MERL SAUNDERS & JERRY GARCIA Live At Keystone, Volume I (1988), Live At Keystone, Volume II (1988), Keystone Encores (1988), Well-Matched (1996)

These early 70s recordings, some of Garcia’s earliest forays outside the Grateful Dead, have been issued in far too many different versions since first debuting on vinyl. There are two volumes of Live At Keystone (LP & CD), two volumes of Keystone Encores (LP), and various variations on CD. One, adds a previously unreleased track into the mix, while the more obscure, Well-Matched – The Best Of Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia, introduces a number of solo Saunders tracks, for a well-flowing, if curiously compiled, collection. Personally, I can’t keep track of them all, or the future Keystone dates and differing touring configurations that followed. But, Ive always been drawn to Garcia’s slow-burning Dylan covers, which are lazy and stoned, and typically better than most of Dylan’s live attempts. So this is great stuff if that’s your groove. Saunders is simmering and soulful throughout, and the jamming is the spaciest of jazz.

Big thanks to Adam Dean for ripping and scanning both Volume II & Well-Matched (with cool artwork,
included) to share with us all. Keystone V.I, Keystone V.II, Encores & Well-Matched are all at Amazon. Check the archives for the rare, Saunders/Grateful Dead Twilight Zone television soundtrack from the 80s.

Live At Keystone, Volume I (1988)
Keepers (6:38)
Positively 4th Street (7:47)
The Harder They Come (6:22)
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (7:09)
Space (3:51)
It’s No Use (9:37)
Merl’s Tune (13:36)

Live At Keystone, Volume II (1988)
That’s All Right, Mama (4:20)
My Funny Valentine
Someday Baby (10:16)
Like A Road Lead
ing Home (11:04)
Mystery Train (11:37)

Keystone Encores (1988)
Hi-Heel Sneakers (8:15)
It’s Too Late (She’s Gone) (7:47)
I Second That Emotion (11:00)
One Kind Favor (6:40)
Money Honey (8:22)
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) (10:20)

Well-Matched (1996)
Mystery Train (11:32) *
Lonely Avenue (8:54) #
Merl’s Tune (13:33) *
Positively Fourth Street (7:43) *
After Midnight (5:04) #
Welcome To The Basement (6:17) #
That’s Alright (5:07) #
Space (3:51) *
I Second That Emotion (9:45) ^
The Harder They Come (6:23) *

* From Live At Keystone Vol. I & II

# From Merl Saunders’ Solo Albums
^ Previously Unreleased


  • W
    December 22, 2010 - 13:44 | Permalink

    Find them HERE.

  • yotte
    December 22, 2010 - 14:50 | Permalink

    These are fantastic albums. Thanks, Willard!

  • Anonymous
    December 22, 2010 - 15:55 | Permalink

    very good garcia stuff !

  • Gummo
    December 22, 2010 - 17:27 | Permalink

    Old faves that I never bought on college because someone else always had them!


  • Anonymous
    December 23, 2010 - 14:31 | Permalink

    Great Stuff!

  • Goose
    December 24, 2010 - 01:07 | Permalink

    Great post Cap! Volume 1 has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. Love the Jimmy Cliff cover! Haven't heard the Encores disc yet… thanks for the share.

    Have a great holiday!

  • Pete
    December 25, 2010 - 00:01 | Permalink

    Vol 2 is in fact my fave of the three. Check out the comments at Amazon, I'm not alone: 7 reviews, all 5-star. 18 minutes of My Funny Valentine, 3 others at 10 or 11 minutes each, plus That's All Right Mama. Amazon download slightly cheaper than iTunes. Very strongly recommended.

  • Goose
    December 25, 2010 - 06:08 | Permalink

    Thanks for the heads up Pete on the download.

    I don't own Vol.2 but have heard it. You're right – it's really good. I've always dug the Jerry and Merl stuff… you really can't go wrong in my opinion. They jammed well together.

  • Sven
    December 27, 2010 - 14:09 | Permalink

    Oh, yeah, great stuff. Yep, Vol. 2 too.
    Bill Vitt's brother Laurie is a herpetologist at the U. of Oklahoma, and a pretty good guitar player himself.

  • Anonymous
    December 29, 2010 - 17:00 | Permalink

    These are great, very many thanks!
    Does anyone have Vol 2? It seems to be getting almost extinct…

  • W
    December 29, 2010 - 17:21 | Permalink

    If someone does, I'll happily add it to the post.

  • Adam Dean
    December 31, 2010 - 15:44 | Permalink

    VOLUME 2 and WELL MATCHED on the way! Hope you all had a Very Jerry Christmas and enjoy a Grateful New Year!

  • W
    January 3, 2011 - 02:11 | Permalink

    Many thanks Adam.

  • Anonymous
    January 3, 2011 - 08:12 | Permalink

    Many many thanks to all involved in these…what a blissed start to 2011…peace & HNY to you

  • Adam Dean
    January 3, 2011 - 21:55 | Permalink

    WELL DONE, WILLARD!!! And Furthur is back on the East Coast this Spring – yes indeed, it's starting out to be a Grateful New Year!

  • Doomcan
    January 3, 2011 - 21:58 | Permalink

    Excellent post!

    Did this incarnation go by the Legion of Mary moniker or an early version of the JGB?


    – DC

  • W
    January 3, 2011 - 22:23 | Permalink

    Like I mentioned… I can't keep track anymore. But, I thought Legion Of Mary was a variation of these guys, too. Maybe a real Deadhead will enlighten us, so we don't have to go to Wiki.

  • Anonymous
    January 8, 2011 - 20:24 | Permalink

    Thanks Captain ! Love your site.
    Just wanted to point out, the first song on vol 2 always started abrubtly like that. That's not an error on the Captain's part.

  • Anonymous
    July 8, 2011 - 09:37 | Permalink

    Thank you very much!!!!!!

  • wyatt
    September 5, 2012 - 00:07 | Permalink

    Legion of Mary started out as Jerry and Merl with changing line-ups. They added some horns and once Merl left it became the Jerry Garcia Band in a nut shell. Some of the best Merl and Jerry stuff comes from the Fire Up + album they did with Tom Fogerty.

  • Willard
    September 5, 2012 - 00:12 | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip.

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