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Keystone Companions: The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings [Box set]

Jerry Garcia, Merl SaundersAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Price: $33.55 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 24 Songs, 2012 $18.99  
Audio CD, Box set, 2012 $33.55  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Hi-Heel Sneakers 8:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Keepers (Previously Unreleased Take) 7:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Harder They Come 6:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (Previously Unreleased Take) 6:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. It's Too Late (She's Gone) 7:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. My Funny Valentine (Previously Unreleased Take)18:14Album Only
listen  7. Mystery Train11:37Album Only

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I Second That Emotion10:59Album Only
listen  2. Someday Baby10:15Album Only
listen  3. Merl's Tune13:34Album Only
listen  4. It Ain't No Use 9:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Positively 4th Street 7:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) (Previously Unreleased Take) 8:09$1.29  Buy MP3 

Disc 3:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry 7:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Keepers 6:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. One Kind Favor 6:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. That's All Right, Mama 4:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Harder They Come (Previously Unreleased Take)10:09Album Only
listen  6. My Funny Valentine18:05Album Only
listen  7. Money Honey 8:21$1.29  Buy MP3 

Disc 4:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Someday Baby (Previously Unreleased Take)10:15Album Only
listen  2. Merl's Tune (Previously Unreleased Take)12:21Album Only
listen  3. Like A Road Leading Home11:02Album Only
listen  4. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)10:20Album Only

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Frequently Bought Together

Keystone Companions: The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings + GarciaLive Volume Two: August 5th, 1990 Greek Theatre + GarciaLive Volume Three: December 14-15, 1974 Northwest Tour
Price for all three: $65.31

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Fantasy
  • ASIN: B0089X38C2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,692 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Grateful Dead guitarist/vocalist Jerry Garcia and keyboardist Merl Saunders performed live at the Keystone in Berkeley, CA together on July 10th and 11th, 1973. Although components of this memorable show have been previously released, this is the very first time that the concert has become available in its entirety. This 4 disc box set assembles the full set list, all remastered, and in the order in which the songs were performed. The repertoire spans blues, rockabilly, jazz, funk, Broadway, Motown, two Bob Dylan songs, and Jimmy Cliff s immortal The Harder They Come.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time....but well worth the wait September 25, 2012
Format:Audio CD
It wasn't easy for me to give in and replace my homemade Keystone box set, painstakingly assembled many moons ago--so that I could listen to these shows in their entirety--by re-sequencing the tracklist and burning onto CD-Rs the four previous releases (plus bootleg) that featured highlights of these two July 1973 Berkeley shows. But after hearing the pristine remastered sound that came out of my speakers while listening to 'Keystone Companions,' I'll now gladly set fire to my old one as an offering to the music gods, in thanks for this excellent release, even though in the back of my mind I'll secretly be thinking, "What took so dang long?"

But that's neither here nor there, as it's here now, and captures Jerry at (arguably) the peak of his improvisational powers. There's no stronger evidence than listening to songs like the jammy, hypnotic "Merl's Tune," the straight-up blues of "Hi-Heel Sneakers," and especially the band's insanely tripped-out take on the jazz standard "My Funny Valentine," which contains some near-supernatural psychic interplay between Jerry, Merl, John Kahn, and Bill Vitt. Merl weaves his keyboard melodies tightly in and around Jerry's guitar leads as if the two have been playing together regularly for a decade, and the rhythm section is precise and on-point, even during the various sudden changes in tempo throughout.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recordings By 2 Greats Revisited September 26, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Keystone Companions/The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings, recorded live on July 10 and 11, 1973 at the Keystone Club in Berkeley, California, beautifully captures the magical musical friendship of keyboardist Merl Saunders and guitarist Jerry Garcia. The Fantasy Records lavish four-disc set, is scheduled for release this Tuesday (September 25th) on the heels of the 70th anniversary of Jerry Garcia's birth and includes seven previously unreleased tracks, a special booklet featuring vintage photos, liner notes by Grateful Dead expert David Gans; a poster, a coaster, button and "scratchbook" (replicating the design of the original album's promotional matchbooks.

The incredible band featured Saunders; Garcia, guitar and vocals; John Kahn on bass; and Bill Vitt on drums. Virtuoso David Grisman added mandolin to the classic Bob Dylan number, Positively 4th Street. The mix of songs ranged frm Saunders originals to covers of songs by Jimmy Cliff, Junior Parker, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Rodgers & Hart, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudp, Lightnin' Hopkins, Don Nix, Dan Penn and Dylan.

San Franciso-born keyboardist Merl Sauders had been writing and performing in New York before returning to the West Coast. Producer Nick Gravenites offered him studio work that included playing with guitarist Jerry Garcia, already at the helm of one of the world's most popular rock bands, the Grateful Dead. "Garcia reminded me of (jazz guitarist) Eric Gale," Saunders recollected, "Anything he played was very musical. He knew how to do a rhythm on any kind of tune - gospel, blues, jazz. I was amazed."

Saunders also helped Garcia expand his harmonic knowledge and even showed him some Art Tatum runs. "He taught me music," Garcia said of Saunders.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
1973 was a pivotal year for Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Pigpen died in March, and Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders had settled into a regular routine of playing at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco. While they had been playing together since December, 1970, after Jerry stopped playing with the New Riders of the Purple Sage, he and Saunders became frequent companions, meeting up to play totally different types of music from what Jerry played with the Dead, or with the New Riders. In 1973 Garcia was also playing in the short-lived Old and In the Way, a bluegrass band, but he and Saunders still managed to play a few dozen concerts together, and would eventually play 266 gigs.

But in 1973, Jerry and Merl were hot. While the Dead were performing some of their best concerts, Jerry's side projects showed him in a different light, playing blues, standards, Bob Dylan songs and much more, in a jazzier, more R&B tone. Together with other band members John Kahn and Bill Vitt, this recording features two complete shows, July 10 and 11, 1973, and shows the range of Jerry's non-Grateful Dead material.

With the exception of a couple of Dylan songs that the Dead would cover twenty years later, not one song in these two shows was in the Dead's repertoire. They range from standards like My Funny Valentine to R&B songs such as I Second that Emotion and How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You), by way of a cover of Jimmy Cliff's The Harder They Come. (The film of the same name, which broke reggae out of its island, was released in 1972.)

Listening to Jerry Garcia play guitar and sing these songs shows how versatile he was.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars ... but one of the discs was missing - was disappointed about
so sorry to write only 3 stars but one of the discs was missing - was disappointed about that
Published 1 month ago by freezeframe
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet
Published 3 months ago by Andrew L. Weitz
5.0 out of 5 stars Keystone Companions
Jerry Garcia an Merle Saunders any deadhead knows this is awesome. Like everything else these two play this is great and highly recommended. Thank you for a real good time!
Published 4 months ago by Phyllis Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait!
This is a great release, Saunders & Garcia at their best, although I already have a lot of the tracks from previous releases, to have the complete collection re-mastered is... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Danny C
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy Recordings to Melt the face off any Head.
Outstanding. This recordings bring me to the most special place music can bring me. Like Heaven only much much better.
Published 11 months ago by matthew shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD's
Great package of CD's. The recordings have great sound quality. The only rub I have is the repeated songs... Read more
Published 12 months ago by dddrock
5.0 out of 5 stars Some good old Friends
Both long gone now, Jerry & Merl were quite a pair. I won't bore you reciting the histrionics already known, but if you are a fan or toying with the idea, this is a must. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Rolf
5.0 out of 5 stars Merl Saunders
Explaining what is going on here has less to do with this performance you will enjoy forever.
Play it loud and often!!
Published 15 months ago by Alex Gilroy
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for Garcia Fans
This is a great collection for those who want to be able to listen to classic Jerry Garcia playing with some great musicians. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Steven
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Glad to finally have the complete recordings in one package. The sound quality is great. Very good unreleased songs as well.
Published 15 months ago by Daniel F Boltja
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Topic From this Discussion
Because these are the July 10th & 11th, 1973 shows in their entirety.
Sep 25, 2012 by M. Judkins |  See all 4 posts
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