Breakdown, with its 18 previously unreleased tracks, is the third release from Old & In the Way, the legendary bluegrass ensemble featuring Jerry Garcia on banjo, fiddle giant Vassar Clements, guitarist/singer-songwriter Peter Rowan, mandolin maven David Grisman and John Kahn on upright bass. The music on this new CD was recorded at the same live performances made famous by the group's two previous releases, the self-titled Old & In the Way, originally issued on the Grateful Dead's Round Records in 1975, and the highly acclaimed That High Lonesome Sound, released in 1996 on Acoustic Disc.
Old & In the Way's eclectic and extensive repertoire is again well represented with bluegrass classics like "Mule Skinner Blues," "On and On," "Working On a Building," "Home Is Where the Heart Is" and "'Til the End of the World Rolls 'Round." Other songs are unique to Old & In the Way and include two of Jerry's original banjo tunes, "Old & In the Way Breakdown" and "Jerry's Breakdown," heard here for the first time. As an added bonus, producer Grisman has included alternate versions of six tunes that appeared on the original Old & In the Way recording; "Pig In a Pen," "Midnight Moonlight," "Wild Horses," "Panama Red," "Kissimee Kid" and "The Hobo Song." All this, plus a 20-page booklet featuring newly-discovered photos, notes by bluegrass scholar Neil Rosenberg, and personal reminiscences from Rowan, Clements and the Dawg himself, make this third collection a must for all bluegrass fans, Deadheads, Dawgheads and lovers of American acoustic roots music.
ReviewsThe tracks for this disc were taken from the same shows (at The Boarding House in San Francisco in October 1973). The sound quality is superb, and the musicianship is truly amazing. Most notable about Breakdown are two Garcia-penned banjo jams titled Old & in the Way Breakdown and Jerry's Breakdown. Neither of these selections was released previously, and both feature some excellent interplay between Garcia and the other members of the band.. “ John Metzger