Garcia Family Provisions released new audio of the Jerry Garcia Band performing “Catfish John” on Tuesday, set to appear on the upcoming GarciaLive Volume 17: NorCal ’76. The performance was recorded on November 12th, 1976 during JGB’s show at Freeborn Hall at the University of California at Davis. The latest installment of the GarciaLive archival series is out on November 12th.
This particular incarnation of JBG features Nicky Hopkins, John Kahn, and Ron Tutt along with Jerry’s Grateful Dead bandmates Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux. The recordings found on GarciaLive Volume 17 present a band in evolution, as Garcia steers the ensemble away from the more freeform jazz leanings of the early ’70s and toward a more traditional rock n’ roll sound.
The recording of “Catfish John” exemplifies that shift, as the nearly 12-minute live cut finds the group in the epicenter of the groove. The improvisation is a communal feat, as Jerry shares the limelight with Keith who comes right out in front with blissful classical leads. The soulful, R&B bounce found on “Catfish John” would go on to become an everlasting cornerstone of Jerry’s side project through the rest of the band’s existence.
Also found on GarciaLive Volume 17 are fragments of two other shows recorded in Northern California in November 1976. In addition to selections from 11/12/76 at Davis, the 14-track collection features cuts from November 7th at Keystone in Berkley as well as November 13th at the East Gym at Humboldt State University in Arcata. All of the live recordings were captured by Betty Cantor-Jackson.
Scroll down to listen to Jerry Garcia Band perform “Catfish John” at Freeborn Hall at UC Davis on November 12th, 1976. GarciaLive Volume 17: NorCal ’76 is now available for pre-order at Garcia Family Provisions ahead of its November 12th release. The 3-CD set or digital download also includes an essay by legendary Grateful Dead roadie and Jerry Garcia Band manager Steve Parish.
Jerry Garcia Band — “Catfish John” — Davis, CA — 11/12/76
[Video: Jerry Garcia]