For Volume 16 of GarciaLive, the archival series looks back at the debut of Jerry Garcia Band at Madison Square Garden (MSG) on November 15, 1991.
GarciaLive Volume 16 finds the world’s most recorded musician in the world’s most famous arena at the midway point in one of his longest and most celebrated solo tours. While Garcia was no stranger to MSG, November 15th marked the Jerry Garcia Band debut in the vaunted venue. Though just two months removed from the Grateful Dead’s sold-out 9-night residency at the Garden, the crowd’s eruption as the houselights dimmed revealed the immense excitement for Garcia’s return.
The buoyant set-opening “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” signaled the feeling was indeed mutual. Love remained a central theme throughout the evening with stunning versions of Smokey Robinson’s “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” Van Morrison’s “He Ain’t Give You None” and “Bright Side of the Road,” and Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate,” among others.
A near-automatic highlight of any latter era Jerry Garcia Band set, this performance of The Manhattan’s “Shining Star” is so poignant it became the centerpiece for the 2001 compilation of the same name. The extended takes on “Ain’t No Bread in the Breadbox” and “Don’t Let Go” which followed offered the band plenty of room to stretch out with the latter yielding the deepest improvisations of the evening. Not one to treat encores as de rigueur, Garcia finds the perfect sentiment to close the night with the timeless “(What A) Wonderful World” sending everyone home walking on air.
Included in the physical copy are detailed liner notes written by Relix editor-in-chief and Jambands.com founder Dean Budnick, which includes reflections from Melvin Seals, Jacklyn LaBranch, Dennis McNally and John Popper. Popper’s band, Blues Traveler, was the opening act for the 1991 show. GarciaLive Vol. 16 is set for a June 25 release.
Disc One // Set One:
1. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
2. Struggling Man
3. He Ain’t Give You None
4. Simple Twist of Fate
5. Lay Down Sally
1. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
2. My Sisters and Brothers
4. The Way You Do The Things You Do
5. Waiting For A Miracle
6. Shining Star
7. Ain’t No Bread in the Breadbox
1. Don’t Let Go
2. That Lucky Old Sun >
3. Bright Side of the Road
4. (What A) Wonderful World