A FEW POINTS TO EXTRACT:
First, I believe the interview material and show observations are from March 13, 1973 at the Keystone in Berkeley. He only mentions it as a quartet, so I doubt there was a fiddle player there. Here are setlist bits we get for this date:
- Orange Blossom Special
- Panama Red ("halfway through set"; with Chris Rowan and Lorin Rowan on harmony vocals)
- How Mountain Girls Can Love
Second, we learn from Peter Rowan that the OAITW studio album was already in the can by ca. March 13, 1973. The idea that it was recorded by mid-March just blows my mind. Jackson (1999, p. 241) says OAITW "even cut an album at Mickey Hart's studio, though it was never released. 'We weren't too happy with it,' Grisman said. 'It was kind of rushed. It didn't seem to equal what we were doing live.'" (We then get the "one of the best-selling bluegrass albums of all time" quote about the eventual live OAITW record.) Not much to say except that these two observations (album cut by March, and "kind of rushed") would seem to fit well together. Let me here just reiterate my plea for any and all information/thoughts about the OAITW studio album. Let me also just note how contemporaneous this is with the whole Muleskinner project. Not sure what to make of that, just putting it out there.
Third, they were planning on doing "a few bluegrass festivals", but I have just reconsulted McNally (pp. 548-550, 554), and it looks like they just played the one (6/8/73 Whippoorwill festival in Warrenton, VA), according to him. That's where I am on the issue of OAITW at the summer 1973 bluegrass festivals, too. My question is, why didn't they play more than one, as Pete seems to have expected and as ads imply they were planning to some degree?
Fourth, tiny I know, we learn that Garcia was carrying his banjo around on the GD tour. Maybe we already knew that, but it's fun for me to think on.
Fifth, here their "theme song" is said to be a Monroe tune, "How Mountain Girls Can Love". Maybe this is some inside joke about Garcia's S.O. Mountain Girl (Carolyn Adams). No idea.
Anyway, reading notes after the jump.
Tolces, Todd. 1973. Jerry’s Bluegrass Boys. Melody Maker 48 (April 28): 35.
Garcia always busy, running around gigging, sessions, etc.
“Garcia’s new band – called Old And In The Way”
“Along with Garcia on this venture is Peter Rowan on guitar and vocals (formerly lead singer of Seatrain and Earth Opera), David Diadem on mandolin (Rowan Brothers producer), and John Kahn on bass.”
“The group was casually formed, the way all Garcia ventures are initiated, a few months ago when the love for bluegrass just brought David, Peter and Jerry together. ‘We all live in the same town,’ Peter Rowan explained. … ‘It’s nice being in a loose situation like this because there’s no pressure to produce on a schedule. We’ve already recorded an album but I’m not sure when we’re going to release it.”
“’Bluegrass is really hard for me,’ Jerry said excitedly.”
Reference to “their second gig at the Keystone recently.” The only two-night stands by OAITW at Keystone from the beginning on March 2 and the publication date of April 28 were March 12-13 and April 27-28. For obvious reasons, I would exclude the latter possibility and say that the gig he is referring to, and the interview snippets, can be dated 3/13/73. So, this show “was like an old family reunion. The Rowan Brothers … opened the show … They closed their set with help from brother Peter supplying extra harmonies and unwarranted theatrics as he leapt and bounded all around the stage and finally jumped into the audience screaming while running to the back of the room.”
“Meanwhile, backstage …”
“’We’re gonna do a few bluegrass festivals with Bill Monroe,’ Peter Rowan beamed.”
“’Hey man,’ Jerry turned to me, ‘you know that banjos act funny at weird altitudes? Why, my banjo sounded just great in Salt Lake City [JGMF: ca. 2/28/73].”
Mentions songs “Orange Blossom Special” and “Jambalaya”.
“The band got off. Garcia occasionally smiled, letting his insides seep into his outsides and picking off some nasty pickin’ licks. Everybody in the band agreed that David Diadem was simply one of the hottest mandolin players around town … Halfway through the set The Rowan Brothers reappeared to help out on harmonies on an original tune appropriately titled ‘Panama Red’. It went off quite well but the best all around song was their ‘theme song’: Bill Monroe’s ‘How Mountain Girls Can Love’.”
“Old And In The Way is a stable band. Even though Jerry Garcia will still continue to perform with the Grateful Dead, Merl Saunders and Tom Fogerty, and just about everybody in the studio, including the likes of anybody from Papa John Creach to the New Riders, he’ll stick to his first love, bluegrass, as will the rest of the band.”