Cats Under the Stars

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Cats Under the Stars
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 1978
GenreRoots rock, folk rock
ProducerJerry Garcia & John Kahn
Jerry Garcia Band chronology
Cats Under the Stars
Jerry Garcia Band
Jerry Garcia chronology
Cats Under the Stars
Run for the Roses

Cats Under the Stars is an album by the Jerry Garcia Band.[1] Released in 1978, it is the only studio album credited to the band. It was Jerry Garcia's first album on the Arista label and his first LP using the band name Jerry Garcia Band. It includes only one song that was performed by the Grateful Dead. Keith and Donna Godchaux, who were at the time members of the Garcia Band, contributed to the music.

The album was the first to be recorded at the Grateful Dead's Club Front in San Rafael, a warehouse space that had been acquired for band rehearsals and then converted to a studio. Garcia explained "[Ron] Tutt liked the drum sound in the room and we hadn't really thought about it before, so we whipped the place into a recording studio."[2]

The record was not a financial success, but it remained Garcia's favorite, as he said in an interview in the late 1980s: "The record I worked hardest at and liked best was Cats Under the Stars. That was kind of like my baby. It did worse than any other record I ever did. I think I probably gave away more copies than I sold. It was amazingly, pathetically bad. But I’ve learned not to invest a lot of importance in 'em, although it's nice to care about your work."

On another occasion in the early '80s he said "Cats Under the Stars is my favorite one. That's the one that I’m happiest with, from every point of view in which I operate on that record. We did all those tunes on tour right after the album came out, with John and Maria, Keith and Donna and I think Ronnie Tutt was still playing drums with us on those first few tours." (Although Ron Tutt played on the album, he left the band before the album was released and was replaced by Buzz Buchanan.[3] [4])

In the early '90s he still thought well of the album: "As far as I'm concerned Cats Under the Stars is my most successful record — even though it's my least successful record! I've always loved it and it just never went anywhere." In an interview with Joel Selvin he was more succinct; "[Cats Under the Stars] had everything — chops, production, songs."

Cats Under the Stars peaked at No. 114 on the Billboard 200.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[6]
Christgau's Record GuideC+[7]
Music Box3.5/5 stars[8]

On AllMusic, Lindsay Planer wrote, "Jerry Garcia's fourth solo album was the first to be released under the collective title of the Jerry Garcia Band... However, unlike his previous effort, Cats Under the Stars contains all new original material.... Many Deadheads and critics alike feel as if Cats Under the Stars is Garcia's best non-Dead effort..."[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Rubin And Cherise" (Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia) – 5:17
  2. "Love In The Afternoon" (Hunter, John Kahn) – 4:09
  3. "Palm Sunday" (Hunter, Garcia) – 2:21
  4. "Cats Under The Stars" (Hunter, Garcia) – 5:31
  5. "Rhapsody In Red" (Hunter, Garcia, Kahn) – 5:11
  6. "Rain" (Donna Godchaux) – 5:53
  7. "Down Home" (Kahn) – 1:46
  8. "Gomorrah" (Hunter, Garcia) – 5:26

The album was reissued in the All Good Things: Jerry Garcia Studio Sessions box set with the following bonus tracks:

  1. "Magnificent Sanctuary Band" (Dorsey Burnette) – 3:50
  2. "I'll Be With Thee" (Dorothy Love Coates) – 6:01
  3. "The Way You Do the Things You Do" (Smokey Robinson, Robert "Bobby" Rogers) – 5:01
  4. "Mighty High" (David Crawford, Richard Downing) – 3:04
  5. "Don't Let Go" (Jesse Stone) – 15:59
  6. "Down Home (Rehearsal Version)" (Kahn) – 1:49
  7. "Palm Sunday (Alternate Take)" (Hunter, Garcia) – 2:24

Tracks 9 & 11-13 are from a rehearsal session in November 1976.


Jerry Garcia Band
Additional musicians
  • Engineers - Betty Cantor-Jackson, Bob Matthews
  • Assistants - Harry Popick, Steve Parrish, Bill Candelario, Ramrod
  • Cover art - Kelly Mouse Studios


  1. ^ Browne, David (November 8, 2017). "Jerry Garcia Band's Ron Tutt Looks Back on Cats Under the Stars Sessions". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  2. ^ Jackson, Blair (1999). Garcia: An American Life. Penguin Books; NY, NY. p. 290, addition. ISBN 0140291997.
  3. ^ DeadBase XI: The Complete Guide to Grateful Dead Song Lists, by John W. Scott, Mike Dolgushkin, and Stu Nixon, 1999, DeadBase, ISBN 1-877657-22-0
  4. ^ Band Members, archived from the original on April 13, 2003, retrieved October 20, 2016 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Jerry Garcia Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Planer, Lindsay (2011). "Cats Under the Stars - Jerry Garcia | AllMusic". Retrieved 20 August 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: G". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 24, 2019 – via CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Music Box review