Jerry Garcia Band

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Jerry Garcia Band
Origin Marin County, California, USA
Genres Rock
Years active 1975–1978, 1979-1995
Labels Arista, Grateful Dead
Associated acts Grateful Dead
Legion of Mary
Reconstruction
Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band
JGB
Website jerrygarcia.com
Past members Jerry Garcia
John Kahn
Ron Tutt
Nicky Hopkins
James Booker
Keith Godchaux
Donna Godchaux
Maria Muldaur
Buzz Buchanan
Ozzie Ahlers
Johnny de Foncesca
Greg Errico
Melvin Seals
Jimmy Warren
Daoud Shaw
Essra Mohawk
Liz Stires
Bill Kreutzmann
Jaclyn LaBranch
DeeDee Dickerson
David Kemper
Gloria Jones
Gaylord Birch
Donny Baldwin

The Jerry Garcia Band was a San Francisco Bay Area rock band led by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. Garcia founded the band in 1975; it remained the most important of his various side projects until his death in 1995. The band regularly toured and recorded sporadically throughout its twenty-year existence, generally, but not always during breaks in the Grateful Dead's schedule.[1][2]

History[edit]

Over the years, the lineup of the Jerry Garcia Band changed many times, the one constant member besides Garcia himself was bassist John Kahn, who served as Garcia's principal musical collaborator outside of the Grateful Dead after 1970. The group did not perform between November 1978 and October 1979; during that year, Garcia, Kahn and keyboardist Merl Saunders (who performed with Garcia and Kahn from 1971 to 1975 in the Saunders/Garcia Band and Legion of Mary) briefly performed in Reconstruction, a more egalitarian jazz-funk ensemble. Melvin Seals had the next longest tenure, serving as keyboardist from 1980 onward.

Jerry Garcia's musical interests were famously varied, and this was reflected in the diverse music played by his band. Like the Grateful Dead, the Jerry Garcia Band played rock music that was influenced by blues, folk, country, and jazz in an improvisatory milieu that largely served as a framework for Garcia's solos. However, the group eschewed the former band's avant-garde and world music influences in favor of a slower, groove-based "bar band" approach strongly oriented toward rhythm and blues (the band often featured female backing vocalists characteristic of the genre), gospel music and reggae. Rock versions of contemporary Americana were also prominent.

Staples of the band's repertoire included Holland–Dozier–Holland's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" (widely perceived as the group's signature song and their most-performed song), Peter Rowan's "Midnight Moonlight," Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come" and "Sitting in Limbo," the Sensational Nightingales' "My Sisters and Brothers," Hank Ballard's "Tore Up Over You," Bob McDill and Allen Reynolds' "Catfish John," John Lennon's "Dear Prudence," Jesse Stone's "Don't Let Go," Allen Toussaint's "I'll Take a Melody" and "Get Out of My Life, Woman," Little Milton's "That's What Love Will Make You Do," Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" and "You Never Can Tell," Bruce Cockburn's "Waiting for a Miracle," Irving Berlin's "Russian Lullaby," Smokey Robinson's "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and "I Second That Emotion," Peter Tosh's "Stop That Train," Bob Marley's "Stir It Up," Robbie Robertson's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," the Manhattans' "Shining Star," Van Morrison's "And It Stoned Me" and Norton Buffalo's "Ain't No Bread in the Breadbox." The band also performed Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Ole Man River" and Miles Davis' "So What" on one occasion apiece. As with the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia regularly covered many songs by Bob Dylan with the group, including "Tangled Up in Blue," "Simple Twist of Fate," "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," "Forever Young," "Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)" and "When I Paint My Masterpiece."

According to Linda Kahn in a 2017 Reddit Ask Me Anything prompt, much of the band's repertoire was curated by her husband: "[H]e did bring most of the cover material to the table, he has a big record collection and they're all in really good shape, he was pretty anal about his records. I think as far as picking songs, he listened to records all the time, so it depends on whoever was in the band and whatever group was playing at the time and that influenced John a lot."[3]

Although the repertoire was strongly tilted toward covers, several Garcia-Robert Hunter originals (including "Run for the Roses," "Mission in the Rain," "Gomorrah," "Cats Under the Stars" and "Reuben and Cerise") were performed exclusively or near-exclusively by the Jerry Garcia Band, some of the band's original repertoire (most notably "Deal," "They Love Each Other," "Sugaree," and "Friend of the Devil") was shared with the Grateful Dead.

During Garcia's lifetime, the Jerry Garcia Band released one studio album, Cats Under the Stars, and one live album, Jerry Garcia Band. Several more live albums were released posthumously.

The group was an indirect beneficiary of the commercial success of the Grateful Dead's In the Dark (1987); as the latter group transitioned to summer stadium tours and multi-night arena engagements during their autumn and spring tours, the tour itineraries of the Garcia Band (hitherto confined to clubs and small theaters) came to encompass arenas (primarily in Garcia's key northeastern United States market) and outdoor amphitheaters favored by the Grateful Dead in the early 1980s. During this period, the group continued to play as many as fifteen concerts a year in an informal residency at The Warfield, a 2,300-capacity theater in San Francisco.

Kahn briefly led the group (rechristened JGB) following Garcia's death in 1995. Seals became the bandleader after Kahn's death in 1996; as of 2017, he is the only remaining member from the final iteration of the Jerry Garcia Band in JGB.

Discography[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Following are the lineups for the Jerry Garcia Band's live performances.[4] [5]

August 5, 1975 – December 31, 1975
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Nicky Hopkins – piano, vocals
  • Ron Tutt – drums
January 9, 1976 – January 10, 1976
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • James Booker – piano, vocals
  • Ron Tutt – drums
January 26, 1976 – August 12, 1977
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Keith Godchaux – piano, vocals
  • Donna Godchaux – vocals
  • Ron Tutt – drums
November 15, 1977 – November 3, 1978
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Keith Godchaux – piano, vocals
  • Donna Godchaux – vocals
  • Maria Muldaur – vocals
  • Buzz Buchanan – drums
October 7, 1979 – March 27, 1980
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Ozzie Ahlers – keyboards, vocals
  • Johnny d'Fonseca – drums
July 18, 1980 – November 16, 1980
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Ozzie Ahlers – keyboards, vocals
  • Greg Errico – drums
December 20, 1980 – June 1, 1981
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • Jimmy Warren – electric piano, clavinet
  • Daoud Shaw – drums
June 25, 1981 – August 23, 1981
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • Jimmy Warren – electric piano, clavinet
  • Bill Kreutzmann – drums
  • Essra Mohawk – vocals
  • Liz Stires – vocals
September 7, 1981
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • Jimmy Warren – electric piano, clavinet
  • Bill Kreutzmann – drums
  • Julie Stafford – vocals
  • Liz Stires – vocals
September 18, 1981 – November 20, 1981
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • Jimmy Warren – electric piano, clavinet
  • Ron Tutt – drums
  • Julie Stafford – vocals
  • Liz Stires – vocals
December 17, 1981 – June 24, 1982
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • Jimmy Warren – electric piano, clavinet
  • Bill Kreutzmann – drums
  • Julie Stafford – vocals
  • Liz Stires – vocals
October 13, 1982 – October 23, 1982
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • Greg Errico – drums
October 24, 1982 – June 5, 1983
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • Greg Errico – drums
  • Jaclyn LaBranch – vocals
  • DeeDee Dickerson – vocals
July 20, 1983 – August 28, 1984
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • David Kemper – drums
  • Jaclyn LaBranch – vocals
  • DeeDee Dickerson – vocals
September 15, 1984 – September 28, 1985
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • David Kemper – drums
  • Jaclyn LaBranch – vocals
  • Gloria Jones – vocals
October 7, 1985 – February 2, 1986
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • Gaylord Birch – drums
  • Jaclyn LaBranch – vocals
  • Gloria Jones – vocals
February 21, 1986 – November 19, 1993
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • David Kemper – drums
  • Jaclyn LaBranch – vocals
  • Gloria Jones – vocals
February 4, 1994 – April 23, 1995
  • Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn – bass
  • Melvin Seals – organ
  • Donny Baldwin – drums
  • Jaclyn LaBranch – vocals
  • Gloria Jones – vocals

Timeline[edit]

See also[edit]

JGB Band – Melvin Seals JGB band 1996–Present.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jackson, Blair (1999). Garcia: An American Life. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-029199-7. 
  2. ^ Trager, Oliver (1997). The American Book of the Dead: The Definitive Grateful Dead Encyclopedia. Fireside. ISBN 0-684-81402-1. 
  3. ^ https://www.reddit.com/r/jgb/comments/6r5ay0/i_am_linda_kahn_wife_of_late_john_kahn_ama/
  4. ^ DeadBase XI: The Complete Guide to Grateful Dead Song Lists, by John W. Scott, Mike Dolgushkin, and Stu Nixon, 1999, DeadBase, ISBN 1-877657-22-0
  5. ^ Band Members, archived from the original on April 13, 2003, retrieved October 20, 2016 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]