Coming off the Grateful Dead's 1990 spring tour, you would think Jerry Garcia would want to take a break. Nope. Jerry just wasn't that guy. He got his other band together, traveled to Hawaii and laid it down. The energy is there, the vocals are what you'd hope for and all the band members easily display why Garcia wanted to share the stage with them. Though the setlist is fairly common for a Garcia Band outing, the songs have energy and none are just a walk-through version. Well worth the listen and a respectable addition to the Garcia canon of official releases.
The tenth volume of the archival GarciaLive series documents a 1990 set from the Jerry Garcia Band recorded on Hawaii's Big Island. Although band visits were rare, Garcia developed a great personal affection for the Hawaiian Islands in the late '80s when his Grateful Dead bandmate Bill Kreutzmann introduced him to the recuperative wonders of scuba diving. In fact, this May 20, 1990 show held at the Hilo Civic Auditorium was a benefit for the Ocean Recreational Council of Hawaii. Featuring keyboardist Melvin Seals, bassist John Kahn, drummer David Kemper, and backup singers Gloria Jones and Jacklyn LaBranch, the show offers some JGB standards like the Marvin Gaye classic "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" and the Hunter-Garcia tune "They Love Each Other" alongside reggae covers by Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff. Some additional contemporary covers also graced this set, like Los Lobos' "Evangeline" and Bruce Cockburn's "Waiting for a Miracle," as well as a unique cover of the Dylan/Band classic "Tears of Rage." ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi