Jerry Garcia's first solo venture is partially a testament to the creative surge that the Garcia/Robert Hunter songwriting team experienced at the dawn of the 1970s. Along with such seminal Grateful Dead albums as WORKINGMAN'S DEAD, AMERICAN BEAUTY, and EUROPE '72, it is one in a series of explorations of American musical traditions draped in the colors forecast by JOHN WESLEY HARDING-era Bob Dylan. But this record also included modernist, outer-space moments for all of those concerned that Garcia had turned his back on his music's innovational trips.
Having veered away from the mystical compositions they helped create for the late-'60s Dead, Garcia and Hunter began focusing on the timeless aspects of Americana, building on existing foundations. This meant electrifying old country and folk textures until they crackled with the possibility of epiphany. "Deal," a blistering, steel-guitar-propelled tale that preaches the wisdom of caution, centers around a refrain popularized by Bill Monroe, and the strutting, mid-tempo "Sugaree" is loosely based on an Elizabeth Cotten song ("Shake Sugaree"). By comparison, GARCIA's weird sides are odd transmissions into free musical space. "Late for Supper," "Spidergawd," and "Eep Hour" are concoctions full of loops, sound effects, and Garcia's fragmented piano playing, hinting at the spacey electronic music the Dead would soon tackle.
- Format: Vinyl
- Released: 7/28/2017
- Genre: Rock