Fantasy RecordsIn 2012, a four-CD collection gathering together July 1973 performances by Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia‘s side project with jazz keyboardist Merle Saunders was released under the title Keystone Companions: The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings. Now, a six-LP vinyl box set featuring those same recordings, which were taken from two concerts at San Francisco’s Keystone Club, hits stores today, October 28.

The shows featured Garcia, Saunders, bassist John Kahn and drummer Bill Vitt performing an eclectic variety of covers, along with a few tunes that Merle co-wrote. Among the songs they played were Bob Dylan‘s “Positively 4th Street” and “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry,” Elvis Presley‘s “Mystery Train,” Jimmy Cliff‘s “The Harder They Come,” The Temptations‘ “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” Smokey Robinson and the Miracles‘ “I Second That Emotion” and the classic Rodgers & Hart standard “My Funny Valentine.”

In addition to the six LPs, which are pressed on 180-gram vinyl, the box set contains a booklet with previously unseen photos, updated liner notes penned by Grateful Dead expert David Gans and a collectible poster.

In his notes, Gans says of the recordings, “This music is as exciting and satisfying 40 years later as it was on the day it was made.”

Performances from the Keystone shows originally were issued on a double LP called Live at Keystone in 1973. Additional material from the concerts were released in 1988 under the titles Live at Keystone, Volume 1 and Volume 2.

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