Jerry Garcia – Sugaree

I remember this song on the radio in the seventies. Probably the first Dead…or close to a Dead song I ever heard. This was off of Jerry Garcia’s first solo album. The song peaked at #94 in the Billboard 100 in 1972.

The Grateful Dead did this live many times…one of my favorite Garcia and Robert Hunter songs.

From Songfacts.

“Sugaree” is the stand-out song from the Garcia album, and it’s kind of confusing where to list it. Warner Bros. Records, at the time, sponsored solo albums by all of the Dead at the time; so along with Garcia, we have Bob Weir’s Ace and Mickey Hart’s Rolling Thunder. On the solo effort side, Garcia played every instrument except the drums on the entire album and did at least half of the writing as well. On the other hand – who are we kidding? – this is Jerry Garcia we’re talking about, and six of the tracks from this album eventually became Grateful Dead concert standards. Oh, heck, call it a Grateful Dead song, Jerry wouldn’t mind.

Speaking of almost-but-not-quite Grateful Dead albums, Jerry’s immediately previous work to this album was New Riders of the Purple Sage, with Mickey Hart, and co-starring Commander Cody (as in Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen) of “Hot Rod Lincoln” fame. Just thought we’d throw it in!

Other albums this song appears on are One from the Vault and Dick’s Picks Volume 3. “Sugaree” was even used in the 1996 promotion sampler A Glimpse of the Vault.

We can’t describe this song much better than the NME, who in 1976 wrote that it “rocks over the dust with the controlled menace of a swaying rattlesnake. By not quite pulling out the stops Garcia leaves the song ambiguity like the dealer with all the best cards, ace high stacked against his chest: ‘If that jubilee don’t come, maybe I’ll meet you on the run. The counterpoint of Robert Hunter’s words and the gentle handling of the coda, Phil Lesh providing simple but effectively raw bass lines, is a high spot demon trump.”

Sugaree

When they come to take you down When they bring that wagon ’round
When they come to call on you and drag your poor body down

[Chorus]
Just one thing I ask of you, just one thing for me
Please forget you knew my name, my darling Sugaree
Shake it, shake it sugaree, just don’t tell them that you know me
Shake it, shake it sugaree, just don’t tell them that you know me

You thought you was the cool fool and never could do no wrong
You had everything sewed up tight. How come you lay awake all night long

[Chorus]

Well in spite of all you gained you still had to stand out in the pouring rain
One last voice is calling you and I guess it’s time you go

[Chorus]

Well shake it up now Sugaree, I’ll meet you at the jubilee
And if that jubilee fall through, maybe I’ll meet you on the run

[Chorus]

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

6 thoughts on “Jerry Garcia – Sugaree”

  1. sounds pretty good! I don’t know that I’ve ever heard that one. What a talent he was. the blurring of the lines is rather like Bryan ferry & Roxy Music or Sting and Police- the one artist so dominated there was little to differentiate and in time, tracks from “both” were packaged on the same compilation albums

    Liked by 1 person

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