On Broadway, Act One: October 28th, 1987

On Broadway, Act One: October 28th, 1987

by Jerry Garcia Band


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It is only fitting that in the year of the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well 50th Anniversary shows that its iconic guitarist finally gets the recognition he deserves. This triple-disc package is the first in a series of archival releases to document the Jerry Garcia Band's 13-night run on Broadway. The discs are divided into two acoustic sets -- one from an afternoon matinee performance and the second from the first half of an evening show -- and an electric final act. The band on the first two includes bassist John Kahn and drummer David Kemper (who also play in the electric version), guitarist David Nelson (New Riders of the Purple Sage), fiddler Kenny Kosek, and Sandy Rothman on banjo, dobro, and mandolin. The latter two also provide backing vocals. Highlights in the matinee set include "Deep Ellum Blues," Ralph Stanley's "If I Lose," and George Jones' "Ragged But Right." The second set is a bit more spirited with loose but excellent versions of "I've Been All Around This World," Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel No. 9," and the traditional Appalachian standard "I'm Troubled," as well as Tex Logan's "Diamond Joe" (with Nelson on lead vocals) and Mel Tillis' and Webb Pierce's classic honky tonk blues "I Ain't Ever." The final electric set drops the string players and takes a turn toward groove: Melvin Seals plays organ, and Gloria Jones (Marc Bolan's widow) and Jackie LaBranch offer backing vocals. This is where things catch fire. It includes three fine versions of Bob Dylan tunes -- "Forever Young," a ten-minute "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," and a sprightly "Tangled Up in Blue." Soul and reggae are represented by Holland-Dozier-Holland's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" and Peter Tosh's "Stop That Train," and there's a raw, early rock & roll take on Los Lobos' "Evangeline." Listeners also get fine versions of two originals in "Run for the Roses" and "Gomorrah." This isn't the best Garcia performance, but it's far from substandard. Since fans have heard most, if not all of these songs, many times before, On Broadway: Act One is more for the completist than the devoted fan. There are some truly inspired moments of guitar interplay between the leader and Nelson on the first two discs, and Seals adds another layer of swing and R&B drive to the electric one. Even with the uncertainties of a first-night performance, these musicians are itching to play together; and, as the tape traders know too well, by the end of this two-week run this group would be rattling the rafter. For veteran fans, it's fascinating to hear their more tentative beginnings here.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/23/2015
Label: Ato Records
UPC: 0880882225520
catalogNumber: 222552
Rank: 9923

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jerry Garcia Band   Primary Artist
Jerry Garcia   Guitar,Vocals
Gloria Jones   Vocals
Kenny Kosek   Fiddle
John Kahn   Bass
David Kemper   Drums
Jackie LaBranch   Vocals
David Nelson   Guitar,Vocals
Sandy Rothman   Banjo,Dobro,Mandolin,Vocals
Melvin Seals   Organ

Technical Credits

Mississippi John Hurt   Arranger
Ralph Stanley   Arranger,Composer
George Jones   Composer
Jimmie Rodgers   Composer
Mel Tillis   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Jerry Garcia   Composer,Producer
Robert Hunter   Composer
Charlie Monroe   Composer
John Cutler   Engineer
Lamont Dozier   Composer
Joe Gastwirt   Producer
David Hidalgo   Composer
Eddie Holland   Composer
Brian Holland   Composer
Tex Logan   Composer
Peter Tosh   Composer
G.B. Grayson   Composer
Henry Whitter   Composer
Steve Parish   Liner Notes
Dennis McNally   Liner Notes
Don Wayne   Composer
Nick Steinhardt   Art Direction,Illustrations
Charles Moody   Composer
Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band   Arranger
Louis Perez   Composer
Charles Johnson   Composer
Michael Webb Pierce   Composer
Karl Davis   Composer

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