Jun 092016
grateful dead new orleans

From time to time at Cover Me, we like to dip into the world of live fan bootlegs. We did a few months ago with a bunch of rare and unreleased covers Tom Waits has performed over his career, and we just stumbled across another collection worth sharing: a two-disc compilation of Jerry Garcia covering his favorite New Orleans songs. Whether with the Grateful Dead, his own Jerry Garcia Band, or solo, over the years he took on classics by Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, James Booker, and many more, often extended them into ten minute or longer jams. Download it below.

Though New Orleans is a long way from San Francisco, Garcia’s affinity for the city’s music makes a certain amount of sense. New Orleans jazz and San Francisco psychedelia both valued spontaneity, improvisation, and letting the moment carry the music. And there’s been a certain amount of cross-pollination. In 1976 Garcia performed four shows with R&B piano icon James Booker (some of those collaborations are included here). Since the ’70s, New Orleans has had its own jam band community, spearheaded by bands like the Radiators and more recently Galactic. And in a fun historical footnote, New Orleans was the site of a famous 1970 Dead drug bust that later made it into the “Truckin'” lyrics: “Busted, down on Bourbon Street / Set up, like a bowlin’ pin / Knocked down, it gets to wearin’ thin / They just won’t let you be, no.”

As this collection shows though, Garcia didn’t hold the bust against the city or its music. Some songs, like “Iko Iko,” were longtime Dead live staples. Others, like “You Are My Sunshine,” he only performed once. You can download a couple highlights below – including an amazing 13-minute Fats Domino cover – then the full 15-song set below. We’ve also included the collection’s original liner notes, which offer an informative look at each song.

MP3: Jerry Garcia Band – All By Myself (Fats Domino cover, live in Berkeley, CA, 10/12/75)

MP3: Grateful Dead – Iko Iko (The Dixie Cups cover, live in Huntington, WV, 4/16/78)

MP3: Jerry Garcia Band – I’ll Take A Melody (Allen Toussaint cover, live in Washington 2/12/80)

Download the full ‘JerryNOLA: Jerry Covers New Orleans’ collection at Dropbox

JerryNOLA: Jerry Covers New Orleans
A Compilation

1. Get Out Of My Life Woman (Allen Toussaint) (7:17)
Jerry Garcia Band, The Stone, San Francisco, Oct. 4, 1986
2. All By Myself (Fats Domino) (13:14)
Jerry Garcia Band, Keystone, Berkeley, CA, Oct. 12, 1975
3. Something You’ve Got (Chris Kenner) (3:58)
Jerry Garcia Band, Club Front, San Rafael, CA, Jan. 7, 1976
4. You Are My Sunshine (Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell) (11:43)
Jerry Garcia Band, Sophie’s, Palo Alto, CA, Jan. 10, 1976
5. Stagger Lee (Garcia & Hunter) (6:03)
Grateful Dead, Winterland, San Francisco Oct. 17, 1978
6. Don’t Try To Be Your Brother’s Killer (James Booker) (9:55)
Jerry Garcia Band, Club Front, San Rafael, CA, Jan. 7, 1976
7. Rockin Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu (Huey “Piano” Smith) (6:08)
Jerry Garcia Band, Orpheum Theatre, Boston, Oct. 24, 1975 (Early Show)
8. United Our Thing Will Stand (James Booker) (11:51)
Jerry Garcia Band, Sophie’s, Palo Alto, CA, Jan. 9, 1976
9. Just Kissed My Baby (Modeliste, Neville, Nocentelli, Porter Jr.) (11:11)
Garcia & Saunders, Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, Nov. 28, 1974
10. Junco Partner (Traditional) (4:45)
Jerry Garcia Band, Sophie’s, Palo Alto, CA, Jan. 10, 1976
11. Stagger Lee (Garcia & Hunter) (5:44)
Jerry Garcia (Solo), Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ, April 10, 1982
12. Classified/Right Place, Wrong Time Medley (James Booker/Mac Rebennack) (10:01)
Jerry Garcia Band, Club Front, San Rafael, CA, Jan. 7, 1976
13. Iko Iko (James “Sugar Boy” Crawford) (12:08)
Grateful Dead, Huntington Civic Centre, Huntington, WV, April 16, 1978
14. I’ll Take A Melody (Allen Toussaint) (12:38)
Jerry Garcia Band, Lisner Auditorium, Washington, Feb. 12, 1980 (Late Show)
15. What A Wonderful World (Bob Thiele & George David Weiss) (8:42)
Jerry Garcia Band, Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA, Aug. 1, 1992

It’s no coincidence that this compilation is dominated by James Booker and, to a lesser extent, Nicky Hopkins, two of the boogie-woogiest piano players the world has ever known. And since eight of the 15 tracks feature one or the other doing songs Jerry only played with them, many of these tracks selected themselves. None of the Booker tracks were played in any other incarnation of Jerry’s side projects. Since there are only three recordings over four nights with Booker, there was no way to get a wide variety of choices.

Of the other songs done by the JGB, only two, Get Out Of My Life Woman and I’ll Take A Melody (both written by Allen Toussaint), were done with any regularity. GOOMLW was an easy choice, taken from Jerry’s 10/4/86 first post-coma performance. There are better recordings of it but the electricity and warmth coming from the audience at this historic show made this one easy. Melody was also an easy selection. A 1980 Ozzie Ahlers song had to be included.

While Stagger Lee is a Garcia/Hunter composition, the story of Stagger Lee (and Billy DeLion) is deeply rooted in the rich tradition of New Orleans music. There are two versions here, one with the Grateful Dead and one from Jerry’s only solo show. Although What A Wonderful World was written by non-Louisianans Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, it was popularized by Louis Armstrong. So it’s inclusion is also necessary. There was no more famous New Orleans musician than Satchmo. The version included here is from Jerry’s 50th birthday.

All By Myself: Performed 20 times. 17 from April, 1975 with the Legion Of Mary, through the Nicky Hopkins and James Booker bands. Brought back twice in 1978 and then once more in August, 1980.
Written by Fats Domino http://rockhall.com/inductees/fats-domino/bio/

Classified: Performed three times from Jan. 7-10, 1976.
Written by James Booker http://www.cascadeblues.org/History/JamesBooker.htm

Don’t Try To Be Your Brother’s Killer: Performed once in rehearsal on Jan. 7, 1976.
Written by James Booker http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/musician.php?id=5177

Get Out Of My Life Woman: Performed 63 times beginning in July, 1984 until September, 1994.
Written by Allen Toussaint http://www.allentoussaint.com/

Iko Iko: Performed by the Grateful Dead 185 times beginning in May, 1977 and remained a regular part of the repertoire until the end.
Written by James “Sugarboy” Crawford http://www.offbeat.com/2002/02/01/james-sugar-boy-crawford/

I’ll Take A Melody: Performed 212 times by the JGB, beginning with the Legion of Mary in April, 1975 and remained a regular part of the repertoire through November, 1990. It was then brought back twice in early 1994.
Written by Allen Toussaint http://www.nonesuch.com/artists/allen-toussaint

Junco Partner: Performed once on Jan. 10, 1976.
Traditional http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junco_Partner

Just Kissed My Baby: Performed four times in November, 1974 by Garcia & Saunders.
Written by Zigaboo Modeliste, Art Neville, Leo Nocentelli & George Porter Jr. (The Original Meters) themetersonline.com expired on 07/26/2010 and is pending renewal or deletion.
in the meantime… http://www.georgeporterjr.com/weblinks.html

Right Place, Wrong Time: Performed twice, on Jan. 7 and Jan. 10, 1976. It was part of a medley on Jan. 7, the version included here.
Written by Mac Rebennack http://www.drjohn.org/

Rockin’ Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu: Performed five times from Oct. 22-27, 1975
Written by Huey “Piano” Smith and Johnny Vincent http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huey_%22Piano%22_Smith

Something You Got: Performed once in rehearsal on Jan. 7, 1976
Written by Chris Kenner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Kenner

Stagger Lee: Performed by the Grateful Dead 147 times including regularly from August, 1978 to December, 1979. It reappeared a couple of times in August, 1982 then returned to the regular rotation in June, 1985 and remained there until June, 1995. Jerry also performed it acoustically by himself and with Garcia & Kahn three times in 1982.

United Our Thing Will Stand: Performed three times from Jan. 7-10, 1976.
Written by James Booker http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Booker

What A Wonderful World: Performed five times from 1992-93.
Written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss http://www.jazzhouse.org/gone/lastpost2.php3?edit=920666365

You Are My Sunshine: Performed once on Jan. 10, 1976.
Written by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmie_Davis

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