moines behind Elvis this night -- the last time he'd ever do so. I suspect that this benefit came up after he had committed to the Elvis tour. Greg Errico appears to have gotten the call to sub for him with JGB. As a side note, after Des Moines Tutt would miss the last three shows of the Elvis tour for the birth of twins. Probably within two months, he’d stop playing live with Jerry (until a brief reunion for the late 1981 JGB tour, October 31-November 19). We don’t know much about Tutt’s departure from JGB other than that it happened, and right around the time that Elvis died (on August 16, 1977).

I go into all of that because, at one point, I was thinking that Tutt’s absence foreshadowed his departure from the JGB, as if there was some friction or things just weren’t clicking. But I no longer believe that. It’s more mundane, I think: Tutt just had a scheduling conflict.

One other personnel note. I assume and think I hear this as Donna Jean Godchaux. But it could be Maria. The truth is, there’s probably more variability around all of this than we have ever appreciated.

I post some listening notes below. Just to put a bow around my overall impression, I should say that, to me, this version of the JGB (Garcia-Kahn-K. Godchaux-Tutt, plus Donna Jean and/or Maria Muldaur singing) got pretty steadily better from its start in 1976 through its end in ca. late summer 1977. It’s not monotonic, of course – 4/3/76b may be the best show of the period—but it’s an overall trend. Contrary to many listeners, I find the 1976 flavor of the band to be way too cough syrupy. There are lots of reasons to “Just Say No” to heroin, and not the least of them (though certainly not the greatest) is that music seems to record at 45 RPM and playback at 33 1/3. Things … just … get … really … slowwwwwww. 1977 shows still sometimes drag, but I find more sway and bounce that gets my toe tapping.

The real highlight here is the 26-minute “Don’t Let Go” [Allan | Scofield | TJS]. I like it very much. I’ll write up some song notes about it at some point.

Listening notes follow.

Jerry Garcia Band
Santa Rosa High School
1235 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

June 23, 1977 (Thursday)
74 minute Charlie Connor [Bob Menke gear] audience recording, set II only

--Set II (5 tracks, 73:53)--
s2t01. They Love Each Other [7:25] [0:10] %
s2t02. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [14:55] [0:21] % [0:54]
s2t03. Tore Up Over You [11:55] [0:23] % (1) [1:12]
s2t04. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [9:52] [0:19] %
s2t05. /Don't Let Go [26:05] (2) [0:22] %

! Band: Jerry Garcia Band
! Lineup: Jerry Garcia, el-g, vocals;
! Lineup: John Kahn, el-bass;
! Lineup: Keith Godchaux, piano
! Lineup: Greg Errico, drums;
! Lineup: Donna Jean Godchaux - vocals.

JGMF:


! 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.


! JGC: http://jerrygarcia.com/show/1977-06-23-santa-rosa-high-school-santa-rosa-ca/ 

! db: shnid 16714 (this fileset).

! Historical: The show, a "Benefit Concert for the Survival of the Forest Community of Camp Meeker" was billed as Maria Muldaur and Special Guest, but it is the Jerry Garcia Band.


! personnel: Ron Tutt was playing in Des Moines with Elvis's band. I suspect that this benefit gig came up after Tutt had committed to the Elvis tour. Greg Errico got the call.


! personnel: I assume and think I hear this as Donna Jean Godchaux. But it could be Maria. The truth is, there’s probably more variability around all of this than we have ever appreciated.


! venue: JBP: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/07/santa-rosa-high-school-1235-mendocino.html.


! map: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=1235+Mendocino+Avenue,+Santa+Rosa,+CA&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&hnear=1235+Mendocino+Ave,+Santa+Rosa,+California+95401&gl=us&t=h&z=16


! R: "Sony ECM -> Sony TC-152 MAC -> D -> CD (Ryan at thejerrysite.com indicates the taper was Bob Menke). Thanks to Chuck Gannon for the great sounding discs! EAC/SHN by jim@juddcreek.com 4/03".


! R: Actually taped by Charlie Connor, formerly of SoCal, using Bob's gear.


! seeder note: "Quite excellent, both sound and performance.  Rich bass."


! P: s2t02 KOHD Donna Jean comes in on harmony vocals. Jerry pulls some very, very long phrases in the 9-minute mark, and Keith is tinking very nicely behind him. Jerry wailing, but slow and careful. I know they don't go together, but he's way up the neck pulling glass strings, and then swings down to lower register. Errico making himself heard @ 10:45.


! R: s2t03 (1) what a wonderful piece of audience taping, to capture the in-between stuff. It sounds like Garcia is running through the changes for Dixie Down, e.g., with a drummer that they don't work much with.


! P: s2t04 TNTDODD, you can really hear the scratch in Garcia's voice. I'd bet his hair was frizzy and graying. The start of this song feels like a little bit of a struggle, tempo-wise. Around 4 minutes in, Garcia is taking a beautiful, delicate chinese flower solo. Lots of sustain. The recording picks up the depth of this interpretation very nicely. Jerry and Donna singing. Nice.


! R: s2t05 "First couple notes of Don't Let Go missing, but the edit (prior to [seeder] copy) is seamless."


! P: s2t05 DLG @ 4:45 ff JG is doing a really nice, long testamentary solo. Speak, brother! He's playing a poppy line that puts me in mind of Peanuts or cartoons or Vince Guaraldi or something right in this moment. (Probably subconscious: Santa Rosa also houses the Charles M. Schulz stuff [and I think, in his time, housed Charles M. Schulz] and Mr. Guaraldi.) Anyway, this is a really nice example of what the 1977 JGB was capable of, but only really fleetingly. Things were still too slow, a la 1976, for my taste. But when they picked up, like with this, they picked up very, very nicely. Garcia in the 7-minute mark is crafting long Cassadyesque run-ons, with the advantage, in principle, of being able to breath (which thefastestmanalive seemed not to need). In the 15-minute mark Kahn is doing some bit fat pulls for a few measures, and then he solos about 15:45-17:30. I need to think of when was his last big Bay Area bass solo like this? At 17:30 he starts blowing trail back toward Don't Let Go and everyone wisely gets behind and with the bass. Garcia is still keeping a lot of fuzz around things though, not quite ready to pass up his play time. So things are gonna get weird, and around 18:45 we're out and about. The sky and stars can be mighty big in Sonoma County and he pulls some riverine echo from 19:45 forward. Man oh man is this tape just wonderful, so airy and roomy. They really draw this thing through and through here. Lots of singing and hollering and tearing it up. Jerry strums 'em to a reasonably clean close. Errico's a freaking pro, right there.


! s2t05 (2) No stage announcement, no thank you, no nothin'. Harumph.


REFERENCES
Liberatore, Paul. 1977. Maria Muldaur: ‘Playin’ Real Good – For Free’. Independent Journal (San Rafael, CA), June 16, 1977, p. 29. Re 6/23/77
“Rock Billboard: Maria Muldaur slates benefit,” Independent Journal, June 17, 1977, p. 27.


“Overlook,” Independent Journal (San Rafael, CA), June 21, 1977, p. 17.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

LN jg1976-03-12.jgb.1p-2p.aud-coplen.20700.shn2flac

If there were more time, I'd like to talk about "Who Was John?", elaborate on the racial structure of the music, the unevenness of this period (March-April 1976).  But there's not time, so just a data dump.

Jerry Garcia Band
Cahn Auditorium, Northwestern University
600 Emerson Street
Evanston, IL 60201

March 12, 1976 (Friday)
55 minute Eric Coplen aud, partial early (7:30 pm) and partial late (11 pm) shows

--(6 tracks, 55:09)--

--Early Show, 7:30 pm (partial, 5 tracks, 40:17)--
t01. /How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [07:51] [7:52] %
t02. /Catfish John [10:41] [0:07] %
t03. After Midnight [11:50] [0:08] %
t04. (1) Mission In The Rain [7:14] %
t05. Who Was John?// [2:24]#

--Late Show, 11 pm (partial, 1 track, 14:52)--
t06. The Harder They Come [14:47] [0:05] %

Lineup, Jerry Garcia Band:
Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
Keith Godchaux - piano, vocals;
John Kahn - el-bass;
Ronnie Tutt - drums;
Donna Jean Godchaux - vocals.

JGMF:
! 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: http://www.thejerrysite.com/shows/show/1227 (early); http://www.thejerrysite.com/shows/show/1228 (late).
! db: http://db.etree.org/shn/20700 (this source).
! R: "AUDMC > C > DAT > WAV > SHN. Recorded 2nd row, center left, with unknown deck with built in mics, 1st gen source tape from Eric Coplen. Cass > DAT by Ryan Shriver. DAT > SHN by Noah Weiner." But I think that's incorrect. I think's it's in the following note.
! R: I believe this to be correct. Taped by Eric Coplen from 2nd row, center left, built-in mics on unknown deck, with unknown media. Master cassette (or possible 1st gen?) transfer: played back on Philips FC-60 deck > Lucid AD9624 > Sony PCM-R500 DAT deck (record), by Rhan Shriver. Fostex D5 DAT deck (playback) > Turtle Beach Montego II Digital I/O > Sound Forge (wav edits and track IDs) > SHNTOOL (SBE fix) > MKW Audio Compression Tool (shn), by Noah Wiener, ca. 2003. This flac copy done by JGMF (unknown date), shns replaced; noted and tagged 7/15/2012.
! R: This is a good recording. We sometimes forget that we are fortunate. If one looks to this period March-April 1976, there are tons of holes in the taped record. Lots and lots of stuff missing, sometimes at places you *know* someone was taping, such as the Cap in Passic (4/2/76). Some absolutely ear-splittingly dreadful tapes for some shows, I mean they really leave you depressed. And then one of the crown jewels of musical field recording, Pat Lee's tape of JGB 3/6/76 at Moore's Egyptian Theater in Seattle (http://db.etree.org/shn/107734).
! R: Hard to say what parts of the early show might be present here. Every piece of music is discontinous to the next. That said, the designations seem very sound. The "Harder They Come" here is the same one on a lightly circulated tape of the late show, independent confirmation of the validity of Coplen's designations. Given, also, that none of these early show songs appear on the late show tape, it makes sense to believe that they do, indeed, come from the 3/12/76 early show.
! Metadata: venue: Jerry Garcia's Brokendown Palaces (JGBP): http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/03/cahn-auditorium-600-emerson-street.html. See also http://www.pickstaiger.org/venues/cahn-auditorium. The data I have seen suggest that the venue capacity at the time of the show was approximately 1,100.
! Metadata: event: Tickets were $5 in advance and $6 at the door.
! Metadata: time: There were early and late shows. I do not know the starting times, but know they were scheduled to be about 90 minutes each.
! Historical context, enthusiastic positive view: I am coming around to the view that this tour is a real highpoint. No one ever talks about it because the aural record is so patchy. These dates are really obscure, an obscure little tour in an obscure little moment. But I actually think it's a fucking masterpiece. Band was too laconic in January-February, but I think they were figuring themselves out. Garcia and Tutt have most recently been playing together in Legion of Mary and then with Nicky, and how this band plays is nothing at all like how those bands played (leaving aside the Garcia-Kahn and Tutt were all involved!). This JGB still scratches Garcia's itch to play 20th century black music, but, in a process that had started with Nicky, it's hybridized with some more white music (Catfish John?) and, not trivially, it's played by all white players. March 1976 is interesting because half the players are actually southern whites: Donna Jean Godchaux of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, native Texan Ronnie Tutt and Memphis-born John Kahn! In fact, the Jerry Garcia Band would not have its first black member until Melvin Seals arrived in early 1981, something that never crossed my mind.
! Evaluation, contrary to note just above, a couple of days later: very uneven performance. This material strikes me better than the late show material.
! R: t04 MITR some crackling at the start
! t04 (1) Taper, in recognition of Mission, says "Great!" Young lady next to him asks "Is this Mission?" Taper: "Yeah." These folks have been listening to Reflections. I love it when audience members are knowledgeable.
! R: t05 WWJ fades to cut pretty early in the song.
! R: t06 HTC battery failure becomes evident in tape speed fluctuations, getting worse as the tape nears its end.
! P: t06 the late show crowd is very fired up to hear Harder They Come. I have checked this version with a tape I have of the late show, and it's the same one.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The McNally-Arnold Jerry Garcia List

It's very meta, but I do have a lot to say about The List Tradition which I hope to get to. Let me just point out something that I think is interesting: The Garcia stuff on the typescript McNally-Arnold Jerry Garcia List (McNally and Arnold, ND), which became the Garcia list in Deadbase IX and formed the basis of what is today The Jerry Site) derived from the same ur-source as the Soto-Arnold GD List, union gig contracts.

Working musicians pretty much have to join the American Federation of Musicians, AFM Local No. 6 in San Francisco, at 116 Ninth Street, just a few blocks off Market. Every gig or session played by a union member has to be filed with the union. These union contracts were seemingly systematically kept by the GD organization. Don't want any trouble with the union, I guess. Anyway, these union contracts, held in GD/Garcia business files, were the basis for both Lists. I don't know whether Janet Soto also compiled the Garcia list, but I sure would like to know whom we have to thank for the bounty of data that we have so long enjoyed around Garcia On The Side!

Quick meta, just can't avoid it: gotta love how modern bureaucratic organizations document themselves; indeed, it's almost redundant to point it out.

Friday, July 13, 2012

JGB in Memphis, March 28, 1976

**updated**

I made this post to ask about this show, which has always been shrouded in some mystery and confusion. It is listed, without comment, on the McNally-Arnold JG List. TJS has had a note, information of unknown provenance, that the show was canceled "due to an illness in the band." I also had a question about the venue name. I can now report the following.

First, this show absolutely happened. There is paper from ex post reporting on specifics of the event, memories of the event, etc. Here is a ticket stub, contributed by Paul Williams, who contributes recollections below:



Second, Jerry Garcia's Brokendown Palaces has reported out on the venue name, as North Hall, Ellis Auditorium, 255 North Main Street, Memphis, TN, 38103. That's what's listed at The Jerry Site. But correspondent Paul Williams confirms that it was in the South Hall. Here's what he says, reposted with permission:

It was definitely the South Hall, which was the smaller of the two, about 2400 seats. The stage was in between the two halls, and for really big events, like wrestling, they would use both. Both halls were wonderful acoustically, especially the south. When Springsteen played there in '76, they sold tickets for the North Hall (4500), and when it undersold, they moved it to the smaller hall at the last minute. I'm just about positive that was not the case with Jerry, I'll have to dig out my ticket stub to confirm. I used to usher there ...  so I remember stuff like that. I don't remember the size of the crowd, just that the audience was VERY appreciative, and that Jerry was smiling a lot and seem to dig the vibe. They did a long version of "After Midnight" that just brought the house down.

Thank you, Paul!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

ISO Impresarios

I am hoping to be in touch with folks involved with various Bay Area venues that hosted Garcia. Jerry Garcia's Brokendown Palaces does a great job on the venues. I am hoping to speak to the people who ran them, worked there, anything.

I have been in touch with Michael Considine of the Lion's Share in San Anselmo, but I no longer have current email for him.

Who ran the Inn of the Beginning in 1969, when the NRPS played there? The 9/18/69 show predated the arrival of Ward Maillard and then Mark Braunstein. We know how valuable Mark's calendars and ledgers have been in helping to document the IOTB!

The Boarding House, 960 Bush Street in the city. Who ran this place ca. early 1973, when Garcia was playing there all the time with both Merl and OAITW? Whoever booked Four Nights at the Boarding House: April 13-16, 1973 is my show business hero.

The Orphanage, 807 Montgomery Street. This one also enters the Garciaverse in early 1973, same profile as the Boarding House. Any place that Joel Selvin refers to as a "cocaine speakeasy" (the 1996 SF Musical History tour book) needs to be understood to really understand the times!

Homers Warehouse. I guess the guy who ran it is writing a book.

Sophie's, Palo Alto.

Rio Theater, Rodeo


River City, Fairfax.

River Theater, Guerneville

Theatre 1839, SF

Temple Beautiful, SF

etc. etc.

If you worked in the Bay Area club scene and crossed paths with Garcia in that capacity, please drop me a line!

Friday, July 06, 2012

LN jg1973-01-24.jgms.early-late.sbd-nfagdtrfb.100216.flac1644


(I know my titling of the Listening Notes posts only really works for me. But since the blog is “scratch paper”, it’ll just have to be this way.)
(Man oh man does Blogger's formatting suck. One can't compose online, because stuff can get lost [viz my long beautiful post on Wales-Garcia 1/26/72]. One can't compose in Word, because Blogger can't swallow even pretty basic formatting [or Word doesn't make it clear to Blogger what it's doing]. Anyway, sheesh.)

Listing for Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders at Boarding House, 960 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA, 94109, Tuesday-Thursday, January 23-25, 1973. Source: San Francisco Chronicle-Examiner Datebook, January 21, 1973, p. 4.

The Sarah Era


I have been listening to tapes and contemplating materials from the Sarah Era –the period from ca. January 14, 1973 through ca. October 2, 1973 during which Sarah Fulcher sang with The Group, Garcia-Saunders-Kahn-Vitt, around the San Francisco Bay Area. I have touched on the following (from the jgmf etree list):
  1. 01/15/73 JGMS Inn Of The Beginning Cotati CA 9573 Listening Notes
  2. 01/23/73 JGMS Boarding House San Francisco CA noncirc handbill, ads, discussion
  3. 01/24/73 JGMS Boarding House San Francisco CA handbill, ads, discussion
  4. 01/25/73 JGMS Boarding House San Francisco CA 7670 (A&B) Initial handbill, ad, discussion (2011); listening notes for shnid 7670 (2012).
  5.  03/07/73 JGMS Keystone Berkeley CA 31501 listening notes
  6.  05/04/73 JGMS Homer's Warehouse Palo Alto CA 31283 Listening Notes
  7. 05/29/73 JGMS Ash Grove Santa Monica CA dating (?No Sarah?)
  8. 05/30/73 JGMS Ash Grove Santa Monica CA dating (?No Sarah?)
  9. 07/05/73 JGMS Lion's Share San Anselmo CA 79032 Listening Notes (no Sarah)
  10.  07/10/73 JGMS Keystone Berkeley CA material from 7/10/73 on the Live at the Keystone releases (No Sarah)
  11. 07/11/73 JGMS Keystone Berkeley CA material from 7/11/73 on the Live at the Keystone releases (No Sarah)
  12. 07/19/73 JGMS Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA San Francisco Phoenix review, brief discussion
  13.  09/01/73 JGMS Keystone Berkeley CA Keystone handbill for 9/1/73 and 9/2/73
  14.  09/02/73 JGMS Keystone Berkeley CA Keystone handbill for 9/1/73 and 9/2/73

   
For the record, I believe Sarah is absent on 8/5/73, present on 10/2/73 and possibly present on 10/11/73. Only the middle date is available for listening analysis (including at Wolfgang’s Vault). I don’t see anything that she would have sung on 10/12/73, and I know she’s not present on 11/3/73. For now, then, 10/2/73 at Winterland stands as the end of the Sarah Era, as presently documented. I am hypothesizing at actually includes 10/11/73. Bottom line, there's significant variation, and we don't really understand what drove it, i.e., why Sarah Fulcher was present or absent on any given night during her Era.

Live at the Keystone


She was absent from what would like have been two of the most financially- and perhaps professionally-consequential gigs of her life, the Jerry Garcia - Merl Saunders (JGMS) July 10-11, 1973 Keystone Berkeley shows.

July 1973 Keystone Berkeley calendar, courtesy of Fred Herrera and Merl Saunders, Jr.



The Group manifested --Freud first made me write "menifested", on which more at some point-- as the Garcia-Saunders-Kahn-Vitt quartet and recorded enough material to establish a lifetime of steady, modest income. The two nights have been released, and re-released, and re-re-released, nearly in toto over the years. On vinyl came Live at the Keystone (Fantasy F-79002, 1973), Keystone Encores, Volume 1 (Fantasy MPF 4533, 1988) and Keystone Encores, Volume 2 (Fantasy MPF 4534, 1988). Per Scofield, at the advent of the CD era “the tracks from the original double LP and the two 1988 releases were reconfigured and released as Live At The Keystone, Volume 1 (Fantasy FCD 7701-2, 1988), Live At The Keystone, Volume 2 (Fantasy FCD 7702-2, 1988) and Keystone Encores (Fantasy FCD 7703-2, 1988).” And I won’t even begin with the various compilations and re-releases.

[update, 8/1/2012: Looks like the shows will actually be released in toto later this year. Affirms the point, needless to say.]

As Corry’s “Jerry Garcia Album Economics, 1973-74 (John Kahn XIII)” lays out so well, Garcia et al. were looking remarkably like grownups in 1972-1973. Relatively speaking, of course. Merl had two high schoolers, and Merl Jr. remembers that the live album bought the family its first house. Garcia had his place with Mountain Girl and two little girls, Mountain Girl's daughter by Ken Kesey, Sunshine, and three-year old Annabelle (Trixie would be born the next year). This was the most domestic phase of Garcia's life, Dad not just a good provider, as one might have said, but often actually physically present. I am under the impression that both John Kahn and Bill Vitt had young kids as well.

So, time for some grownup business decisions to go with grownup responsibilities. These seem to have included the various personnel variations that we observe over the course of 1973. The year started with Tom Fogerty still billed, but, far as I can tell, apparently never playing with The Group again. Sarah. George Tickner as another possible second guitarist. Maybe a mystery trumpeter  (12/28/72) or two (7/5/73), try on some horn colors. Figure out who’s good, who’s cool, who knows the stuff or has the background or chops necessary to pick it up. Oh yeah, grownups, one more thing: choose who gets paid and who doesn’t. Sarah Fulcher didn’t. “Nothin’ personal, darlin’, just business,” I am sure they told her.

Performance



All of that by way of background for a great night of music at the Boarding House, 960 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA, 94109: Garcia-Saunders-Kahn-Vitt and Fulcher, Wednesday, January 24, 1973. Early and late shows, unknown start times, but running over 90 minutes each. Great performance by the whole band, one of the shows that bears repeated listening. Vintage Garcia-Saunders. It’s considerably better than 1/15/73 and, to my ears, a little better than the next night (1/25/73). SteveSw sums up my feelings on the performance very nicely when he says “this show is a much better example of what this configuration is capable of than the ones we listened to before”, i.e., from earlier in January. I may even like it (and especially certain numbers, such as “I Was Made To Love Her”) even more than Steve does. In fact, I'll go ahead and call it my favorite January 1973 material. Every number creates its own pop, as appropriate, or settles you down deep in some American musical pocket. Seriously, there is not a clunker in the whole bunch. Event Dixie Down had me singing and, perhaps for the first time in multiple hundreds of hearings, feeling a little sympathy, if still no empathy, for ol’ Virgil Caine. I feel like I am dancing about architecture here, but the music simply shines.

SteveSw suggests that those pressed for time check out this version of “Georgia On My Mind” (Allan | Scofield | TJS), and who am I to argue? I’d only further that you check out the “Jam” track from the early show tape (a-t07, “collective improvisation”). It has some "After Midnight" feel at the start, but really only Jerry and only at the very beginning. Merl plays some very period-distinctive brassy synth while Jerry and John let it melt a little bit. The real treat comes about 8:15 here is what I am thinking of as The Group’s ghost story. Sarah opens the funhouse door with some spooky vocalizations at 8:15. Jerry strikes like a brown on a Colorado caddis hatch, flirting with and even briefly touching “The Tiger” in the nine minute mark while Sarah’s phantom wails creep everyone out. It’s not clear that “this place as clean”, as the little lady in Poltergeist might say. One could really scare the neighbors with this Halloween night ha'nted house soundtrack, which runs probably 4 minutes all told (into the 12-minute mark). Fantastic, distinctive stuff!

After the ghost story, there’s more good listening for you. Jerry scales around a little, fast strumming and a little GD-flavored picking at 13:21. With no Bobby Ace on the scene to blow the vibe with "Me And My Uncle" (the flavor there in Jerry’s playing), things stay pretty unmoored until Garcia things down, pregnantly, in the late 14-minute mark, wailing a little over more synth & Sarah. Everyone sounds lonely, all together, for a while. I almost hear gentle strains of “Imagine”  before Sarah brings out the first-ever Garcia version –and, for all we know, one of the first-ever live versions by anyone, anywhere—of “Like A Road Leading Home”, church-time in Memphis. Great stuff.

Setlist



While I think the performance is particularly good, it’s also particularly enjoyable because there is just a lot of great American music finding expression here. The Group’s repertoire is broad, deep, well-rounded and pretty well-conceived as show and, if one were inclined to think this way, as possible (vinyl) product.

I begin by noting that there are no obvious “jam vehicles”, numbers seemingly designed to open up improvisationally . The modal tune probably clocked in in the 3-minute range on the AM radio dial in its original form. Garcia and Saunders, of course, are perfectly willing to make room, so we get extended, funkified, street-struttin’ versions of Steve Wonder’s great “I Was Made To Love Her”, the Soul Survivors’ “Expressway (To Your Heart)” and Martha Reeves’s scorching rave-up “Honey Chile”, the players bobbing and weaving and Sarah, the Satin Doll, rocking the mic. They stretch out nicely on some blues, as well.

Related to the lack of specific improvisational vehicles, The Group plays no Merl Saunders compositions on either the 1/23/73 show (TJS) nor this one. The next night, they’d do no fewer than three. I am not sure if they planned it this way, if they’d save the outside stuff for the last night when they were good and warm, or if the mood just struck them one way or the other, and the clustering is coincidental.

There were not really any Garcia, Kahn or Vitt compositions to play, but there were a couple of mysterious tunes that I presume to have been written by, or at least for, Sarah Fulcher, both of which appeared in the late show. “Find A Rainbow” (Allan | TJS) is a pleasant midtempo that finds Jerry starting with his best Tom Fogerty/George Tickner impression, pretty straight chunka-chunka, gradually smoothing and fattening his tone. Sarah sounds absolutely lovely, trying to find a rainbow, despite looking out dirty windows … and Jerry … mellifluous. Some of Sarah’s improvisations fall flat in the 6-minute mark, but overall this is a lovely piece of music. As far as we know, it would never be played live again. “Go Climb A Mountain” (Allan | TJS), has some nice anthemic qualities that Garcia perceptively pushes, building himself up, John joining in, releasing the tension, working it back up. I could hear this song opening itself up to double-time jam of the sort we get on 5/5/73, but it doesn’t happen, an unrealized (and possibly wholly imagined!) possibility.

Songs



Here are some comments on specific songs.

a-t01 "Hi-Heel Sneakers" was a 1964 #1 R&B hit for Tommy Tucker, a.k.a. Robert Higginbotham, on Checker Records (Checker 1067) (Allan | Scofield | wiki). It's a fucking fantastic tune, such a wonderful feel, the steppin'-out-on-a-Sunday, bible-in-my-hand-but-razor-in-my-belt trope of Lackawanna Blues, an “uptempo 12-bar blues” (wiki). This version gets my toe-tapping, though I don’t think I have ever encountered one that didn’t. Go listen to Tommy Tucker do it, though absolutely everyone else did it, too, including the Dead on at least two occasions (11/19/66 and 8/3/69).

a-t03 "That's All Right" is commonly referred to among Garcia/GD-oriented listkeepers as "Who's Loving You Tonight?", but that is incorrect (Allan | Scofield [WLYT?, TAR] | TJS). This is a tune written by Jimmy Rogers. It is distinct from "That's Alright Mama", written by Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup, though it is mistakenly credited to him on the Merl Saunders CD Keepers (Fantasy, FCD-7712, 1997). I had originally mistakenly listed the composer as Jimmy Rodgers, "the Singing Brakeman". The correct author, Jimmy Rogers, "was Muddy Waters' rhythm guitar player for much of the 50's. His given name was Lane but he took Rogers after his step-father." Thanks to commenter Paul for the correction and additional color!

There is a strong case for common usage (i.e., WLYT?) here, but I will resist it and stick with the correct title, as best I can determine. After this third known JGMS performance, they’d shelve it for a year, revive it briefly in early 1974 (1/17/74, 3/9/74), and retire it from the stage for the rest of Garcia’s career. One final Jerry would play this song as part of a wonderful medley of Jam -> That’s Alright Mama -> That’s All Right on about 10/2/75 at His Master’s Wheels studio in San Francisco (60 Brady Street, right?) during the Reflections sessions. I need to revisit that great piece of music and see if I can glean anything from it.

a-t04 “Honey Chile” (Allan | Scofield | TJS). Motown female sensations Martha Reeves and the Vandellas had a 1967 hit (Gordy G 7067, released 10/14/67) with this in-your-face number about a woman who just loves him too much to leave the man who done her wrong (in addition to being shiftless, lazy, and no-good). Wiki: " the tune rose to number eleven on the Billboard pop singles chart and number five on the Billboard R&B singles chart." The Jackson 5 covered it in 1971, but Sarah Fulcher's rendition is quite certainly inspired by Martha Reeves. This is one of only 8 versions documented at TJS, all of them presumed to be sung by Sarah Fulcher.

a-t06 "Are You Lonely For Me" goes by a few different titles in the (GD/Garcia) Lists, including "Last Train To Jacksonville". Allan and Scofield are not consistent (Scofield includes ", Baby?"). For now I will use the version without extraneous punctuation (the comma and question mark). It was “written and produced by Bert Berns (aka Bert Russell)” and “first recorded by Freddie Scott” (Shout Records, 1966), who had it #1 on the Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues charts for four weeks in early 1967 (wiki; NB Scofield says charted in 1966). Commenter nick has suggested that Jerry and Merl probably got the song from Al Green's 1971 breakout Al Green Gets Next To You (wiki). Now, I know thatmMaking data parsing easier is not a good reason for my titling choice, but I don’t know how to judge, otherwise, from among the alternatives. So I choose the version without the comma and question mark.

Garcia-Saunders did this tune a documented 13 times between 1972 and 1974 (TJS). The Grateful Dead, playing as Jerry Garcia and Friends and backing up none other than Bo Diddley, played the song at least once, on March 25, 1972 at the New York Academy of Music (Deadlists | dead.net). The earliest known Garcia On The Side version (though 3/25/72 might count!) comes from the legendary 6/30/72 (TJS | JGMF) show, is a real monster, stretching to a long and spacy jam. This is the second documented version. It was more frequent in 1974, including the very well-known Rheem Theater tape (2/9/74).

a-t08 "Like A Road Leading Home" is a beautiful piece of Don Nix / Dan Penn Stax poetry (Allan | Scofield | TJS) understood to be making its Garcia debut here. Sarah put it on her record Sarah & Friends (TMI 30968, 1971) (Arnold | Scofield | Billboard), which Steve Cropper produced in Memphis. Corry first hypothesized that Sarah brought the tune to The Group, and I think this seems undeniable. She takes the vocals entirely on her own. Since I believe the band rehearsed at least a time or two with Sarah, trying to concatenate repertoires all while, y’know, learning to play together, I suspect Sarah had played her record for Jerry/John/Merl/whomever. But they might already have been familiar with the tune. Commenter nick notes that Like A Road appeared on Albert King's 1971 Lovejoy (wiki), and spending a little time with that record, it certainly seems like something Garcia would have had in his record collection.

Jerry clearly fell in love with the song, if not the songstress. Within a few months he was singing it on his own, as a kind of featured “sweet” Garcia vocal, and we are fortunate to have great tapes from ca. 5/29/73 (dit “5/23/73”), 7/5/73 and 7/11/73, the latter version appearing on the Live at the Keystone double LP (Fantasy F-79002, 1973). To my ear, he rarely struggled with the lyrics, which tended to be the case with songs that Jerry loved to sing, specifically. Why Sarah was not present to sing it, or anything else on those other early “Like A Road” nights, nor to share in the financial rewards of the Fantasy release, remains unclear. Jerry and Merl played it a few more times post-Sarah (into 1974). It would appear in Jerry Garcia Band (JGB) a little in 1981 setlists. From 1984 until the end of his life Jerry would play it regularly enough to be together, but rarely enough that it always felt special, a little church for the lost and weary soul.

b-t04 "Georgia On My Mind" is a super-rarity. I need to complete this note, but NB it first appeared on 12/28/72. Sarah was in town in December. I wonder if she was there, or if they had already been working a few things up with her?