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Various Artists: Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Ostensibly a tribute to one Jerome Garcia, this May 2015 show in Maryland's Merriweather Post Pavilion also celebrates the greater jam-band community, both musicians and audience, that keep the leading-averse bandleader's increasingly codified but mostly inquisitive spirit alive."

Album Notes

Tributee: Jerry Garcia.

Released on DVD/BluRay as well as a double-CD set, Dear Jerry captures a tribute concert to Jerry Garcia held on May 14, 2015 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Every surviving member of the Dead appeared -- usually separately, although all but Phil Lesh showed up for "Touch of Grey" -- along with a few peers (David Grisman, Jorma Kaukonen), fellow travelers (Allen Toussaint, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Frampton), and acolytes (Los Lobos, Buddy Miller, Moe, Widespread Panic). Although the presence of Eric Church on an ambling, defiant "Tennessee Jed" serves as something as a surprise, most of Dear Jerry is pleasingly familiar, in both sound and sensibility, hitting most of the major songs in its 20 tracks. While there are a few standouts -- that Church number, Toussaint playing his own "Get Out of My Life Woman" with elegant insouciance, a sly "Deal" from Miller, a rampaging "Bertha" from Los Lobos and Bob Weir -- the most gratifying thing about Dear Jerry is how it touches upon bluegrass, rock, folk, blues, and R&B, all of the major elements of Garcia's style, without ever making much of a fuss about it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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