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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fluent Guitar and Dissonant Vocals: JGB at Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene, OR - December 5, 1984

Drummer David Kemper's laminate from the "1984 Winter Northwest Tour" of the JGB, December 5-8, 1984.
LN jg1984-12-05.jgb.s2.aud.79642.flac1644

I have been engaging this little mini-tour undertaken by the JGB in early December 1984 as a way to reflect on Garcia's Rock Bottom. I come away consistently impressed with his guitar playing and mortified by his singing.

12/6/84 listening notes;
12/7/84 listening notes.

The first night of the "tour", Silva Concert Hall in Eugene, is only represented by a good aud of set II - if you have set I on tape, please consider having it digitized and circulated. It's utterly characteristic of the others. I absolutely love this "Dear Prudence", containing everything that was really special about JGB #21b, THE Jerry Garcia Band - tight players building strong scaffolding and Garcia clambering around like a Bay Bridge welder. But it also exemplifies, in particular in two clammy spots that I mark for reference, Garcia's inexcusably bad vocals during the period. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.

Random note about the venue: it apparently opened in 1982, and it's one of the rare rooms that Grateful Dead and Garcia Band played more or less contemporaneously, with the following Jerry sightings per JGBP:

8/29/83 Grateful Dead
8/30/83 Grateful Dead
8/31/83 Grateful Dead
1/16/84 Jerry Garcia Band
5/6/84 Grateful Dead
5/7/84 Grateful Dead
5/8/84 Grateful Dead
12/5/84 Jerry Garcia Band

I keep meaning to ask Corry to do a post on venues played by both the Dead and a Garcia outfit, or send along notes if he's got them so I can do it.

Note the little "filler" on the end of this fileset, Garcia's birth control PSA, using tape of him talking about parenting that I have heard, I believe from somewhere on GDAO. I do miss tape filler.

Jerry Garcia Band
Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts
7th and Willamette
Eugene, OR 97401

December 5, 1984 (Wednesday) - 7 PM
s2 aud shnid-79642

--fileset (7 tracks, 48:31)--

--set II (6 tracks, 47:35)--
s2t01. crowd and tuning [0:31]
s2t02. I'll Take A Melody [12:39] [0:08]
s2t03. Get Out Of My Life Woman [8:57] [0:06] %
s2t04. Dear Prudence [12:39] ->
s2t05. Gomorrah [5:57] ->
s2t06. Midnight // Moonlight [6:#31] (1) [0:07]

--filler (1 track, 0:56)--
s1t07. Jerry's PSA for birth control [0:56]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #21b
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-b;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - organ;
! lineup: David Kemper - drums;
! lineup: Jacklyn LaBranch - vocals;
! lineup: Gloria Jones - 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.

! JGC:

! db: (this fileset).

! map:

! venue:

! band:  #21b: THE Jerry Garcia Band.

! seealso: listening notes from 12/6/84 ( and 12/7/84 (

! historical: Michael Hedges opened. Note that as of 3/24/2015 there is no recording of set I known to me.

! P: Overall, a perfect microcosm of the period. Some amazingly fluent guitar playing alongside occasionally cringeworthily dissonant singing.

! R: Source: AUD > ? > C > Sony TC-D5M > Realtek AC97 > Soundforge > CD-Wave > TLH v. (for SBE-OK, FLAC compression & checksums) > FLAC, October 2006 by Andrew F.

! R: seeder notes: "There's a cut (tape flip) at the start of Midnight Moonlight.  Soundforge was used to adjust levels, correct the pitch, and to make fades. THANKS to Jeff Harrison and Jake Feinberg for the tape. ENJOY!"

! R: overall, this is a totally pleasant tape. Love how it picks up John.

! P: s2t02 ITAM Mule is pulling some big fat bass strings during ITAM. Vocal troubles, not all the way to a clam, on "I understand | how the old fisherman" around 4:15. I have heard worse.

! P: s2t03 GOOMLW Garcia is croaking

! P: s2t04 DP horrible vocals. One of the things I love about how they did this song in this period is exemplified from about 5. They have run through the first hunk of the song, and now Garcia wants to play a lot of scales, spend maybe 3-4-5 minutes chasing Dear Prudence around with a good, tight band. John sounds very engaged and good, keys are not overcrowded, Kemper is metronomic. JGB #21b on Dear Prudence at a nice upbeat tempo with clarion-Jerry is playing guitar ... it's good. Melvin is right there late 5 so Jerry can start double-timing from 8 - very nice scaffolding by Melvin, and Jerry is make good use of it, fast parcour over, under, around, and through. At 9, he starts stretching and pulling instead. It's amazing how fluently his playing, given priors about the timeframe. The ending catches a few players by surprise, but they are quick to fall in, and then we drop into a nice Gomorrah. The vocals are rough, of course.

! P: s2t05 Gomorrah: OK, if you want to hear what it means to hit a vocal clam, listen to the first vocals here, maybe late 20 second range. I put this here as a marker, but I strongly discourage you from actually checking out what I mean. There would be no winners. (BTW, there's another s2t06 @ 5:24.)

! R: s2t06 Mid Moon quick tape flip (good job, taper!) at start of song, not much missing.

! s2t06 (1) JG: "Thanks a lot. See y'all later on."

! s2t07 I have heard this Garcia text before, I think it's one of the interviews at GDAO.

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