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Keyboard Sound Gets in the Way
on July 23, 2013
It's tough to give 3 stars to anything Jerry Garcia Band. If you are collecting all the live recordings you can get your hands on then by all means buy this. This is better music than 98% of music out there, and my review is not really for you.
Rather, my review is meant for someone trying to decide between the different recordings for their 1st or 2nd Jerry Garcia Band purchase, which is more likely the people reading reviews on Amazon. If this is the case, than I strongly recommend considering buying 'Let It Rock' first because Nicky Hopkins is just awesome on the piano on that recording. The band went through several different keyboard/piano players and this has a huge affect on the 'sound' of each recording.
Once you have 'Let It Rock' I would strongly recommend the self-titled Jerry Garcia Band or the GarciaLive Volume 2. Both feature Melvin Seals on the organ/keyboards and the sound is just way more up my alley.
I really found Ozzie Ahlers' 'spacey' synthesizer-heavy keyboard sound a big distraction on this record, and the same goes for the Kean College Record.
Its easy to give 5 stars to every Jerry Garcia Band recording and be done with it, but I'm trying to help out someone trying to decide among them. One man's opinion. :)