AL 9603 Run For The Roses
Produced by Jerry Garcia & John Kahn
Released on November 1982
US CHART POSITION #100
Find it at GEMM
AL 9603 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

I awoke to an unredeemable day and found that my review of Run For The Roses had been replaced by a better one on the All Music Guide. A writer suffers many indignities over the course of a career, so better to wish my first draft well in the land of shadows and re-cast this record without regret. Before proceeding further, I should mention that I like the Grateful Dead’s music from the late ‘70s (and as long as I’m opening up here, I also like Ringo Starr’s voice some of the time). I re-visit Terrapin Station often and have strolled down Shakedown Street without ill effect. All that to put into context the fact that I like Run For The Roses. Granted, I’ve listened to this album about a hundred times, drawn in by the promise of relaxed, tuneful music that resurrects the spirit of the Dead’s music at a time when the band was dormant. Tempering expectations that Garcia on his own would represent a diminished product compared to the work of the Dead, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the quality of his solo catalog. Using a backing band of familiar faces -- Robert Hunter, Merl Saunders, John Kahn -- Garcia walks leisurely through new material and some well-chosen covers. A hiccupy version of The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” and a smoldering take on Clyde McPhatter’s “Without Love” are enjoyable in their own right, but it’s the mellow island vibe of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” that will hold the most appeal for Dead fans. Of the originals, the title track is the kind of subdued celebration of sound that Jerry brought to the band during the late ‘70s, while the soured romance of “Valerie” counters that sweetness with a tart bit of the blues. The arrangements are pleasant enough but not the kind of under-the-surface activity that you’d find with the Dead; Melvin Seals’ organ is the only instrument given the same weight as Garcia’s guitar. My affection for the album is probably borne from familiarity; I wouldn’t make it my first foray into Garcia’s solo catalog, but when you run out of Dead you could do worse than Run For The Roses.

AL 9603 back cover
AL 9603 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. RUN FOR THE ROSES    (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter)    3:30
  2. I SAW HER STANDING THERE    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)    2:53
  3. WITHOUT LOVE    (Clyde McPhatter)    4:22
  4. MIDNIGHT GETAWAY    (Jerry Garcia/John Kahn/Robert Hunter)    7:46
  5. LEAVE THAT LITTLE GIRL ALONE    (John Kahn/Robert Hunter)    3:33
  6. VALERIE    (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter)    5:19
  7. KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR    (Bob Dylan)    7:27

CREDITS

JERRY GARCIA -- guitars, vocals, arrangements, slide guitar
JOHN KAHN -- bass, synthesizers, arrangements, fretless bass, guitar, slide guitars, piano, clavinet
MELVIN SEALS -- organ
RON TUTT -- drums, tambourine, percussion
JIMMY WARREN -- piano, clavinet
Roger Neuman -- trumpet, horn section leader, arrangements
Michael O'Martian -- clavinets, piano
Merl Saunders -- organ (3)
Julie Stafford -- vocals (7)
Liz Stires -- vocals (7)
Betty Cantor-Jackson -- engineer
Ron Malo -- engineer
Bob Matthews -- overdubs & mixing
Victor Moscoso -- album art

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US November 1982 Arista LP/CS AL 9603  
GER 1982 Arista LP 204973  
US November 1987 Arista CD/CS ARCD/AC-8557  
JPN 2000 BMG Int'l CD BVCM-37147 K2 remaster

 

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