Giveaway: Mickey’s Drums, Jerry’s Greatest [All About de Riddim]

Hey! Let’s talk about drumming and rhythm and percussion, and give away a couple of CD’s: Mickey Hart’s 1991 collaboration with Airto Moreira and a number of amazing percussionists from around the world – Planet Drum; and Mickey’s latest project, Global Drum Project, a collaboration with some of the same legends, including Nigerian talking drum legend Sikiru Adepoju.

But that’s not all! I’ll also throw in The Very Best of Jerry Garcia, Rhino’s 2-cd release chock full of Captain Trips’ excellent solo and live material.

For the contest in question, let’s focus on the drummin’. To have a chance to win these CD’s, I pose one question to you fine ladies and gents….

Who is your favorite drummer(s) / percussionist(s) and why?

Neal Peart? Bonzo? Bun E. Carlos? Animal from the Muppets?

I just realized I have no clear favorite, but if I had to choose, I know who would be up there. Jon Fishman of Phish always blew my mind at their shows – how he could stay in rhythm and navigate through their myriad of mind-blowing jams. Fela Kuti’s drummer, Tony Allen, never ceases to amaze me when listening to Fela’s great Afrobeat catalog. I love the way Prince drums in “Irresistible Bitch” – a 1999-era B-side. But I recently found out that’s Morris Day doing the drummin’.

So let’s pick your brains. Leave a comment below with your opinion. The winner will be chosen from the comments in a week or so.

More about the Mickey Hart CD’s after the jump….

Simple Twist of Fate, Jerry-Style

Jerry Garcia Band

Regardless of your general palate for the Grateful Dead, it’s pretty hard to listen to this version of the Bob Dylan-penned “Simple Twist of Fate” and not be moved. Whether it’s Garcia’s pleading and perfect vocal, or his crisp and cascading guitar solos, this performance is simply gorgeous.

The Jerry Garcia Band was Jerry’s opportunity to let loose and play some of his favorite music outside of the Dead “scene”, from Dylan to Motown to gospel. And in my opinion, it got no better than this…

Jerry Garcia BandSimple Twist of Fate (mp3)

Buy: Jerry Garcia Band

Jerry and Merl in San Anselmo, 1972

Merl Saunders nd Jerry Garcia

So what we have here is a vintage recording of Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders and friends (pre-Jerry Garcia Band). This is a soundboard recording zeroed right in on Jerry’s guitar. For those people who associate Garcia only with the Grateful Dead, they’re missing a whole lot of what made him the musician he was. Jerry was an amazing soloist in the Dead’s improv-jam milieu (damn, it’s been a while since I’ve pulled that word out – hello old friend). But with his work outside of the Dead, Jerry dove into bluegrass (his very first band was a jug band), R&B, Motown, early rock & roll, and others.

This is the first set from this night. The second set isn’t in circulation. But even these six songs take a trip through musical genres… Bob Dylan’s “It Takes a Lot to Laugh…”; Gamble & Huff’s “Expressway (To Your Heart)”- a hit by the Soul Survivors; the gorgeous instrumental version of “Imagine” (only two months after John Lennon’s album had been released); “Big Boy” Crudup’s “That’s Alright Mama”- Elvis Presley’s breakout single; a Merl Saunders original, “Save Mother Earth”; and Stevie Wonder’s “I Was Made to Love Her”.

All the while, Merl Saunders’ Hammond B3 churns away warmly in the background. Both “Imagine” and “Save Mother Earth” showed up on Saunders’ album ‘Heavy Turbulence’ later that year (an album that featured Garcia on guitar). John Kahn, the bass player in this show, also played on the album, and was the bass player in the Jerry Garcia Band from beginning (1975) until end (1995).

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Paul Butterfield, late master of the Chicago Blues harp, joins in on the last couple of songs.

But it’s Jerry’s guitar skills that take over this show. Prepare to be blown away…

Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, and Friends
Jannuary 19th, 1972
The Lion’s Share
San Anselmo, CA

It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry
Expressway To Your Heart
That’s Alright Mama
Save Mother Earth *
I Was Made To Love Her *

* with Paul Butterfield on harmonica

Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
Merl Saunders – keyboards, vocals
John Kahn – bass
Bill Vitt – drums
Sarah Fulcher – vocals
Paul Butterfield – harmonica (Guest on tracks 5 & 6)

BUY Rhino’s The Very Best of Jerry Garcia or preview it Rhino’s Listening Party.