Before he fronted The Grateful Dead—even before The Dead were The Warlocks—Jerry Garcia was zigzagging between a host of small music groups in the early ‘60s. One of these was the Hart Valley Drifters, a folk/bluegrass quintet that included the likes of Robert Hunter and David Nelson.
In 1962, the band performed on Stanford University’s “Folk Time” KZSU radio program. The session was lost to time and remained uncovered for nearly 50 years. In 2008, the recordings were rediscovered by alum Ted Claire, the guy who recorded the session back in ‘62.
These are the earliest known studio recordings of Garcia (who was only 20 at the time)—and the general public is about to gain access to them. On Nov. 11, these recordings will be released as the album Folk Time via Round Records/ATO.
The songs are mostly folk and bluegrass traditionals, with Garcia contributing lead vocals, banjo and guitar. Check out the tracklist and album art below, and be sure to catch Folk Time when it comes out on Nov. 11. You can pre-order it here.
Folk Time Track List:
1. Band Introductions
2. “Roving Gambler” (Traditional)
3. “Ground Speed” (Earl Scruggs)
4. “Pig In A Pen” (Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith [traditional] arr. by J. Garcia)
5. “Standing In The Need of Prayer” (Traditional)
6. “Flint Hill Special” (Earl Scruggs)
7. “Nine Pound Hammer” (Traditional)
8. “Handsome Molly” (G.B. Grayson/Henry Whitter)
9. “Clinch Mountain Backstep” (Ralph Stanley/Ruby Rakes)
10. “Think of What You’ve Done” (Carter Stanley)
11. “Cripple Creek” (Traditional)
12. “All The Good Times Have Past And Gone” (Traditional)
13. “Billy Grimes, The Rover” (Traditional)
14. “Paddy On The Turnpike (Boys, My Money’s All Gone)” (Traditional)
15. “Run Mountain” (J.E. Mainer)
16. “Sugar Baby” (Moran Dock Boggs)
17. “Sitting On Top Of The World” (Walter Jacobs Vinson/Lonnie Carter)