• Jerry Garcia Band

    Cats Under the Stars

    April 15, 1978

Garcia's first LP using the band name Jerry Garcia Band and his first LP on the Arista label. It includes only one song that was performed by the Grateful Dead. Keith and Donna Godchaux, who were at the time members of the Garcia Band, contributed to the music.

  • Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals)
  • Donna Jean Godchaux (vocals)
  • Keith Godchaux (keyboard, background vocals)
  • John Kahn (basses, keyboards, guitars, orchestration)
  • Ron Tutt (drums, percussion)

(6) Additional Personnel

    • Merl Saunders (organ)
    • Maria Muldaur (backing voc. on tracks 2, 8 & 10)
    • Steven Schuster (flute, clarinet, saxophone)
    • Brian Godchaux (violin)
    • Candy Godchaux (violin)
    • Dave Burgin (harmonica on track 3 - not credited on album)

Album Notes

Cats Under The Stars was recorded in late 1977.

A lot of time and effort went into the sessions. John Kahn commented in an interview: “We put so much blood into that record. That was our major try. It was all new material and we did it ourselves. We spent so many hours in the studio.”

Garcia also commented on the efforts that went into the recording: “I worked real hard at it and was very diligent and almost scientific about it. There was a lot of heart in it, you might say.”

The record was not a financial success, but remained Garcia’s favorite recording. Garcia discussed the LP in an interview in the late 80’s: “The record I worked hardest at and liked best was Cats Under The Stars. That was kind of like my baby. It did worse than any other record I ever did. I think I probably gave away more copies than I sold. It was amazingly, pathetically bad. But I’ve learned not to invest a lot of importance in ’em, although it’s nice to care about your work.”

On another occasion in the early 80’s he also discussed this LP: “Cats Under The Stars is my favorite one. That’s the one that I’m happiest with, from every point of view in which I operate on that record. We did all those tunes on tour right after the album came out, with John and Maria, Keith and Donna and I think Ronnie Tutt was still playing drums with us on those first few tours.”

In the early 90s he still thought well of the album: “As far as I’m concerned Cats Under The Stars is my most successful record – even though it’s my least successful record! I’ve always loved it and it just never went anywhere.” In an interview with Joel Selvin he was more succinct; “[Cats Under The Stars] had everything – chops, production, songs.”



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