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Jerry Garcia & David Grisman
Been All Around This World

Review By Steven Stone
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Jerry Garcia & David Grisman Been All Around This World

CD Number: Acoustic Disc ACD-57 

 

  Jerry Garcia and David Grisman played together on and off for well over forty years. Some of that playing time was spent in David Grisman's studio. Luckily, during some of these last occasions David had his tape recorders running. The results can be heard on Acoustic Disc's new release Been All Around This World.

This disc includes twelve songs drawn from traditional, roots, country western, folk, and even R&B sources. Some tunes, such as "Been All Around This World," and "I'm Troubled," come from Garcia and Grisman's early string band repertoire, while others including "I Ain't Never, " and "Dark As A Dungeon," draw on early country influences. Perhaps the most surprising song selections are the reggae tune "Sitting Here In Limbo" and James Brown's "I'll Go Crazy." These demonstrate the remarkable scope of G&G's musical interests. Even these last two, somewhat oddball, musical selections become perfect string band fare once they have been filtered through the musical consciousness of these two consummate musicians.

David Grisman on mandolin, mandola, plus tenor and baritone vocals, and Jerry Garcia on lead vocals and acoustic guitar are joined by veteran sidemen Joe Craven on percussion and fiddle, Jim Kerwin on bass, Matt Eakle on flute, George Marsh on drums, and Sally van Meter on dobro. Despite the added musical firepower the disc still feels primarily like a duo album rather than an ensemble effort. The backing musicians remain in the shadows, adding to the overall sound, but never detracting from the gray-bearded front men.

The sound has the usual down-home suavity I've come to expect from Acoustic Disc. I know of no label that consistently produces more albums that sound so acoustically right. I'm convinced that Dawg Studios should be declared a sonic shrine.

Naturally Deadheads and Dawg fans will snap up this disc with acquisitive fervor, but even less rabid acoustic music connoisseurs should at least give this disc a serious listen. It's not often we have the chance to hear contemporary master musicians play with each other for no reason other than the pure joy of it.

 

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