Twenty years ago today Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia celebrated his 53rd and final birthday, passing away days later on August 9, 1995. In honor of what would have been his 73rd birthday we’re presenting a 37-track Spotify Playlist featuring Jerry’s work outside of the Grateful Dead. Garcia lent his talents to many groups and recordings beyond what he contributed to the Dead. While known best for his excellent skills on the guitar, Jerry was also quite adept at playing banjo and pedal steel guitar and his vocals were often regarded for their ability to convey emotion.
Included among the 37-songs are cuts from early Garcia groups like The Wildwood Boys and Old & In The Way and contributions he made late 1960s/early 1970s contemporaries like Jefferson Airplane, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Country Joe & The Fish. Jerry often recorded with individuals in those groups, represented on tracks by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, and he helped out his Grateful Dead bandmates’ solo efforts, which can be heard on tracks by Bob Weir and Mickey Hart.
Well represented are frequent Garcia collaborators David Grisman and Merl Saunders as well as Howard Wales, Bob Dylan, Bruce Hornsby and The Neville Brothers, alongside the likes of Warren Zevon, Art Garfunkel, Thomas Dolby, David Bromberg and others. The nearly three-and-half hours of Jerry showcases his ability to conform to any number of genres from bluegrass to blues, to folk, to psychedelic rock, to various styles of jazz, and beyond.
Happy Birthday Jerry, we sure do miss you.
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