Garcia Live: Volume Five: December 31st, 1975, Keystone, Berkeley
second live official concert release with pianist Nicky Hopkins in the line up. The
first release with him in the band, Let it Rock, is superb.
had a chance to hear most of the release. My initial reaction.
As a fan of the guitar and piano combination, there is always magic
and melodic gems with the pairing of a Garcia and Hopkins live in concert.
The sound quality is not as good as Let it Rock, but still
There are guests so the band is a bit different than without them, as a result, this
would not be my first choice for Garcia / Hopkins, but is a fine
supplement to Let it Rock, and hopefully more Jerry Garcia
Band with this line-up.
Harmonica can be OK, but it is not my favorite instrument. Matt Kelly plays on
much of the release, starting with "It's No Use."
The material is heavier in its quantity of blues material than normal sets.
Did the tempo of "They Love Each Other" sound a bit
different, at least during the instrumental?
"Mother's Nature Son," a Beatles tune. I was interested to
hear this track. It sounds cool. However, it is more like messing
around instrumentally with the melody in between songs than having
the song nailed down and performed.
This is the last show with Hopkins in Jerry's band. He would next
jam a bit with James
Booker, and then bring Keith and Donna into the band for
Garcia's next era.
a Jerry Garcia Band promotional email.
GarciaLive Volume Five: December 31st, 1975 Keystone Berkeley, celebrates the Jerry Garcia Band's three set performance at the storied Keystone Berkeley. While Garcia celebrated many new years on stage with the Grateful Dead, this performance holds the distinction as the Jerry Garcia Band's lone New Year's Eve appearance. Fresh off a Winter tour which yielded the transcendent performances captured on 2009's Let It Rock live release, Garcia is joined for this performance by mainstay John Kahn on bass, Sly and the Family Stone drummer Greg Errico and legendary rock pianist Nicky Hopkins. Hopkins' accolades are almost too numerous to list, but include a seemingly endless list of collaborations with The Beatles, The Who, and the Rolling Stones, among many others. And what New Year's Eve celebration would be complete without a few friends? Grateful Dead bandmates Bob Weir and Mickey Hart along with Kingfish's Matthew Kelly join the fold for a vibrant evening of music.
Highlights are plentiful across this 2+ hour performance. Hopkins shows off his deep musicality with a spontaneous performances of the Beatles' "Mother Nature's Son" and an explosive rendition of his own "Pig's Boogie", featuring an appearance by Matthew Kelly on harmonica, to close the first set. The JGB, now complete with Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Matthew Kelly, kick off the second set with a raucous countdown to 1976 led by Hopkins complete with a brief rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" followed by an ecstatic "How Sweet It Is" and later a 26+ minute "Mystery Train" suite which features a drums breakdown from Errico and Hart plus an exploratory "New Year's Jam" before returning to the final verse of "Mystery Train." A positively blistering take on the Junior Walker and the All-Stars Motown classic, "(I'm a) Road Runner" closes this stellar show out in fine form.
Available as a 2-CD set or Digital Downloads in 256kbps MP3, 44.1khz/16bit FLAC or 88.2khz/24bit FLAC format