Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jerry Garcia Day

If I were an elected official I’d push for making August 9th, a national holiday in recognition of the passing of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia (unless I thought it might actually pass).  While he may not have been the best, Jerry was for my money—and my collection runs a little over four feet—the most consistently interesting of all the rock guitarists.

While the focus tended to be on the really long jam numbers, for me Jerry was at his best adding little phrases to the shorter numbers, playing behind the vocals, and especially in the transitions where The Dead would move from one song to another.  In a song like Row Jimmy (Atlanta ’77) you can hear him play around with a musical idea; essentially playing the same thing three times but coming at from a different angle in each one.  It’s great playing, and pure Jerry.  RIP

Peggy-O from the first show I attended: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xOgD8HuGRo

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