Round Records To Release Jerry Garcia ‘Before The Dead’ Box Set

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A collection of Jerry Garcia’s earliest known performances will be released as the retrospective box set Before The Dead on May 11 via Round Records. As the title implies, all of the recordings come from the period before Garcia co-founded the Grateful Dead. The compilation is available for pre-order as both a 5-LP limited edition collection and a 4-CD set.

Longtime Grateful Dead publicist and author Dennis McNally produced and curated Before The Dead along with documentarian Brian Miksis. Brian contributed extensive liner notes, which are part of a 32-page book included in the collection that also contains track by track essays and listening notes by musicologist and bluegrass historian Neil V. Rosenberg, essays from Sara Ruppenthal Katz (Garcia’s first wife) and Stu Goldstein (former owner of The Tangent) and rare photos and memorabilia.

Before The Dead starts with eight tracks featuring Jerry and Robert Hunter recorded at Brigid Meier’s 16th birthday party in Menlo Park, California on May 26, 1961. Then, Garcia and Hunter are joined by Marshall Leicester for a pair of tracks recorded at Boar’s Head Coffeehouse in San Carlos, California in July of 1961. Listeners next hear five songs laid down by Jerry and an unknown musician at the same location around the same period of time.

The compilation continues with a recording of Jerry as part of Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers in San Carlos on June 11, 1962. Also included are Hart Valley Drifters’ studio set at Stanford University’s KZSU Studio A from Fall of 1962; The Wildwood Boys at Top Of The Tangent in Palo Alto on February 23, 1963; a Jerry and Sara performance from the same venue on May 4, 1963; a bevy of Black Mountain Boys recordings spanning Fall 1963 – Spring 1964 and four tracks laid down by the Asphalt Jungle Mountain Boys during the Summer of 1964 at Top Of The Tangent. David Nelson, Norm Van Maastricht, Sandy Rothman and Geoff Levin are among the musicians who perform with Garcia during at at least one portion of Before The Dead.

Listen to a previously unreleased recording of “Rosa Lee McFall” Garcia laid down with the Black Mountain Boys in 1964 for a taste of the box set:

Before The Dead Tracklist

SIDE ONE:

Bob and Jerry
May 26, 1961
Brigid Meier’s Sixteenth Birthday Party
Menlo Park, California

1. SANTY ANNO
2. I GOT A HOME IN THAT ROCK
3. OH, MARY DON’T YOU WEEP
4. ALL MY TRIALS
5. I WAS BORN TEN THOUSAND YEARS AGO
6. BLOW THE CANDLES OUT
7. RAKE AND A RAMBLING BOY
8. TROUBLE IN MIND

SIDE TWO:

Jerry Garcia, Marshall Leicester, and Robert Hunter
July 1961
Boar’s Head Coffeehouse, Carlos Book Stall
San Carlos, California

1. BROWN’S FERRY BLUES
2. JESSE JAMES

Jerry Garcia and Unknown Musician
Summer or Fall 1961
Boar’s Head Coffeehouse, Carlos Book Stall
San Carlos, California

3. DOWN IN THE WILLOW GARDEN
4. LONG LONESOME ROAD
5. RAILROAD BILL
6. THE WAGONER’S LAD
7. KATIE CRUEL

SIDE THREE:

Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers
June 11, 1962
Boar’s Head Coffeehouse, Peninsula Jewish Community Center
San Carlos, California

1. CANNONBALL BLUES
2. LITTLE BIRDIE
3. SALLY GOODIN
4. HOLD THAT WOODPILE DOWN
5. LEGEND OF THE JOHNSON BOYS
6. SHADY GROVE
7. SWEET SUNNY SOUTH
8. MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW

SIDE FOUR & FIVE

Hart Valley Drifters
Fall 1962
KZSU Radio Studio A, Stanford University
Stanford, California

1. BAND INTRODUCTIONS
2. ROVING GAMBLER
3. GROUND SPEED
4. PIG IN A PEN
5. STANDING IN THE NEED OF PRAYER
6. FLINT HILL SPECIAL
7. NINE POUND HAMMER
8. HANDSOME MOLLY
9. CLINCH MOUNTAIN BACKSTEP

1. THINK OF WHAT YOU’VE DONE
2. CRIPPLE CREEK
3. ALL THE GOOD TIMES HAVE PAST AND GONE
4. BILLY GRIMES, THE ROVER
5. PADDY ON THE TURNPIKE (BOYS, MY MONEY’S ALL GONE)
6. RUN MOUNTAIN
7. SUGAR BABY
8. SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD

SIDE SIX:

The Wildwood Boys
February 23, 1963
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

1. ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS
2. JERRY’S BREAKDOWN
3. STANDING IN THE NEED OF PRAYER
4. MULE SKINNER BLUES
5. SATURDAY NIGHT SHUFFLE
6. PIKE COUNTY BREAKDOWN
7. THE LITTLE SPARROW
8. WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED

SIDE SEVEN:

Jerry and Sara
May 4, 1963
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

1. DEEP ELEM BLUES
2. WILL THE WEAVER
3. I TRULY UNDERSTAND
4. LONG BLACK VEIL
5. THE MAN WHO WROTE HOME SWEET HOME NEVER WAS A MARRIED MAN
6. FOGGY MOUNTAIN TOP

SIDE EIGHT:

Black Mountain Boys
Fall 1963
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

1. BAREFOOT NELLIE
2. SHE’S MORE TO BE PITIED
3. NOAH’S BREAKDOWN
4. WHO WILL SING FOR ME?

Black Mountain Boys
January 10, 1964
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

5. SALT CREEK
6. MONROE’S HORNPIPE (JODY’S HORNPIPE)
7. ROSA LEE McFALL
8. JOHN HARDY/CLOSING THEME

Black Mountain Boys
March 6, 1964
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

9. KATIE KLINE
10. WALKIN’ THE DOG

SIDE NINE:

Black Mountain Boys
March 6, 1964
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

1. PADDY ON THE TURNPIKE (BOYS, MY MONEY’S ALL GONE)
2. LOVE AND WEALTH
3. SOURWOOD MOUNTAIN
4. IF I LOSE
5. HOMESTEAD ON THE FARM (I WONDER HOW THE OLD FOLKS ARE AT HOME)
6. STONEY CREEK
7. SALTY DOG BLUES
8. LOVE PLEASE COME HOME
9. MAKE ME A PALLET ON THE FLOOR
10. DARLIN’ ALLALEE

SIDE TEN:

Black Mountain Boys
March 6, 1964
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

1. IN THE PINES
2. RAW HIDE
3. BLACK MOUNTAIN RAG
4. TRUE LIFE BLUES
5. MEDLEY: DEVIL’S DREAM—SAILOR’S HORNPIPE

Black Mountain Boys
Spring 1964
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

6. DRINK UP AND GO HOME

Asphalt Jungle Mountain Boys
Summer 1964
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

7. THESE MEN OF GOD
8. ROLL ON BUDDY
9. GOODBYE OLD PAL
10. BACK UP AND PUSH

Note: The 4-CD Edition is comprised of the following – CD 1: Sides 1 & 2; CD 2: Sides 3, 4 & 5; CD 3: Sides 6, 7; and CD 4: Sides 8, 9 & 10