Let Me Roll It to You…
Just in time to celebrate Jerry’s 67th birthday (August 1, of course) comes a new installment in the Pure Jerry series, this one an especially hot selection from 1978. This was a particularly exciting period for the Jerry Garcia Band, which at that time included his perennial bass buddy John Kahn (of course), Buzz Buchanan on drums (who’d played with Jerry since the fall of ’77), his partners in the Dead, Keith Godchaux on piano and Donna Godchaux on vocals, and, at many shows that year, second singer Maria Muldaur, who blended so nicely with Donna.
We’ve drawn together the listenable/usable/releasable parts of four Northern California shows from the first half of ’78 to create this stellar compilation. Much of the material was culled from consecutive shows in February of 1978, shortly after Jerry, Keith and Donna had returned from fine, high-energy Midwest tour by the Dead (documented wonderfully on Dick Picks Vol. 18). Songs from the 2/18/78 JGB show at the 2,000-seat Marin County Veteran’s Auditorium include a barn-burning “Mystery Train,” the loping “Catfish John,” and, best of all, a spectacular “Lonesome and a Long Way Home” that ambles through all sorts of fascinating moods and spaces over the course of more than 20 minutes. The next night, the JGB landed at the Santa Cruz Civic—a similar-sized venue—and this time the fans (and now, you!) were treated to such tunes as the Motown classics “Second That Emotion” and “The Way You Do the Things You Do” (a great version!), “Mission in the Rain,” Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate,” and, the piece de resistance, a 30-minute “Don’t Let Go” featuring generous solos all around and ultra-soulful guitar-and-vocals from Jerry on the “Hold me tight and don’t let go…” passage towards the end. Wild!
Rounding out this exceptional package are four tunes from June 1978: The 6/10 show at the tiny Keystone Berkeley gives us the bouncy, rockin’ “Tore Up Over You” that opens Disc Two; then, after a couple more tunes, we move to 6/18 at the Keystone Palo Alto—a favorite JGB haunt for many years—for what is arguably the greatest version of Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It” that the group ever played (and there weren’t many), and then superb versions of the still-new “Gomorrah” and the gospel tune “I’ll Be With Thee”—the latter always a fine showcase for Donna and Maria.
If you loved the ’78 Pure Jerry from the Warner Theatre (3/18/78), this one should be right up your alley, too—it’s definitely primo JG! You can see the full track listing below, and order your copy here!
DISC ONE1. Mystery Train (2/18/78, Veterans Memorial Auditorium)
2. Catfish John (2/18/78, Veterans Memorial Auditorium)
3. I Second That Emotion (2/19/78, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)
4. Mission In The Rain (2/19/78, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)
5. Don't Let Go (2/19/78, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)
DISC TWO1. Tore Up Over You (6/10/78, Keystone Berkeley)
2. Simple Twist Of Fate (2/19/78, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)
3. The Way You Do The Things You Do (2/19/78, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)
4. Let Me Roll It (6/18/78, Keystone Palo Alto)
5. Gomorrah (6/18/78, Keystone Palo Alto)
6. I'll Be With Thee (6/18/78, Keystone Palo Alto)
7. Lonesome And A Long Way From Home (2/18/78, Veterans Memorial Auditorium)