by Lee Zimmerman on January 18, 2017
Recorded live in May 2015, shortly before the Dead’s Fare Thee Well celebration, the Dear Jerry show actually marked the first time Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and Bob Weir shared the stage during their 50th anniversary year. (Though Lesh appears with his own ensemble instead of his GratefulDead brethren.) While this set benefits from the core four’s contributions, their congregation achieves practically the same results, with ringers like Jorma Kaukonen (“Sugaree”), Buddy Miller (“Deal”) and Yonder Mountain String Band (“Shakedown Street”) breathing new life into the Dead’s catalog. The fact that Garcia covered a range of genres opens up further possibilities and, here, songs such as “Shady Grove” and “The Harder They Come” are given added credence by featuring the artists originally associated with the numbers (David Grisman and Jimmy Cliff, respectively). Whether it’s enjoyed through a casual listen in 5.1 surround stereo or experienced by watching the DVD in high definition, Dear Jerry is a supreme celebration—a genuine love letter that pays tribute to Jerry’s genius.
Album: Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia