ARCD-8535 Cats Under The Stars
No production credits
Released on April 1978
US CHART POSITION #114
Find it at GEMM
ARCD-8535 cover
[high resolution scan]

I n between Terrapin Station and Shakedown Street, Garcia released an album of all-original material with some of the usual suspects (Robert Hunter, Keith & Donna Godchaux, John Kahn, Ron Tutt, Merl Saunders). Credited to the Jerry Garcia Band, Cats Under The Stars is right up my alley: sweet salt-of-the-earth songs with playful melodies that end up on the right side of the struggle between good and evil. Honoring the band aesthetic, Cats also features contributions from John Kahn and Donna Godchaux, which range from reggae (“Love In The Afternoon”) to gilded pop (“Rain”) to wordless hymnal (“Down Home”). Yet the real meat of the matter lies in the new material from Garcia and Hunter. The opening “Rubin and Cherise,” “Gomorrah” and “Cats Under The Stars” are in line with what you could expect from the Dead’s most enduring songwriting partnership. Without a proper producer, the arrangements unravel in some spots, but I actually prefer this to the tightly compressed and slightly overproduced sound of Run For The Roses. On subsequent albums, Garcia and the Dead introduced (unfortunate) elements of disco into their music. You won’t find any of that under these stars. Nor will you encounter the spooky weirdness that plagued parts of Allah and Terrapin (and dates back even further). Instead, Cats Under The Stars is a straightforward collection of typically clever Garcia/Hunter songs with a few surprises (e.g., the airy “Palm Sunday”). As a result, it’s one of his most accessible solo albums, containing enough gold to justify the venture downstream from the Dead.

TRACK LISTING

  1. RUBIN AND CHERISE    (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter)    5:16
  2. LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON    (John Kahn/Robert Hunter)    4:08
  3. PALM SUNDAY    (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter)    2:19
  4. CATS UNDER THE STARS    (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter)    5:27
  5. RHAPSODY IN RED    (John Kahn/Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter)    5:10
  6. RAIN    (Donna Godchaux)    5:51
  7. DOWN HOME    (John Kahn)    1:46
  8. GOMORRAH    (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter)    5:12

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  9. MAGNIFICENT SANCTUARY BAND
  10. I'LL BE WITH THEE
  11. THE WAY YOU DO THE THINGS YOU DO
  12. MIGHTY HIGH
  13. DON'T LET GO
  14. DOWN HOME (REHEARSAL VERSION)
  15. PALM SUNDAY (ALTERNATE TAKE)

CREDITS

JERRY GARCIA -- vocals, guitar
DONNA GODCHAUX -- vocals
KEITH GODCHAUX -- vocals, keyboard
JOHN KAHN -- basses, keyboards, guitars, orchestration
MERL SAUNDERS -- organ
RON TUTT -- drums, percussion
Brian and Candy Godchaux -- violins
Maria Muldaur -- backup vocal (2,8)
Steve Schuster -- flutes, clarinet, saxophone
Betty Cantor-Jackson -- engineer
Bob Matthews -- engineer
Kelley/Mouse Studios -- cover art

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US April 1978 Arista LP AB-4160 lyric sleeve
JPN 1978 Arista LP IES-81087  
US   Arista CD/CS ARCD/AC-8535 digital remaster
JPN 2000 BMG CD BVCM-37146  
US April 12, 2005 Rhino CDX 79507 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2009 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.