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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bobby Ace

I was doing some thinking about Bob Weir's musical journey, and what I view to be the pivotal "Bobby Ace" period, running most obviously from about mid-1969 through 1970. And, since we were just talking about Family Dog shows, I got to thinking about the April 1970 acoustic gigs. Long story short, I just did some sniffing around some of the more obscure (in the Garciaverse) numbers they did. Here's a back-of-the-napkin breakdown.

Note that, as far as I can tell, this is entirely roots-derived white contemporary stuff - is there a black songwriter in the whole repertoire? Anyway, FWIW.

! song: Slewfoot
! song: Wabash Cannonball

Everly Brothers Originals
! song: All I Have To Do Is Dream (not their composition, but I think they did it first)
! song: Cathy's Clown
! song: So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)
! song: Wake Up Little Susie

! song: Mama Tried – Merle Haggard
! song: I've Got A Tiger By The Tail – Buck Owens

George Jones
! song: The Race Is On
! song: Old Old House
! song: Seasons Of My Heart

Contemporary Country – all of these were written in the 1960s
! song: Let It Be Me – also done by Everly Brothers
! song: Let Me In – Porter Wagoner
! song: Long Black Limousine – first available via Glen Campbell in 1962, eventually Merle Haggard and Elvis, too.
! song: Me And My Uncle – John Philips
! song: Silver Threads And Golden Needles – also by Everly Brothers
! song: Dire Wolf – Garcia/Hunter (sung by Weir 7/4/69)
! song: Green Green Grass Of Home – Curly Putnam, but done by Porter Wagoner and on Merle Haggard's Mama Tried.
! song: Games People Play – Joe South – also by Everly Brothers


  1. Thanks - interesting analysis.

    I've never seen Six Days On The Road in a Bobby Ace etc setlist - just as a song done by the New Riders around this time. Do you have a source for Bobby doing it?

  2. You are right, I took an extra liberty there, thinking about George Jones. I will delete that one.

  3. Yes, it looks like country music was Weir's first love!

    Some additional Weir songs from other acoustic shows of that era:
    Monkey and the Engineer (Jesse Fuller 1961 - a solitary song from a black songwriter!)
    Railroading on the Great Divide (6/11/69 - Carter Family, possibly via New Lost City Ramblers)
    Gathering Flowers for the Master's Bouquet (12/26/69, with Garcia - Maddox Brothers & Rose 1948/also Stanley Brothers)
    Saw Mill (Mel Tillis 1959)
    Dark Hollow (Bill Browning 1958/partly traditional)
    El Paso (Marty Robbins 1959)
    And shall we add The Frozen Logger?

    Looking at the setlist for the lost "Bobby Ace" show on 6/11/69, it looks like Weir probably sang every song in the show (with Garcia harmonies) - at least, he sang almost all the songs at other times - but it's possible that Garcia sang a song or two.

    I haven't looked at the country songs Garcia sang without Weir, but that could be a fitting JGMF post!
    Big River (Johnny Cash 1957) could fall through the cracks, since Garcia sang that at first (11/21/70), but later Weir took over the verses when the Dead played it.


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