After finishing my shift at 9 p.m., with the day off tomorrow, what a better way to relax than to kick back in a friendly watering hole with friendly folks, maybe throwin' some darts, maybe shootin' some pool while puttin' away a pint or three of Guinness... ahhhhh... especially on the first night when the friggin' temperature isn't so damn freezing that polar bears are complaining.
Or... don't spend any money, come back to my humble abode, and Play Jerry. Ahhhhh... yeah, sounds good to me!
(missing Tore Up)
Every Word You Say
I Feel Like Dynamite
The Wicked Messenger
Day By Day
I'll Take A Melody
You Can Leave Your Hat On
Boogie On Reggae Woman
(missing How Sweet It Is)
And the music? Holy schnikeys, Chris Farley! Mmmm... almost makes one wonder why bother with the Jerry Garcia Band from the 90's?! The last Jerry that I posted at Inspiration, Move Me Brightly was also from 1975... actually stradling '75-'76... but listening to Legion Of Mary for the first time in a long, long time (too long!) I almost don't want next time to leave this era of Jerry (outside of the Grateful Dead.) It's not necessarily that Jerry's smokin' on every song. Not at all. It's the whole band sound that makes this so fun, funky, groovy, jamming, bluesy, jazzy, smokin', and any other adjectives that would work, as well.
This show would mark quite possibly the very last performance of Bob Dylan's The Wicked Messenger. According to the not-updated-in-a-couple years The Jerry Site, about a month and a half earlier it debuted and here is the eighth and final time played. In light of new recordings and known setlist info, that might be incorrect and maybe there've been a few more... maybe not. In 2005, a Legion Of Mary compilation was released and on the Bonus Disc given out with advance orders, there's a really sweet sounding version. If not for that, no commercial release would have it. Oh, and the "advance order" disc is still available for anyone who wants to order it. Go, support the Jerry G. estate (just a little) and maybe they'll hook us up in the future with some more soundboard releases!
Back to this night in '75... man, this is so nice. I'm absolutely diggin' Martin Fierro on sax. Reminds me somewhat of Dave Ellis with Ratdog... or one should really say listening to Ellis is a reminder of Fierro. He keeps popping up here and there to take a solo for awhile... just as sweet sounding as Jerry and he really adds a nice jazz flavor to this. Ron Tutt on drums keeps in time with everybody so perfectly, never outdoing anyone, knowing just what sound to add. John Kahn, of course, lays down the perfect backbone to all this on bass. And then there's Merl who's takin' great solos just as Fierro and Jerry do; with that Hammond B-3 of his he helps make magic out of these songs. More wondering -- did Brent listen to tapes of LoM and get any of his inspiration from Merl? I wouldn't be surprised.
With over 2 hours and 45 minutes of music, this is quite a killer show. Almost every song is close to or more than 15 minutes long so there is a lot of room to jam. Leave Your Hat On was definitely my favorite with the almost 20 minute Little Sunflower right after it a close second fave. Those two back-to-back clock in at almost 40 minutes. Time and time again they dive right into jamland yet they always keep the basic rhythm of the song going, never getting lost, always ready to emerge from jamming at just the right place.
Three of the songs are instrumentals -- Jam #5, Day By Day, and Little Sunflower. That fact allows this show even more space to just play... and they do! Little Sunflower would have been so cool in a Grateful Dead setlist. I'm envisioning it out of Estimated -> into Drums... or out of Space -> into... hmmm... Not Fade Away, maybe. Drums-> Space-> Little Sunflower-> Not Fade Away-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Touch Of Grey. Wow. Ohhhh man. Too bad, oh well, at least there are great amazing performances like this one to listen to!
San Francisco's oldest nightclub (101 years old in 2008,) the Great American Music Hall, had only a few people boogieing on this night. Only a few? Well, it has a capacity of only 600 and who knows if the theater was even filled all the way. To have been there must have been pure bliss.
Source: Bob Menke & Louis Falanga using
Sony ECM-250 & ECM-270 mics... upfront but not onstage
Audience Master Cassette > DAT > CD
Ain't digital grand?!
No pesky hissy cassette generations to muddy the sound!
Thanks, Bob & Louis!