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Garcia [Bonus Tracks]

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Jerry Garcia 4/12/2005

Review

This disc was a happy byproduct of the Grateful Dead resigning with Warner Bros. It was mutually beneficial for Bob Weir (guitar/vocals) as well as Mickey Hart (percussion), and his criminally overlooked debut long-player Rolling Thunder (1972). Jerry Garcia's (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass, piano, organ, samples, vocals) simply titled Garcia (1972) is arguably the most solo of all these projects, as only he and the Grateful Dead's Billy Kreutzmann (percussion) contribute instrumentally. That said, Robert Hunter's lyrics should not be underestimated as all six of his co-compositions became staples in the Dead's live songbook for the remainder of their concert career. The infusion of new material can be attributed to the lack of any Dead-related releases since Workingman's Dead (1970), over 14 months earlier. Although Garcia is the primary musician on the ten tracks, he has given each arrangement a wholly unique persona. These range from straight-ahead blues-based rock & roll ("Sugaree") to the avant-garde ("Late for Supper"). Within those extremes are discerning renditions and solid performances of stone gems such as the noir folkie "Loser," as well as the lilting balladry of "Bird Song" and the cyclical psychedelia of "The Wheel." the latter of which features some of the finest pedal steel guitar work to have come from Garcia's brief infatuation with the twangy instrument. He brings an intimacy to the affective love song "To Lay Me Down" that was rarely equalled by the Grateful Dead. His prowess as an emotive pianist can be heard throughout not only that cut, but also on the trippy medley consisting of the previously mentioned "Late for Supper," "Spidergawd," and "Eep Hour." Ever the self-effacing artist, at the time of release the guitarist overtly downplayed the album as "overindulgent." Time has rendered that assessment utterly false, as Garcia is nothing short of a full-bodied artistic expression from one of rock & roll's most multifaceted musicians. Both initiated Deadheads as well as enthusiasts of the burgeoning early-'70s singer/songwriter movement will find much to cherish on this recording as Jerry Garcia redefines his immense talents and seemingly undiluted musical potential. [This version of the album includes bonus material.] ~ Lindsay Planer
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Deal Jerry Garcia 3:10
  3. 2 Bird Song Jerry Garcia 4:24
  4. 3 Sugaree Jerry Garcia 5:52
  5. 4 Loser Jerry Garcia 4:5
  6. 5 Late for Supper Jerry Garcia 1:37
  7. 6 Spidergawd Jerry Garcia 3:26
  8. 7 Eep Hour Jerry Garcia 5:7
  9. 8 To Lay Me Down Jerry Garcia 6:17
  10. 9 An Odd Little Place Jerry Garcia 1:39
  11. 10 The Wheel Jerry Garcia 4:2
  12. 11 Sugaree Jerry Garcia 7:10
  13. 12 Loser Jerry Garcia 4:1
  14. 13 Late for Supper/Spidergawd/Eep Hour Jerry Garcia 10:17
  15. 14 The Wheel Jerry Garcia 3:59
  16. 15 The Wheel Jerry Garcia 2:48
  17. 16 Study for "Eep Hour" Jerry Garcia 3:25
  18. 17 Dealin' from the Bottom Jerry Garcia 1:20
  19. 18 Study for "The Wheel" Jerry Garcia 3:18

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