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Friday, June 24

GarciaLive Volume Six: July 5, 1973 with Merl Saunders

GarciaLive Volume Six: July 5, 1973 – Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders, which will be released by Round Records/ATO Records today, June 24. GarciaLive Volume Six is the latest installment of the GarciaLive archival series. This performance was recorded at the 200 capacity Lion’s Share club formerly located in San Anselmo, CA, 20 miles north of San Francisco. The performance features Jerry Garcia performing with friend, mentor, keyboardist/vocalist Merl Saunders. The duo is joined by drummer Bill Vitt and bassist John Kahn.

Garcia has often credited Saunders with inspiring the guitarist to interpret covers, which became commonplace for The Grateful Dead, as well as the foundation for much of The Jerry Garcia Band’s repertoire. Songs that appear on GarciaLive Volume Six, such as “I Second That Emotion”, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), “That’s Alright, Mama” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, would become Jerry Garcia Band staples for decades.
This July 5,1973 show took place during a pivotal time in Garcia’s creative arc. Five days following this show, the same ensemble would perform just miles away in Berkeley and record what would become the acclaimed Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders: Live at Keystone releases. The Grateful Dead were at the top of their game around this time, and about to head East to perform to over a half million fans at Summer Jam in Watkins Glen, NY with The Band and The Allman Brothers, which became the largest single day concert in U.S. history. The Dead were only weeks away from laying down the foundation to record what would become one of their most celebrated albums, Wake Of The Flood. Garcia was also indulging his bluegrass roots in 1973 with the ensemble Old & In The Way, featuring David Grisman and Peter Rowan. To top it all off, the core band on the this recording (Garcia, Saunders & Kahn) would go on to form Legion Of Mary in 1974 with Elvis Presley’s drummer Ron Tutt and sax and flute  player Martin Fierro. It was clearly the most creative and inspired period Garcia had experienced to that point. In retrospect, it’s pretty evident that these interpretations illustrate that Garcia was at the precipice of a journey that would define all that he touched moving forward
Written By: Mike Geller
Edited by: Greg Heffelfinger

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