GarciaLive Volume 21 Is The Timeless Performance from the Keystone In Berkeley

The latest installment in the GarciaLive series, “GarciaLive Volume 21: February 13th, 1976 Keystone Berkeley,” offers a thrilling dive into the Jerry Garcia Band’s live performance at the legendary Keystone in Berkeley, California. This two-CD set or digital download captures nearly the entire two-set performance, originally recorded on 1/4″ analog reels by the renowned Betty Cantor-Jackson. For fans of Jerry Garcia and lovers of live music, this release is a sublime testament to a golden era in Garcia’s musical journey.

A Harmonious Era

Early 1976 marked a significant period for the Jerry Garcia Band with the arrival of Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux. Their inclusion brought a harmonious richness to the band’s sound, something Garcia himself described enthusiastically: “This is what I want to hear.” The recording from February 13th, 1976, is a perfect showcase of this harmonious evolution.

Highlights of the Performance

While the show-opening “How Sweet It Is” is unfortunately missing, the tracks that follow more than compensate for its absence. One of the standout performances is Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come.” This track encapsulates the dynamic range and soulful harmonies of the mid-70s Jerry Garcia Band (JGB). The band’s adventurous improvisation takes the song well beyond its original form, weaving a musical tapestry that is both intricate and profoundly moving.

The setlist also includes several first known JGB performances. The cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Moonlight Mile” is breathtaking, showcasing Garcia’s ability to reinterpret and breathe new life into classic songs. “After Midnight,” another debut performance, grooves steadily, highlighting the tight rhythm section and Garcia’s fluid guitar work. The spirited “Talkin’ ’Bout You” adds a burst of energy, further showcasing the band’s versatility.

Bonus Tracks and Added Value

To provide a more complete experience, “GarciaLive Volume 21” includes a couple of tracks from the February 15th, 1976 performance at Sophie’s. The bouncy rendition of “How Sweet It Is” and the debut performance of “My Sisters and Brothers” complement the main recording beautifully, offering listeners a fuller picture of the band’s repertoire during this period.

A Must-Have Collection

“GarciaLive Volume 21: February 13th, 1976 Keystone Berkeley” is a must-have for Jerry Garcia enthusiasts and anyone who appreciates masterful live music. The album captures a moment in time when the Jerry Garcia Band was evolving and experimenting, delivering performances that were both technically proficient and emotionally resonant. This collection not only highlights the band’s harmonious sound with the Godchauxs but also preserves the spontaneous magic that made their live shows unforgettable.

GarciaLive Volume 21 is From February 13th, 1976 Keystone Berkeley

GarciaLive Volume 21: February 13th, 1976 Keystone Berkeley is a mesmerizing addition to the GarciaLive series, capturing the Jerry Garcia Band in one of their prime moments. The two-CD set, meticulously recorded by Betty Cantor-Jackson, brings the warmth and energy of a live JGB performance into the listener’s space.

The album opens with Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come,” setting a high bar with its soulful harmonies and extended improvisation. Garcia’s guitar work is both fluid and expressive, perfectly complemented by Keith Godchaux’s piano and Donna Jean’s vocals. This track alone encapsulates the dynamic and exploratory spirit of the mid-70s JGB.

The inclusion of first known performances such as the Rolling Stones’ “Moonlight Mile,” “After Midnight,” and “Talkin’ ’Bout You” adds significant value to this collection. “Moonlight Mile” stands out with its emotional depth and intricate arrangement, while “After Midnight” grooves with a steady, infectious rhythm. “Talkin’ ’Bout You” infuses the set with high energy and showcases the band’s versatility.

The bonus tracks from February 15th, 1976, at Sophie’s, particularly “How Sweet It Is” and “My Sisters and Brothers,” round out the album nicely. These additions provide a sense of completeness, offering listeners a broader perspective on the band’s live performances during this period.

Overall, “GarciaLive Volume 21” is a testament to the Jerry Garcia Band’s exceptional live performances and the harmonious sound they achieved with the Godchauxs. This release is not just a collection of songs but a vivid snapshot of a vibrant musical moment, making it an essential addition to any Jerry Garcia or live music aficionado’s collection.

Disc One:
1. Catfish John
2. After Midnight
3. Mission In The Rain
4. Who Was John?
5. They Love Each Other
6. Moonlight Mile

Disc Two:
1. The Harder They Come
2. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
3. Talkin’ ‘Bout You
Filler: February 15th, 1976 at Sophie’s, Palo Alto, CA
4. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
5. My Sisters and Brothers