|Cats Under The Stars|
|No production credits|
|Released on April 1978|
|US CHART POSITION #114|
|Find it at GEMM|
[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.
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|
|US||April 12, 2005||Rhino||CDX||79507||digital remaster w. bonus tracks|
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