Thursday, July 9, 2009

February 27, 1971 Fillmore West: James and the Good Brothers with Jerry Garcia and Jack Casady

The New Riders of The Purple Sage, with Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar, headlined four nights at The Fillmore West (25,26,27,28 February 1971), supported by Boz Scaggs and James and The Good Brothers. The poster is well known and tapes of some of the Riders shows circulate widely.

However, Kathy Staka and George Mangrum’s weekly rock column in the Hayward Daily Review from March 4, 1971 (above) reveals that on one night at least, Garcia played banjo with James and The Good Brothers. I have inferred from the column that it was Saturday, but it could have been any night (and all nights, for that matter). Airplane/Hot Tuna bassist Jack Casady also seems to have played along with the trio, who generally featured two guitars and an autoharp as well as three-part harmonies.

James and The Good Brothers were a Canadian trio (James Ackroyd and twins Bruce and Brian Good). They made contact with the Dead on the infamous “Festival Express” train trip, and were invited to San Francisco. They recorded an album for Columbia (NRPS’s label), produced by Betty Cantor-Jackson, with Bill Kreutzmann on drums, and possibly an uncredited Jerry Garcia. A live KSAN broadcast of the trio (with no guests) from the Record Plant (Sep 5, 1971) circulates on, personally a bit too folkie for me, but I do not know if it was representative or typical of their live show.


  1. A little difficult to track down, and somewhat dicey on the sound quality scale, the NRPS show from the 2/27 show is in circulation and worth hunting down.

    It feature some magnificent steel work by Garcia wherein he is clearly playing above even his standard delivery of heartfelt emotion.

    As I recall, there is a Garden Of Eden on 02/27/71 where Jerry cracks the sky into a shower of gooey electric rainbows. Great stuff!

    Love the blog. Keep it up!


  2. I followed a link to this blog through a citation at Wikiwand that supposedly links here to Frankie Azarra. I cannot find any mention of her. Can you please direct me? She eventually became Frankie Hart, and subsequently, Frankie Weir. Thank you.

    1. Frankie Azarra (aka Frankie Hart/Weir aka Judy) could be found on Facebook, in the past, but it's my belief she has passed away. If that's not the case, I hope she is well wherever she is.

  3. Corry342, Frankie passes in 2001 of Lupus complications. The current Mrs. Weir does not like mention of Frankie so perhaps it is wise to not mention her at all. Frankie and Bob were married in a civil ceremoney officiated by Chief Rolling Thunder. They considered themselves married. There is more to the story of course, but after 6 or 7 years, they broke up and went their separate ways. Some things have been published about Frankie that were not true. I have asked that those things be corrected and many have kindly complied. It's better to not mention her than to lie, or upset Bobbie's "first" girlfriend, the current Mrs. Weir who apprently calls herself that and wants it reinforced. Thank you for your response.