Been All Around This World, the culmination of over 40 Jerry Garcia and David Grisman recording sessions, captures some of the finest and most unexpected moments from these influential figures in American music. Saving the best for last, producer Grisman has assembled an engaging program that features songs never heard sung by Garcia before now.
Bob Dylan's "The Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest" is given an endearing treatment with Garcia's smooth-as-brandy vocals intertwining with Grisman's light-as-rain mandolin textures. Their passion for soul music is triumphantly displayed on James Brown's "I'll Go Crazy," an impromptu take that captures the pure spontaneity these two often regaled in.
This 12-song expose of the acoustic side that Jerry Garcia explored with his longtime friend David Grisman reflects the many musical idioms that remained deep, common threads of their relationship. Country roots abound in the title track (a Grateful Dead favorite), George Jones' "Take Me," Webb Pierce's "I Ain't Never" and Jimmy Martin's "Drink Up And Go Home." Their mutual love of traditional folk and blues is evident in Merle Travis' "Dark As A Dungeon" and "Nine Pound Hammer," "I'm Troubled" and an instrumental version of "Handsome Cabin Boy."
Accompanying Garcia and Grisman is the rhythm section of Jim Kerwin (bass) and Joe Craven (percussion/fiddle) along with Matt Eakle (flute), all members of the David Grisman Quintet. Other musicians featured are John Kahn, George Marsh and Sally Van Meter on an alternate rendition of Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel #9" from Garcia's last recording session.