Happy birthday, Jerry
Today would have been the 64th birthday of Jerry Garcia (August 1, 1942 - August 9, 1995). He was one of the most prolific and influential guitarists and songwriters of his generation, and he left us far too soon. Whether with his own band, alongside such artists as David Grisman, Bob Dylan, and David Crosby, or playing with the Good Ol' Grateful Dead, Garcia won the hearts and blew the minds of millions during a career spanning more than three decades.
In honor of the man and his music, here are a few live tracks from throughout his career. The JGB songs each feature him leading his own band, while the Grateful Dead tracks are each songs on which Garcia had the lead vocal and contributed some gorgeous guitar work. I won't begin to claim that these are the best or most representative versions of these particular songs, but I hope you enjoy them anyway.
Jerry Garcia Band - Deal (live October 1987; from Pure Jerry 4)
Jerry Garcia Band - Friend of the Devil (live July 1977; from Pure Jerry 1)
Grateful Dead - Bird Song (live 12-11-1988)
Grateful Dead - Sugaree (live 9-9-1972)
Grateful Dead - Dark Star (live 3-26-1968)
Grateful Dead - Loser (live 8-6-1971)
I'll never understand why so many indie/hipster types choose to dismiss anything related to the Dead without giving it a chance. They wrote some beautiful songs, and even if you can't stomach the jamming you should pick up a copy of Garcia (1972). Wow.
Ryan Adams - Bird Song (live 6-16-2005; with Phil Lesh)