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. Jerry's unmistakable guitar tone enchanted multitudes of "Deadheads" throughout the band's 30-year career and beyond. The prolific nature of Garcia is evident in the breadth of albums he released throughout his iconic musical career which in addition to the Dead included work with the Jerry Garcia Band, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Old and in the Way, Legion of Mary, Garcia/Grisman, projects with Merl Saunders and as a solo artist. Considering Jerry was the most recorded musician of all time, there's always some overlooked gem just waiting to be discovered.
Originally released in early 1976, Garcia's third solo outing Reflections features a diverse mix of roots-oriented styles with contributions from his two primary vehicles of musical expression – the Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band. In some ways, Reflections picks up where Garcia and the Dead left off on Blues For Allah. Speaking about the sessions, Garcia explained "we were having fun in the studio is what it boils down to, and that's pretty rare for us. The energy was there, and I thought, ‘I've got a solo album coming up. Let's cut these tracks with the Grateful Dead. I've already taught them the tunes.'"
Assembled in Bob Weir's home studio, Ace's, Garcia and the Dead laid down well-worn but never previously recorded songs including "They Love Each Other," "It Must Have Been The Roses" and "Comes A Time" plus a new song, Robert Hunter's "Might As Well" – a document of the Dead's 1970 trip across Canada aboard the legendary Festival Express. The balance of the record showcases the late-1975 Jerry Garcia Band core featuring John Kahn, Ron Tutt and Nicky Hopkins, plus Larry Knechtel of the famed Wrecking Crew. Like the material recorded by the Dead, the Jerry Garcia Band's selections were also road-tested prior to recording. The cuts included the seminal Garcia/Hunter ballad "Mission in the Rain" plus renditions of Hank Ballard's rocker "Tore Up Over You," "Catfish John" and Allen Toussaint's "I'll Take A Melody."
As Steve Silberman noted in the 2004 All Good Things box set, while Reflections was effectively two half-albums in one, "it's one of Garcia's most artistically unified statements of harmony, affirmation and joy."