Jerry Garcia & Grateful Dead Live Acoustic Spotify Playlist
Both before and after co-founding the Grateful Dead, performing acoustic was a significant aspect of Jerry Garcia’s career as a professional musician. Playing guitar and banjo, his pre-Dead acoustic work can be heard with outfits such as the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers, Hart Valley Drifters, Wildwood Boys, Black Mountain Boys and Asphalt Jungle Mountain Boys.
Another of Garcia’s early-1960s acoustic groups, Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, evolved into the electrified The Warlocks who in turn became known as the Grateful Dead. In 1970, the Grateful Dead put out a pair of standout studio albums, Working Man’s Dead and American Beauty, that saw the psychedelic Acid Test house band evolve into a more acoustic, countrified sound.
Around the time of the making of those records, the Dead introduced acoustic sets at several of their live concerts. A decade later, the Grateful Dead went acoustic again during runs of shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and The Warfield in San Francisco.
In the early-1970s, Garcia participated in Old & In The Way, an all-star bluegrass supergroup that saw him playing banjo alongside guitarist Peter Rowan, fiddler Vassar Clements, mandolinist David Grisman and bassist John Kahn. Garcia and Grisman and Garica and Kahn would go on to perform together in various configurations, often playing acoustic instruments, for much of the rest of Garcia’s career. In the late-1980s, Kahn was a member of the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band along with Jerry’s longtime cohort David Nelson.
Below is a playlist capturing Jerry performing acoustic before the Dead, with the Dead and in various other groups during his career. Stream it here: