Garcia Live, Vol. 5: December 31st, 1975 Keystone Berkeley

by: Jerry Garcia Band

The fifth installment of the Garcialive series collects archival footage of the only New Year's Eve show any incarnation of the Jerry Garcia Band performed, recorded at the tiny Berkeley, California club the Keystone on the last day of 1975. Garcia's band of drummer Greg Errico, bassist John Kahn, and keyboardist Nicky Hopkins is joined on the second and third sets by familiar Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Mickey Hart as well as harmonica player Matthew Kelly on several tracks. A particularly loose, appropriately celebratory feeling flows through much of the sets as the band includes several instrumental interludes, briefly visiting themes like "God Save the Queen" (the traditional melody, not the Sex Pistols version still a few years from coming into existence) and the Beatles' "Mother Nature's Son." When they do get cooking, it's on extended 12-bar blues vamps in the first set like "It Ain't No Use" and "Pig's Boogie," while the second set tends toward laid-back jams like "Catfish John" or shuffling electric blues workouts like "Tore Up Over You." ~ Fred Thomas

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