This is a great double album of Blue Grass music starring the late Jerry Garcia. Yes, it is that Jerry Garcia, as in the Grateful Dead. As any self respecting Deadhead knows Jerry had an interest in Bluegrass. And in 1975 the Grateful Dead took a brief vacation, likely for drug rehab!

Jerry took the break to form a new band The Good Old Boys. I can’t but wonder if this is where the writers of the ‘Blues Brothers’ got the name for the band that Jake and Elroy impersonate. It’s the sort of thing that John Belushi would do, so I keep an open mind.

Helping or maybe the term ‘Aiding and Abetting’ Jerry in this wild adventure are guitarist David Nelson from the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Frank Wakefield, one of the greatest mandolin players in the genre.

The Good Old Boys made one album for Round Records, recorded up at Mickey Hart’s Ranch. Shortly after completing the Good Old Boys album, the group decided to do a series of live shows, but during that time period, two of the key players from the original studio lineup were unavailable to go on the road. In a conversation with bassist Pat Campbell, Garcia mentioned that he would love to sit in on banjo, and with Jerry’s participation, and the addition of fiddle player extraordinaire Brantley Kearns, a new version of the Good Old Boys emerged, ready to hit the club circuit.

When dealing with Jerry Garcia you really rarely know the provenance of the work. I’d bet a dollar that this version of the album was recorded live. The press release mentions remastering a 2 track tape, this is a dead giveaway that it was a portable system rather than a studio set up.

If you love bluegrass or just want to have some fun, this double CD is a must have.

PS. it goes on sale today

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