Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals; John Kahn - bass; Keith Godchaux - keyboards; Donna Jean Godchaux - vocals; Maria Muldaur - vocals; Buzz Buchanan - drums
Recorded on the 1978 tour promoting his Cats Under The Stars album, presented here is The Jerry Garcia Band live at The Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. The early show from this evening was simulcast live on WNEW in New York City and has long been a staple of Garcia collections, but relatively few have ever heard this second show from later that same night.
This particular JGB lineup included both Donna Jean Godchaux and Maria Muldaur on support vocals, who get a nice showcase of their own on the rarely performed gospel number "I'll Be With Thee." This recording is also remarkable for John Kahn being so prominent in the mix, which gives listeners a fine opportunity to hear the telepathic musical relationship he and Garcia enjoyed for so many years.
In addition to introducing fresh new material from the "Cats" album to the band's live repertoire, this performance also includes a diverse range of covers, including Irving Berlin's "Russian Lullabye," Hank Ballard's "Tore Up Over You" and The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." Plenty of the laid back grooves that often defined Garcia's style with his own band are found here, but this performance also features many moments of ferocity, with Garcia in highly focused and inspired form. The evening culminates in a remarkable encore of "Rhapsody In Red," with both Muldaur and Godchaux belting it out and Garcia shredding up a storm near the end.