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Grateful Dawg by Gillian Grisman []



This film celebrates the musical collaborations of Jerry Garcia and David Grisman. The film, by David’s daughter Gillian, is an affectionate tribute to the music created when these two musical giants worked together. Garcia and Grisman shared a common enthusiasm for bluegrass and American roots music, but Grisman had a tight and disciplined approach to the music, while Garcia was well known for his relaxed attitude. Something special happened when they worked together, as Grisman loosened up, Garcia became more focused, and each took on some of the best qualities of the other.

This film isn’t particularly rich in storytelling, and it is nothing special to look at, but it contains some good interviews with Grisman, Garcia, and their many collaborators, including Vassar Clements and Peter Rowan of Old and in the Way. The real focus of the film, however, is the music, and the camaraderie between these great musicians, and that is how it should be. The film’s editors often made the unfortunate decision to show footage, often in slow motion, which doesn’t match the music being played, but this is easy to over look. All you have to do is close your eyes and listen—and listening to these two play together is a joy.

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