I’m well into my Iron build now for both cycling (107.75k accomplished in cold, damp and miserable conditions yesterday) and running, which really just means a sustainable pace over extended periods of time and, therefore, distance; no progressions, no intervals, etc. Just straight away running (or cycling). This morning’s run then is just that, so I’m foregoing the motivational playlists today and going with some long, mellow, extended jamming on the ‘On Broadway: Act One‘ album by the Jerry Garcia Band.
It is only fitting that in the year of the Grateful Dead‘s Fare Thee Well 50th Anniversary shows that its iconic guitarist finally gets the recognition he deserves.
This triple-disc package is the first in a series of archival releases to document the Jerry Garcia Band’s 13-night run on Broadway. The discs are divided into two acoustic sets — one from an afternoon matinee performance and the second from the first half of an evening show – and an electric final act which I will finish off later this evening on my second, short “double run” this evening – yes, I ran twice today!
In fact, going forward, Sunday’s will now be referred to as “Kenya Day”.
Anyway, the band on the first two includes bassist John Kahn and drummer David Kemper (who also play in the electric version), guitarist David Nelson (New Riders of the Purple Sage), fiddler Kenny Kosek, and Sandy Rothman on banjo, dobro, and mandolin. The latter two also provide backing vocals. Highlights in the matinee set include ‘Deep Elum Blues‘, Ralph Stanley‘s ‘If I Lose‘, and George Jones’ ‘Ragged But Right‘. The second set is a bit more spirited with loose but excellent versions of ‘I’ve Been All Around This World‘, Jimmie Rodgers’ ‘Blue Yodel No. 9‘, and the traditional Appalachian standard ‘I’m Troubled‘, as well as Tex Logan’s ‘Diamond Joe‘ (with Nelson on lead vocals) and Mel Tillis’ and Webb Pierce’s classic honky tonk blues ‘I Ain’t Ever‘.
How’s that for some 21.1k worth of mellow, overcast, rural back road running?
The final electric set drops the string players and takes a turn toward groove: Melvin Seals plays organ, and Gloria Jones (Marc Bolan’s widow) and Jackie LaBranch offer backing vocals. This is where things catch fire. It includes three fine versions of Bob Dylan tunes – ‘Forever Young‘, a ten-minute ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, and a sprightly ‘Tangled Up in Blue‘. Soul and reggae are represented by Holland-Dozier-Holland’s ‘How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)’ and Peter Tosh’s ‘Stop That Train‘, and there’s a raw, early rock & roll take on Los Lobos’ ‘Evangeline’. Listeners also get fine versions of two originals in ‘Run for the Roses‘ and ‘Gomorrah‘ which is one of my personal favs among the extensive Garcia Band archive.
Today’s long run, while not my best effort (nor was it intended to be) was momentous for a few reasons. First, this represents my first half marathon distance (slow as it was) sine March of last year (click HERE). Secondly, it has been the longest sustained run I’ve managed after completing a long bike ride/brick run the day previous. To that regard, ‘ol Thunder n’ Lightning felt good for the first part which pleased me but then the sole of my left foot began to get sore and, well, that’s where things began to get uncomfortable. I still got ‘er done though and thus completing Part 1 of “Kenya Day”. Now it’s time to refuel, re-hydrate and get set for Part 2 in about 5 hours time.
God help me.