Move Me Brightly: Celebrating Jerry Garcia's 70th Birthday is a new concert video and documentary that focuses on a star-studded August 3, 2012, tribute show that was held at Grateful Dead singer/guitarist Bob Weir's TRI Studios in San Rafael, California. Available now on DVD and Blu-ray, the flick includes highlights from the intimate event, which featured an eclectic variety of musicians playing songs by the late Dead frontman, as well as interviews with many of Garcia's friends, family members, band mates and admirers.
The film was directed by Justin Kreutzmann, son of founding Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. The filmmaker tells ABC News Radio that the flick is more than just your average concert documentary.
"The concert is the reason we all got together, but what you see in the movie is why we're getting together," he explains. "So you learn a lot about Jerry from the people who knew him the best, and then, you also learn a lot about Jerry by people reinterpreting his music for a younger generation."
Among the many musicians who performed with Weir at the concert were Dead bassist Phil Lesh and backing singer Donna Jean Godchaux; Phish bassist Mike Gordon; Joe Russo and Jeff Chimenti from the Dead spinoff group Furthur; and members of the alternative rock acts The Hold Steady and Vampire Weekend.
Justin notes that while organizing the tribute concert, he asked the participating artists to choose a Garcia song that they'd always wanted to play live, and that's how the set list was put together.
"So everybody has this excitement [and were] looking to Bob to sort of guide them through it," Justin points out. "So…there's a lot of that energy, and everybody just came and did it for the love. So, I think that comes through."
He also explains that because the performers had varying degrees of familiarity with Garcia and his songs, "everybody came to it from a different perspective." Justin adds that the show offered "a nice combination of people bringing new ideas to the music and learning from Bob Weir exactly what the band meant when they originally did it."
The interview segments in Move Me Brightly, which were conducted by actor Luke Wilson, include conversations featured Weir, Lesh, Godchaux, Kreutzmann and fellow Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, Carlos Santana, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Jane's Addiction members Perry Farrell and Stephen Perkins. Jerry's ex-wife Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, two of his daughters and his brother Tiff also share anecdotes about the late rock legend.
Justin says the film's highlights include Tiff Garcia recalling how he chopped off his brother's finger with an ax when they were kids, and Bill Kreutzmann talking about "meeting Jerry for the first time when my grandfather sold him a banjo in 1962."
The main body of the film features 10 performances from the concert, including such Dead classics as "Shakedown Street," "Franklin's Tower" and "U.S. Blues." The DVD also includes about a half hour of bonus material, while the Blu-ray boasts an hour's worth of extras.
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