Electric On The Eel, the long-awaited six-CD box set featuring the Jerry Garcia Band, is set for release on March 15th via Round Records. Recorded at the semi-secluded French’s Camp on the Eel River in Piercy, CA, Electric On The Eel includes three full electric sets performed in 1987, 1989 and 1991.
What became a biennial pilgrimage began in 1987 when Wavy Gravy asked Garcia to perform a benefit at the location to raise money for his famed Hog Farm. Garcia agreed as long as Bill Graham was brought in to co-produce and promote. When Graham agreed, it was on. Later that year, Garcia’s now legendary Broadway acoustic/electric runs in New York City was to take place, but not before he chose to work out the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band and Jerry Garcia Band sets at Eel River. While this special box set focuses on the JGB electric shows, the complete August 29, 1987 acoustic set is included on the Acoustic On The Eel bonus disc available exclusively (while supplies last) to fans who purchase via their local, independent record shop or JerryGarcia.com. See full set list below.
Surrounded by mountains, evergreens and redwoods, the intimate setting set the tone for three transcendent performances in a unique environment over the course of five years. The Jerry Garcia Band was in its prime, featuring its most celebrated line up with Garcia on guitar and lead vocals, Melvin Seals (keyboards), John Kahn (bass), David Kemper (drums), Gloria Jones (backing vocal) and Jacklyn LaBranch (backing vocal).
Each set features the Jerry Garcia Band’s signature renditions of classics, standards, originals and some surprises all performed with the soul, passion and playfulness Garcia’s ensemble had become known for. The 1987 performance features a classic JGB set that includes “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”, Van Morrison’s “And It Stoned Me” and Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come”. The 1989 performance includes jaunty versions of two Garcia/Hunter originals (“Deal” and “They Love Each Other”), two Allen Toussaint gems (“I’ll Take A Melody” and “Get Out My Life Woman”) and a rare appearance of the gospel standard “I Hope It Won’t Be This Way Always”, released for the first time here.
The 1987 and 1989 sets represent much of what made the Jerry Garcia Band special, and why fans flocked to this remote location for such a unique experience. However, the 1991 set may be the jewel of the collection showcasing the group at the height of their powers. The show features inspired versions of the gospel-infused “My Sisters And Brothers“, “Lay Down Sally”, Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell”, and an epic, heart-melting interpretation of The Manhattans’ “Shining Star”. The 1991 set also includes The Jerry Garcia Band’s take on Mercer/Carmichael’s “Lazy Bones”, The Band’s “Twilight” and Eric Clapton’s “See What Love Can Do” (written by Jerry Lynn Williams), released for the first time.
Pre-order Available at Electric On The Eel