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Jerry Garcia Songbook:
His Solo Repertoire

(Warner Bros.)

First Appeared at The Music Box, January 2003, Volume 10, #1

Written by John Metzger


Aspiring guitarists and musicians alike ought to be excited about the long overdue release of the Jerry Garcia Songbook. This collection compiles nearly 90 songs from Jerry Garciaís solo repertoire and makes the perfect complement to the previously released Grateful Dead Anthology. As Garciaís long-time fans are aware, the lead guitarist performed a huge array of cover songs at his solo performances, and these ran the gamut from classic rock (Van Morrisonís He Ainít Give You None, Eric Claptonís Lay Down Sally, and Bob Dylanís Positively 4th Street ó to name a few) to country (Merle Haggardís Sing Me Back Home) to reggae (Peter Toshís Stop that Train) to gospel (Charles Johnsonís My Sisters and Brothers) to folk (Elizabeth Cottonís Oh Babe, It Ainít No Lie) to blues (the Roy Hawkins/Rick Darnell tune The Thrill Is Gone). Of course, there are quite a few of Garciaís compositional collaborations with Robert Hunter included as well.

Like its predecessor, the Jerry Garcia Songbook includes a full listing of lyrics for each tune, and the songs are all arranged in guitar lead line format. Unlike its predecessor, this collection features a short forward by Alan Trist, the head of Ice Nine Publishing, as well as a complete discography, numerous insightful photographs, and a terrific historical essay by San Francisco Chronicle critic Joel Selvin. As such, the Jerry Garcia Songbook becomes a valuable resource for both musicians and collectors interested in Garciaís world outside the Grateful Dead.

Jerry Garcia Songbook is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


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