Home | Index | Search Introduction | What's New | Thanks | Links


Jerry Garcia traditional and bluegrass groups 1961-1965

Jerry Garcia was a member of a number of traditional music and bluegrass groups in the first half of the 1960's. Some of these groups were given names. Usually though personnel varied and groups were simply temporary aggregations of musicians who wanted to play together. None of the groups existed for more than a couple of months.

Additions, corrections and comments are welcome


May/June 1961   Bob and Jerry   A folk duo formed by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia shortly after meeting in the Spring of 1961. They performed at most only a handful of times using this name.


July 1961   Jerry Garcia, Marshall Leicester and Robert Hunter   A tape of a performance by this trio circulates. The performance was probably in July 1961 at the Carlos Bookstall in San Carlos. During the Summer of 1961 Garcia performed in a number of informal situations with Leciester, Hunter, David Nelson and others.


1961/1962?   Thunder Mountain Tub Thumpers   Blair Jackson in his biography Garcia: An American Life lists this group name as one of a number that were used during this period. The group members are given as Jerry Garcia, David Nelson, Robert Hunter, Joe Edminston and Jim Edminston. In an internet post Robert Hunter said Bob and Jerry duo evolved into the Thunder Mountain Tub Thumpers.


Jan 1962   Unknown Bluegrass Band inc. Jerry Garcia   A tape of a performance by an unknown band that includes Jerry Garcia circulates. The performance (10 songs) is thought to be from January 1962 at a venue in Burlingame. See setlist of the circulating tape.


May/June 1962   Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers   A trio formed by Jerry Garcia, Marshall Leicester and Dick Arnold in May 1962. A tape of a performance by the group exists recorded at the Jewish Community Center in San Carlos on June 11, 1962. See setlist of the 11/6/62 show.


Nov 1962   Jerry Garcia / David Nelson   Jerry Garcia and David Nelson performed together informally throughout the early part of the 1960's. A tape of a performance by this duo exists recorded at the College of San Mateo on November 10, 1962. See setlist of the 11/10/62 set.


Nov 1962   Hart Valley Drifters   Jerry Garcia, Norman Van Maastricht, Robert Hunter and David Nelson. A tape of a performance by this group, with the personnel listed above, exists recorded at the College of San Mateo on November 10, 1962. At other times Ken Frankel and Worth Handley were members of this group. See setlist of the 11/10/62 set.


1962/1963?   Badwater Valley Boys   Blair Jackson in his biography Garcia: An American Life lists this group name as one of a number that were used during this period. The group members are given as Jerry Garcia, Ken Frankel, Marshall Leicester and Robert Hunter. In an internet post Robert Hunter recalled the Badwater Valley Boys opening for the Kentucky Colonels.


Nov 1962-Feb 1963?   Wildwood Boys   This group probably existed, on and off, for over 6 months and provided a setting for Garcia to hone his banjo playing. Group members were Jerry Garcia, Norman Van Maastricht, Robert Hunter and David Nelson. A tape of a performance by this group, with the personnel listed above, exists recorded at the Tangent in Palo Alto on February 23, 1963. The group also performed at the Monterey Folk Festival in the Summer of 1963 with a line-up of Jerry Garcia, David Nelson, Robert Hunter and Ken Frankel. See setlist of the Palo Alto set.


1963   Jerry & Sara   Garcia and Sara Ruppenthal met around the start of 1963 and performed as a duo on a number of occasions during the year. A tape of a performance by the duo exists recorded at the Tangent in Palo Alto on May 4, 1963. See setlist of this performance.


Summer 1963   Godawful Palo Alto Bluegrass Ensemble   A short lived group, probably a trio, that included Jerry Garcia, David Nelson and Peter Wernick. According to Oeter Wernick, Garcia played mandolin in this ensemble because he, Wernick, could only play banjo. Wernick has stated that the group played "... a few gigs at the folk club the Tangent and other places" before he headed back for college in NYC at the end of summer.


Late 1963 - Spring 1964   Black Mountain Boys   Group members included Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, Eric Thompson, Sandy Rothman and David Nelson. A number of recordings of the Black Mountain Boys exist. Some are fragments of shows others, such as recordings from March 6 and 7, 1964 at the Top of the Tangent, Palo Alto, are more substantial. See list of songs performed by the Black Mountain Boys.


1964   Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions

  For more information see the Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions page


Summer 1964   Asphalt Mountain Jungle Boys   A trio formed by Jerry Garcia, Eric Thompson and Jody Stecher in Summer 1964.



1965   The Warlocks

  For more information see the Warlocks page


Unknown date   Unknown group   A tape, known as "the Unident thing" exists of songs performed by a group that includes Jerry Garcia and Pigpen. It is possibly from 1962 or 1963. The songs on the tape are: Blues Jam; Careless Love; In The Pines; Goin' To Chicago; 99 Years and Blue Goose. Though Blue Goose may well be from a different source



Last updated March 2013