- JamCam Chronicles: Season 2, Set 4 Sunshine Daydream Jerry Bash 2005
I should preface this review by admitting that I never saw Jerry Garcia in person. I was 15 when he died and my parents just weren’t hip enough to expose me to an experience I really wish I had. That said, the Dead still spun my world open (with some chemical aid) on a Furthur Fest tour (Hampton Coliseum 1999) a couple years after Garcia’s death, and I’ve absorbed as much recorded media as I could find in the time between. Even if I can’t claim the rite of having stared into Garcia’s eyes, it makes no matter to me in the end, because I’m still affected by the ripples. I’m a big believer that the ripples we create are eternal, and Garcia’s are unavoidable. He was a big part of starting certain ripples and I’m glad to be a part of the community. I’d be admittedly more distraught if so many vigilant tapers hadn’t secured the sounds of the scene through the years for me to go back to.
I only go into all of that because this edition of JamCam Chronicles covers the 20th annual Jerry Garcia Birthday Bash on Trip’s Farm (Sunshine Daydream) in Terra Alta, WV. For 20 years, Deadheads have gathered to pay homage to a man that left too soon, but also left so much to remember him by. He not only left his music, but a shift in mentality. I was so drawn to the Dead because they pulled from many musical styles I already loved, to concoct a soundscape other bands wouldn’t dare attempt. When I stumbled onto their music (thanks to a good friend, in a time where I was choking on radio’s regurgitation) I never went back to second best.
And so, I’m rambling. Without going into heavy critical detail (feels wrong to pick at these beautiful tributes) this DVD begins with RatDog playing “Sugar Magnolia” and then “Jack Straw,” later “Ashes and Glass,” “Standing on the Moon” (a song that always brings back memories of Garcia’s singing), “One More Saturday Night” and, being the heavy contributors that they are, “Sunshine Daydream”-> “Sugar Magnolia” reprise. The David Nelson Band covers “Iko Iko,” a popular cover the Grateful Dead often played, as well as an original Dead staple, “The Wheel.” G-13 touched “Stars” and the untouchable Codetalkers laid out “Yield not to Temptation” and “Ike Stubblefield.” One-Eyed Jack (a band I’d not heard previously) is highlighted for their “Hard to Find the Time” and ekoostik hookah’s “Another Good Man Gone” also deserves mention, a song written because of Garcia’s passing.
“He’s not all that gone for me,” Bob Weir says in an interview section, speaking of the mark people leave on us when we get to know and love them long and well enough. And that’s the final motivation behind this growing festival. There was a simple man named Jerry Garcia who started a band that changed the world. While we’ll never be able to touch his skin, his spirit is still explosive and relevant, so let’s celebrate all that he left behind.
Be it sentiment-rooted or not, this JamCam Chronicle is a favorite of mine, so far. If nothing else, I’m definitely craving some Sunshine Daydream on the tour circuit next year!