Jerry Garcia Band Cats Under the Stars on 180g LP: Remastered Audiophile Edition Pressed at QRP, Lacquers Cut by Ron McMaster at Capitol
Jerry Garcia created an unparalleled legacy across the American landscape, most notably in his role as a founding member, singer, songwriter and lead guitarist of the Grateful Dead. Originally released in 1978, Cats Under the Stars (adorned with Stanley Mouse's Egyptian-influenced cover art) is the first album to officially acknowledge the Jerry Garcia Band by name and also served as Garcia's first on the Arista label. One of his finest overall albums outside of the Dead, the beloved 9-track collection features all original material including a pair of songs by longtime collaborator John Kahn as well as a spate of Garcia-Hunter gems (the title track and "Gomorrah" became Dead staples). Keith and Donna Godchaux, Merl Saunders and Maria Muldaur also appear. The album has never sounded better than it does here. This remastered audiophile edition features lacquers cut by Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios and pressing by QRP.
Garcia regarded Cats Under the Stars as his favorite of all his studio projects. In the late 80s, Garcia remarked, "The record I worked hardest at and liked best was Cats Under the Stars. That was kind of like my baby." Speaking about the recording specifically, Garcia stated "I worked real hard at it and was very diligent and almost scientific about it. There was a lot of heart in it, you might say." In another interview, he added, "That's the one I'm happiest with, from every point of view in which I operate on that record." In the 1990's Garcia succinctly stated, "[Cats Under the Stars] had everything – chops, production, songs." Those songs which included the Garcia/Hunter masterpieces "Rubin and Cherise," "Cats Under The Stars," and "Gomorrah" would long remain staples of Jerry Garcia Band sets while versions of "Palm Sunday" and "Rhapsody In Red" capture Garcia at his best in the studio setting.