Live at the Bording House by Old & in the Way is the Pick of the Week

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Outside of Deadhead circles most people don't know that the earliest versions of the Grateful Dead were actually a bluegrass band.  Jerry Garcia got his start playing old folk tunes and he formed Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions with Pigpen and Bob Weir sometimes before they decided to plug in, get high and create the psychedelic juggernaut the Dead became.  Throughout the rest of his life Garcia remained connected to folk and bluegrass music and in the 1970s he became a part of a supergroup called Old and in the Way.  Other members included David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements and John Kahn.  

They only played together for a little while and only released one album (there have since been four additional albums produced mostly culled from music created during their brief 1970s existence). But that album, also entitled Old & in the Way became one of the most successful bluegrass albums to date and the band has influence countless numbers of artists over the years.

It really is a terrific little album and the various bootlegs I have of them show some of the greatest acoustic instrumentalists not only picking off some really terrific sounds, but having a ball while doing it.  

That album was culled from liver performances recorded at the Boarding House in San Francisco on October 8, 1973.  They played a gig at the same place a week earlier.  Both shows became available as a digital download a couple of years ago and now for the first time they are being released in a physical format in their entirety.  This four-disc set includes 55 tracks from those two shows, 14 of which have never been released in any format.

I love bluegrass.  I love Jerry Garcia.  I will no doubt love this album.  I am thrilled to make it my pick of the week. I can't wait to get it.

Also out this week that look interesting:

Side by Side - Ralph Stanley & Ralph Stanley II:  Speaking of bluegrass it doesn't get any better than Ralph Stanley.  The legendary picker has recorded a new album with his son..  Should be interesting.

You Should Be So Lucky - Benmont Tench:  The longtime Tom Petty keys player gets his own solo album.  Ryan Adams, Gillian Welch, Tom Petty, and Ringo Starr contribute.

Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles - Suzanne Vega:  The Tom's Diner singer releases her eighth studio album.

Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theater 1992/Boston Common 8/17/74 - The Allman Brothers Band:  Two concerts, decades apart are now being officially released.  The one from 1971 is more interesting to me as its got Duane Allman on it, though without his genius the band has still been putting on pretty great live shows for decades.  Both ought to be excellent additions to any souther rock/jam band aficionados.