(I'm A) Road Runner - Jerry Garcia, Dozier, Lamont
Track Listings (7) - Disc #2
Sugaree - Jerry Garcia, Garcia
I'll Take a Melody - Jerry Garcia, Toussaint, Allen
That's What Love Will Make You Do - Jerry Garcia, Banks, James
Lady Sleeps - Jerry Garcia, Hopkins, Nicky
Ain't No Use - Jerry Garcia, Traditional
Let's Spend the Night Together - Jerry Garcia, Jagger, Mick
Edward, The Mad Shirt Grinder - Jerry Garcia, Hopkins, Nicky
For Jerry Garcia, 1975 was a seminal year that found him splitting time between recording Blues for Allah with the Dead, directing The Grateful Dead Movie, and forming the Jerry Garcia Band, his long-running side project. ... more »JGB's early days are the subject of a two-disc live collection of previously unreleased recordings from that momentous year. JERRY GARCIA COLLECTION, VOL. 2: LET IT ROCK, JERRY GARCIA BAND, NOVEMBER 17 & 18, 1975, KEYSTONE BERKELEY.« less
For Jerry Garcia, 1975 was a seminal year that found him splitting time between recording Blues for Allah with the Dead, directing The Grateful Dead Movie, and forming the Jerry Garcia Band, his long-running side project. JGB's early days are the subject of a two-disc live collection of previously unreleased recordings from that momentous year. JERRY GARCIA COLLECTION, VOL. 2: LET IT ROCK, JERRY GARCIA BAND, NOVEMBER 17 & 18, 1975, KEYSTONE BERKELEY.
A short-lived, phenomenal lineup creates some great music!
J. Polsgrove | Baja Arizona | 11/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love the Grateful Dead. As for Jerry's side projects, my feelings are mixed. Some were good quality (David Grisman), some were toss-offs (Howard Wales), and the revolving case of what came to be the Jerry Garcia Band crafted some great music, as well as some so-so stuff that I'll never much care for.
This line-up, with Jerry, drummer Ron Tutt, longtime bass player John Kahn, and British piano magician Nicky Hopkins (who'd made such magic on Quicksilver Messenger Service's "Shady Grove" just a few years before) has got to rank as among the best.
The blend of songs is great, It opens with a 13-minute take on Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" (hence the title), but done in slow, laid-back JG speed. It was nice, but just once I wanted to hear Jerry let loose and really speed up to mimic Chuck Berry's version. Not so. Jerry played at a loping along, steady pace, and every song on this album reflects that. The guys rev it up on Tore Up Over You, followed by a nice, different FOTD and TLEO, a funky Pig's Boogie, the JGB classic Sitting in Limbo, closing out with I'm a Road Runner.
The second CD opens with a nice 11-minute Sugaree, a couple of JGB long-time standards (I'll Take a Melody and That's What Love Will Make You Do), followed by a couple of unique tracks in the Jerry Garcia catalog, "Lady Sleeps and the 12-minute "Ain't No Use," both of which are just great.
The last 28 minutes of CD 2 are worth the price, period: a 19-minute cover of the Stones' "Let's Spend the Night Together," and Hopkins's manic piano rant from Shady Grove, "Edward, the Mad Shirt Grinder." Again, as with "Let It Rock" the band's cover of "Let's Spend the Night Together" lopes along at Jerry speed, never quite catching the hard-driving bang-on-the-table-as-if-you're-playing-drums rhythm that the Stones created. Still, it ain't bad, it's just different. I'll admit, I loved Shady Grove and Hopkins's short tenure in Quicksilver drove them to new heights, and the first track I played on this CD when I got in my Jeep outside the CD store was "Edward, the Mad Shirt Grinder." It's as manic and intense as the version on Shady Grove, but with Garcia's guitar weaving in and out of Hopkins's precice piano notes, and Tutt and Kahn providing a strong rhythm section, the 9-minute "Edward" really is the high point of this two-CD set.
The compilation was taken from two nights (Nov. 17 and 18, 1975) at the Keystone in Berkeley, where so much JGB magic was captured. I can only hope that there is more from this lineup in the vaults, because this has got to be my favorite post 1995 Jerry Garcia live release (although the Orpheum release of '76 is pretty damn hot).
I listened to it all day yesterday as I drove around Tucson in my Jeep for work, then I ripped it when I got home and put it on my iPod and fell sleep during Sitting in Limbo, only to be awakened by Edward, the Mad Shirt Grinder's intensity, and enjoying every minute of it before falling back to sleep.
The Pure Jerry and other posthumous releases have generally been very good. I love the four-CD After Midnight collection. But I have to admit, right now this has jumped to the head of the list. It's a great 2.6 hours (according to my iPod), and I can't help but give it a very, very solid 5 stars!
Keep music like this coming, please!"
"Let It Rock" definitely does!
Woolybugger | PA | 11/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 2-disc set is wonderful in so many ways. The sound quality and packaging are excellent (sound is far superior to the Dick's Picks series). I love all of Jerry's projects, but this line-up of the JGB is special. This line-up includes Nicky Hopkins on piano and the entire show has a raw, stripped down feel to it. Ron Tutt's drum work is impecable, John Kahn is solid as always, and Jerry plays that sweet and tender guitar we've all grown to love. The "Pig's Boogie" jam and "Roadrunner" are my favorites on the 1st disc. As the previous reviewer states, the whole package is worth buying for the last 2 songs alone. This version of "Let's Spend The Night Together" is one of the best I've ever heard. Ever since Jerry's kids have taken over the business, the Dead related releases are far more frequent, and the sound quality is much better (no offense Dick Latvala). This is must have for any Jerry Garcia fan."
Kenneth M. Goodman | Cleveland, Ohio United States | 11/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mr. Garcia is wonderful as ever on these CDs, playing a kind of funky psychedellic jazz/blues style that is never ever boring. But what makes Let It Rock extra special is the presence of Nicky Hopkins, who plays piano beautifully and makes a few funny comments with his striking English accent. Some of the best tracks here are the "quiet" ones, such as Sitting In Limbo, which features moments of staggering beauty. As a Grateful Dead fan, I own MANY versions of Sugaree... and the Sugaree here is very very good, thanks again to the presence of Nicky Hopkins. Road Runner is also quite fine as an extended jam, as is the fantastic title track. Of course most listeners will agree that the highest highlight are the final two tracks on CD two, being Let's Spend the Night Together, which features an 18 minute jam that reminds me, in places, of a superb Dark Star-style jam. This is directly followed by a final extended jam, Edward the Mad Shirt Grinder, which is a uniquely beautiful, bluesy, quirky and moving instrumental of deeply satisfying musicianship. It should also be mentioned that Rhino's production quality is Top Notch."
Nicky Hopkins shines in this version of the JGB
J. Kuczenski | Conn. | 12/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What was it about Nicky Hopkins that he made everything he played on so much better? And this recording of the initial, short-lived incarnation of the JGB is no exception. Great music, great sound fidelity, this is a great purchase for either hard-core GD fanatics or for the more casual Jerry Garcia fan. Only complaint; Gatefold CD case makes getting discs in and out difficult w/out them coming in contact edges of the packaging, so be careful...."
Garcia's Finest Hour(s)
Rob M. Marchese | East Lyme, CT | 03/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With so much posthumously released product---the Dead's catalogue, the Garcia/Grisman collaborations, remastered solo Garcia, and the JGB---it's hard to imagine that there's much left in the vaults to warrant euphoria from Jerry's devotees. But there is!
The newest release, Let It Rock, finds a skeletal version of the JGB. And this foursome, with session man extraordinaire, Nicky Hopkins, playing some gorgeous piano throughout---and even a few of his own compositions---plays with such synergy and vitality that it's remarkable they only lasted a mere handful of months. The playing is focused, bright, and inspired. The rhythm section is rock solid and Garcia's guitar tone has never sounded better: at times, it somewhat suggests the thick slabs of blues Roy Buchanan was known for when he was running circles around his peers in the early 70's.
Every tune is a winner here---from the lazy groove of "Let it Rock" to the bluesy riffing of "That's What Love Will Make You Do" to the delicious funk of "I'm a Road Runner" to the gentler tones of "I'll Take A Melody" and "Sugaree." Simply put: this is eclectic, melodic, controlled, and passionate guitar playing at its best. "