For lovers of the Grateful Dead, the JGBCB — Jerry Garcia Band Cover Band has brought as much pleasure to fans for over 20 years. Even some folks who have never understood the Dead phenomena are able to enjoy Garcia's «side project». While incorporating Garcia's own original songs (some straight from the Grateful Dead catalog and others performed exclusively with Jerry Band), the heavy bulk of the JGB catalog was indeed covers. Van Morrison, J.J. Cale, The Beatles, The Band, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Cliff, Smokey Robinson… the list goes on and on, recalling the names of rock, soul, and folk royalty.
So it is with a deep love of Jerry Garcia and of the music that he loved and that influenced him, that the members of JGBCB approach this new project. Coming together in Athens, GA, the members of JGBCB ('Jerry Garcia Band Cover Band') hail from a diverse group of bands of their own, spanning jam rock, funk, reggae, bluegrass, and more. Jonathan Brill (Sweet Knievel, efren) plays the lead, donning guitar and handling most of the lead vocals. Ben Jordan (High Strung String Band) plays bass and also sings a handful of the songs. Jerry Hendelberg and Shelly Olin (both of Dubconscious) handle keys and vocals respectively. Rackley Davis (Saint Francis) mans the drums.
When the band first came together for a single show December 2012, they did not anticipate the reaction they got. The local Deadhead community came out in full force, and the band was encouraged to follow up with another show. Soon a local residency led to the development of more and more great tunes from the bank of JGB. At a JGBCB show one can see and hear how much influence Jerry Garcia's music had on this band's members. Brill excitedly points out, «It is such a joy to 'cover' the greatest cover band of all-time! It's a huge repertoire of classic songs that people of all ages love and appreciate already. The response we've gotten has been so positive. So we're going to keep on doing it!»