In spite of what you might think — especially given the fact that this blog is mostly for and about geezers — the title of this piece does not refer to a pathetic old guy who is feeling a little unappreciated. It is instead about a short-lived 1970s bluegrass band of that name led by Jerry Garcia, who is now mostly remembered as the heart and soul of the Grateful Dead.
When Garcia died a couple of decades back, he not only left behind a lot of forlorn Deadheads, but also a legacy of musical adventures into other disciplines. Although the Grateful Dead was pretty much a constant for him during its three decades of life, Garcia loved a lot of different types of music and often cobbled together other groups to explore it.
In 1973 he decided to form a band that would specialize in bluegrass, and he recruited David Grisman, Vassar Clements, Peter Rowan, and John Kahn to join him. All were experienced pros with a solid footing in a variety of styles that included bluegrass, and it wasn’t long before Old & In The Way was making music. Although it was only around for a year or two, the group was a popular attraction in live shows in San Francisco, and recordings from some of those appearances were made into an album a couple of years later.
That initial album became a favorite for many fans, and after Garcia’s death in 1995 some of the same bunch of original recordings found their way onto a couple of albums of expanded collections. At about the same time, some of the original members of the group put together a new band for live shows (see video below) and a few years later issued a new album.