The first installment of a new LP archival series, Heads & Tails
is designed to showcase exciting, unheard performances that each fit onto the single side of a record, paired with evocative and detailed album art that’s fun to swim inside.
Garcia once spoke of developing a “record consciousness,” the skill set required to create music that could be communicated through a recording studio, pressed onto LP, and sold in stores. For him and his many performing groups, it’s safe to say that stepping onto stage most nights of the week represented the absolute opposite of “record consciousness."
The double A-sided single was a phenomenon that began in the late 1940s and Heads & Tails brings it into the new LP era. All sides are equal, just the jams, with the art designed to be completely flippable. Turn it backwards (and upside down) and it’s got a whole new cover.
Heads & Tails: Volume 1
is pressed on cloudy blue vinyl with art by Madalyn Stefanak, bringing music from 1988 and 1972 (or is that 1972 and 1988?). From January 19th, 1972 in San Anselmo comes a side-long “Save Mother Earth” with Merl Saunders, featuring guest Paul Butterfield on harmonica. And from February 5th, 1988 in Santa Rosa comes the classic Jerry Garcia Band lineup, laying into their jam standard “Don’t Let Go” and a version of “Think.” They’re two very different eras in Garcia’s music, slivers of accidental record consciousness connected in spirit and now by side-flip, as well, on a turntable near you.
Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders
January 19, 1972 @ Lion’s Share – San Anselmo, CA
1. Save Mother Earth
Jerry Garcia Band
February 5, 1988 @ Veterans Memorial Auditorium – Santa Rosa, CA
1. Don’t Let Go
Find more information on the release here