Almost Acoustic review
Garcia Acoustic Band had a short life primarily October through
December 1987, plus a few Bay Area dates before and after. They
performed only in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and of course, on
Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater. Being a San Franciscan
resident I was fortunate to be able to see two of the performances
Warfield performances with very good seats as well as the July, 7,
1988, Cotati, CA concert. Typically this band would play an hour as the
warm up act for Jerry Garcia’s electric band.
the Old and in the Way recordings, Jerry Garcia’s role is much
different with this group. In the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band he
handles almost all of the lead singing duties and he plays guitar;
with Old and in the Way the major singing responsibilities were
Peter Rowan’s and Jerry played banjo. This band also differs
drastically from Old and in the Way in its repertoire. This band
pulls its material from a variety of styles including acoustic
blues, gospel, war-time, bluegrass, and related genres, while Old and
in the Way emphasized bluegrass.
personnel basis, The Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band includes David
Nelson (also NRPS) and Sandy Rothman who both played with Jerry in
the 1964 bluegrass outfit The Black Mountain Boys. The band is filled out
with long time partners John Kahn on bass,
and fiddler player extraordinaire Kenny Kosek (when available).
Drummer David Kemper was not an official member of the JGAB;
however, he sat in as a guest at many of the performances when
Garcia's electric band followed.
of the songs performed by the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band were
familiar to his fans because songs such as “Oh Babe it Ain’t No
Lie,” “Deep Elem Blues,” and “All Around This World” were
staples of the Grateful Dead during their 1980 acoustic sets. The
Grateful Dead’s versions were released on their CD Reckoning. Though,
these versions are given different interpretations and are
the best songs on the album is the rendition of the up-tempo “Oh,
the Wind and Rain.” Its swift beat and melodic nature is perfectly
executed. Jimmie Rodger’s “Blue Yodel #9” is a splendid
acoustic blues number with Sandy Rothman adding great slide dobro to
Garcia’s harmonious guitar runs. The closer, “Ripple,” a great
sing along number is perfect way to end the disc.
Jerry isn’t the only star
in this band as Rothman and Kosek are outstanding instrumentalists
too. Therefore, the songs are filled with joyful guitar, fiddle,
dobro, and mandolin riffs and solos throughout.
Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band’s CD Almost Acoustic is 70
plus minutes of great organic acoustic music. by Barry
Jerry On Broadway
- Acoustic and Electric JGB from 1987; three acoustic discs.
But Right - More from Oct. and Dec. 1987
Jerry Garcia's Musical
Roots: Jerry's Banjo Years
by Sandy Rothman
By popular demand, this re-mastered version of the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band’s classic Almost Acoustic CD was originally released to universal acclaim in 1988. Culled from a series of shows at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco and the Wiltern in Los Angeles during the late fall of 1987, the original disc captured that lineup at its finest—joining Jerry in the group were his old buddies Sandy Rothman (who produced the disc) on mandolin, dobro and vocals, David Nelson on guitar and vocals and John Kahn on stand-up bass; abetted by fiddler Kenny Kosek and drummer David Kemper. The tunes were a fantastic mixture of old time folk and country tunes popularized by the likes of Jimmie Rodgers, the Stanley Brothers, Tex Logan, Blue Sky Boys, Mississippi John Hurt and others. Among the many faves: “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” “Deep Elem Blues,” “Oh, the Wind and Rain,” “Spike Driver Blues,” “Gone Home” and “Standin’ on the Corner (Blue Yodel #9).” The newly re-mastered edition of this old favorite sounds spectacular!
The Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band: Complete Repertoire (Exclusive Bundle)
This product is a Dead.net exclusive.
The best of both JGAB's newest releases - save when you get this Almost Acoustic
and Ragged But Right Bundle. Includes both CDs, Sandy Rothman's Producer's Notes for both albums, and the exclusive 3,000 word Definitive History of the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, by Steve Silberman. Limited quantities available.