Old & In The Way

29 May

OldandInthe Way

Bought from a bargain-bin in Leicester for £4.99 about sixteen years ago, Old & In The Way came out in 1975 on the Grateful Dead label (GDCD4014) and is noteworthy for at least two reasons. One, because it is the first bluegrass collection I ever bought and two, because  it’s the album that alerted me (belatedly perhaps)  to the fact that the late Jerry Garcia of the Dead, was actually a pretty awesome roots musician as well as a psychadelic rocker!

I’d listened to bits and pieces of the Grateful Dead (especially Workingmen’s Dead) and owned a vinyl copy of Aoxamoxa – so the idea of Garcia as a banjo player was sufficiently intriguing to take a gamble – and I was blown away with what I heard – absolutely straight bluegrass music, recorded live.

Others featured are Peter Rowan (guitar, vocals and three of the ten compositions), David Grisman (mandolin, vocals and the title song), Vassar Clements on fiddle and John Kahn (from the Jerry Garcia Band) on acoustic bass.

There’s a good cover version of the Jagger/Richards song ‘Wild Horses’ but my personal favourite is the traditional ‘Pig in a Pen’

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