On June 24, Round Records & ATO Records will release GarciaLive Volume Six: July 5, 1973 – Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders, the latest installment of the celebrated GarciaLive archival series. The three-CD set was recorded at the 200 capacity Lion’s Share club formerly located in the small town of San Anselmo, CA, just 20 miles north of San Francisco. The performance features Jerry Garcia performing with friend, mentor and legendary keyboardist/vocalist Merl Saunders. The duo is joined by drummer Bill Vitt and bassist John Kahn, who soon became a lifelong Garcia collaborator.
GarciaLive Volume Six will be the subject of an hour-long special premiere broadcast on SiriusXM’s Grateful Dead Channel on Friday, June 24.
Garcia has often credited Saunders with teaching and inspiring the guitarist to interpret covers, which became commonplace for The Grateful Dead, the group he led for nearly 30 years, as well as the foundation for much of The Jerry Garcia Band’s repertoire. Songs that appear on GarciaLive Volume Six, such as “I Second That Emotion," “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)," “That’s Alright, Mama” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," would become Jerry Garcia Band staples for decades.
Looking back, the July 5, 1973 show took place during what would be a pivotal time in Garcia’s creative arc. Five days following this show, the same ensemble would perform just miles away in Berkeley and record what would become the acclaimed Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders: Live at Keystone releases. The Grateful Dead were at the top of their game around this time, and about to head East to perform to over a half million fans at Summer Jam in Watkins Glen, NY with The Band and The Allman Brothers, which became the largest single day concert in U.S. history. The Dead were only weeks away from laying down the foundation to record what would become one of their most celebrated albums, Wake Of The Flood. Garcia was also indulging his bluegrass roots in 1973 with the ensemble Old & In The Way, featuring David Grisman and Peter Rowan. To top it all off, the core band on the 1973 recording (Garcia, Saunders & Kahn) would go on to form Legion Of Mary in 1974 with Elvis Presley’s drummer Ron Tutt and sax player Martin Fierro. It was clearly the most creative and inspired period Garcia had experienced to that point.
Seeing what transpired right on the heels of that July evening in San Anselmo, makes what was captured that night all the more special. The 14 songs performed at the Lion’s Share were recorded by famed Grateful Dead engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson, and feature a more-raw and intimate sound and feel than the beloved Keystone releases. In retrospect, these rock, jazz and R&B influenced interpretations by two masters of the form clearly illustrate that Garcia was at the precipice of a journey that would define all that he touched moving forward.
To preorder GarciaLive Volume Six: July 5, 1973 – Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders, go to: http://jerrygarcia.shop.musictoday.com/. The album will be available as a 3-CD set or digital downloads in MP3 or FLAC format. Bundles are available that include an exclusive t-shirt and limited edition screen print poster by Matt Leunig signed and numbered by the artist in an edition of 500 prints.
This summer marks the return of the much-anticipated Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration featuring Warren Haynes. This year, Haynes will be joined for the first time by vocalist Jacklyn LaBranch, who was an integral part of the latter era Jerry Garcia Band. The Symphonic Celebration band includes bassist Lincoln Schleifer, drummer Jeff Sipe and vocalist Jasmine Muhammad.
Curated by the Garcia family, the celebration will feature groundbreaking collaborations with renowned orchestras interpreting Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter’s timeless original compositions. For tour dates and information about the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration featuring Warren Haynes, go to: http://jerrygarcia.com/event/.