Merl Saunders

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It’s bewildering how many devoted fans are out there of late guitar and American music icon Jerry Garcia that never saw him play a single show. Yet they know all about the live music of Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band. They can explore the evolutions and changes in form, structure, and exploration. This is of course due to the tireless efforts of band insider sound technicians and the extended taper culture that surrounded.

In celebration of what would have been Jerry Garcia’s 75th birthday, the GarciaLive series continues on with perhaps their most diverse entry yet. On June 28th, Round Records/ATO will release GarciaLive Volume Nine: August 11, 1974 Keystone Berkeley. The iconic guitarist was on a roll, building his rapport as a solo artist separately from the Grateful Dead for the first time since his early days as a folkie, playing dozens of gigs in California and beyond.

Fantasy Records, a division of Concord Bicycle Music, is pleased to announce the vinyl edition of the acclaimed MERL SAUNDERS/JERRY GARCIA Keystone Companions: The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings, out October 28th.

While iconic guitarist and bandleader Jerry Garcia passed away nearly twenty-one years ago, his influence and high-esteem continues to mount. It’s miraculous that so many fans of the beloved guitarist and Grateful Dead bandleader never actually witnessed the legend perform. The expansiveness of his covers was equally impressive as his originals. That’s why Garcia and the Dead continue to grow their fan base, much like jazz music, there’s something ethereal about simply listening and taking in.

Concord Records is going to have a contest – or more precisely a drawing – and give away a total of six box sets.  To enter, all you have to do is send in your name and mailing address to keystonecompanions.com.

Keystone Companions/The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings, recorded live on July 10 and 11, 1973 at the Keystone club in Berkeley, California, beautifully captures the magical musical friendship of keyboardist Merl Saunders and guitarist Jerry Garcia.

For the fans of the Grateful Dead most saw the time they spent as shows as an escape from reality, a dojo where the realms of the ordinary and the everyday vanished. The counterculture that surrounded that band was not only based on the years of memories captured in the hearts of millions, but like church, a Deadhead could truly have a mind-left-body experience and be closer to their spiritual selves.

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