Jerry Garcia and bassist John Kahn lay down a delightful rendition of Bob Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece” on the latest offering from GarciaLive Volume 14: January 27th, 1986 the Ritz, out July 24th.
The performance finds Garcia and Kahn offering a fully stripped-down take of the song, with just guitar and bass skipping and tumbling alongside each other. Vocally, Garcia is in fine form as well, pushing his voice right up to the edge of a raspy wail — while still keeping the vibe totally intact — as he sings, “I left Rome and landed in Brussels/On a plane ride so bumpy that I almost cried/Clergymen in uniform and young girls pulling muscles/Everyone was there to greet me when I stepped inside.”
Dylan wrote “When I Paint My Masterpiece” in 1971. Although the Band delivered the first recorded version of the song on their 1971 album Cahoots, Dylan’s rendition would appear a few months later on Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. II. Garcia was performing “When I Paint My Masterpiece” as early as 1972, and its regular inclusion in his shows with Kahn during their 1986 trek notably foreshadowed its eventual status as a staple in Grateful Dead setlists starting the following year.
GarciaLive Volume 14, as its title suggests, captures Garcia and Kahn’s January 1986 show at the Ritz in New York City. The show found the pair playing a mix of Grateful Dead songs, folk standards and one other Dylan cover, “Simple Twist of Fate.”
GarciaLive Volume 14 is available for preorder, and those that purchase it via Garcia Family Provisions or local independent record stores will receive a bonus CD featuring a recording Garcia and Kahn’s January 28th, 1986, concert at the Ritz as well (while supplies last). A vinyl version of the album, limited to 5,000 copies, will be released on August 14th. The album boasts new liner notes from bluegrass artist Billy Strings.