Jerry Garcia's family members celebrate his birthday by launching new independent music label

Jerry Garcia's family members celebrate his birthday by launching new independent music label

To mark the rock legend's 76th birthday, Jerry Garcia Music Arts LLC offers fans free download of 1982 solo acoustic rendition of 'Ripple'.

August 1 would have been legendary singer-songwriter and The Grateful Dead co-founder Jerry Garcia's 76th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, two of the late singer's family members launched a new independent music label that will focus on Garcia’s music and art.

As part of the founding of Jerry Garcia Music Arts LLC, Garcia’s ex-wife Manasha Garcia and daughter Keelin Garcia have offered up a free download of a performance of 'Ripple' recorded during Garcia’s famed 1982 solo acoustic performance at Passaic, New Jersey’s Capitol Theatre, the only one-man show Garcia staged during his tenure with the Grateful Dead, reports Rolling Stone.

The newly remastered 'Ripple' recording is limited to 2,500 free downloads, and will soon be made available on most digital music streaming services. Garcia's watercolor painting, also titled 'Ripple,' will serve as the cover art for the re-release of the single and will be available as a museum-quality, limited-edition giclée via the Terrapin Stationers Gallery, starting August 3.

Jerry Garcia became well known throughout the world as the lead guitarist, vocalist, and composer for the Grateful Dead. As one of its founding members, he performed with the band for their entire thirty-year run (1965–1995). Known for his distinctive guitar playing, he was ranked 13th in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 as part of The Grateful Dead. A year later, Garcia died of a heart attack after a long battle with diabetes, smoking, and longstanding heroin and cocaine addictions. He was 53 years old.

To celebrate the rock legends 76th birthday, Jerry Garcia's family members have launched a new music label, Jerry Garcia Music Arts LLC (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
To celebrate the rock legends 76th birthday, Jerry Garcia's family members have launched a new music label, Jerry Garcia Music Arts LLC (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

In addition to his musical contributions, Garcia was a prolific visual artist and also an avid environmentalist.

Several of the musician's paintings are sea-themed compositions inspired by his scuba diving experiences and family trips to Hawaii, where he actively supported coral reef preservation. Garcia thought of himself as "an artist who played music," and he also referred to playing music as a "public service." In this spirit, a portion of the proceeds from the “Ripple” art piece will support ocean preservation, Jerry Garcia Music Arts LLC added.

As per a press release, Garcia family members Keelin Garcia and Manasha Garcia have curated the music and art for the new release as producers of the project. The recordings were mastered and co-produced by audio engineer Joe Gastwirt, who worked closely with Garcia and his music since the 1980s. He is known for his meticulous work in digitally remastering hundreds of recordings for many well-known artists, including the Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, CSNY and Yes.

Jerry Garcia's watercolor 'Ripple' will accompany the re-release of the 1982 song of the same name via independent music label Jerry Garcia Music Arts. (Photo Credit: Jerry Garcia Music Arts LLC)
Jerry Garcia's watercolor 'Ripple' will accompany the re-release of the 1982 song of the same name via independent music label Jerry Garcia Music Arts. (Photo Credit: Jerry Garcia Music Arts LLC)