picture of Howard Wales
Howard Wales
Organist Howard Wales was best known for his collaborations with Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia. After honing his chops during the mid-1960s backing acts ranging from Ronnie Hawkins to the Four Tops to James Brown, Wales eventually settled in San Francisco, joining the group A.B. Skhy; he first performed with Garcia at the guitarist's weekly jam sessions with bassist John Kahn and drummer Bill Vitt at the Bay Area club the Matrix, and in 1970 played on the Dead's seminal American Beauty LP. Hooteroll?, the first joint Wales/Garcia album, appeared in 1971; in January of 1972, the duo also teamed with guitarist Jim Vincent, bassist Roger Troy and drummer Jerry Love in a band which performed regularly during the year to follow. In addition to a longstanding stint backing guitarist Harvey Mandel, in 1976 Wales released a solo album, Rendezvous with the Sun; a follow-up, The Monk in the Mansion, appeared a few years later. He performed infrequently with Garcia in the years leading to the latter's 1995 death; one of their 1970 Matrix jams was officially released in 1998 as the first volume in the ongoing Side Trips series.
Jason Ankeny at allmusic.com
on tour Click on the logo to see Howard's tour dates.


Baby Batter
Janus Records JLS 3017
released 1971
Harvey Mandel, guitar
Howard Wales, organ, piano
Mike Melvoin, organ, piano
Larry Taylor, bass
Colin Bailey, drums
Paul Lagos, drums
Big Black, congas
Emil Richards, percussion
Joe Picaro, percussion
Sandra Crouch, tambourine
CBS DGL 69013
recorded 1971 in USA
Howard Wales, organ, piano
Jerry Garcia, guitar
John Kahn, bass
Bill Vitt, drums
Michael Marinelli, drums
Curly Cook, guitar
Martin Fierro, sax, flute
Ken Balzall, trumpet
Up From The Desert
Brr BRR4012
recorded 26 January 1972 in Boston, MA/USA
Howard Wales, keyboards
Jerry Garcia, guitar
Roger Troy, bass
Jerry Love, drums
Jim Vincent, guitar
no label
recorded 2012 in San Rafael, CA/USA
Howard Wales, organ, keyboard
Chris Cain, guitar
Garth Weber, guitar
Steve Evans, bass
Tom Donlinger, drums
Kenny Stavropoulos, drums
Phil “Levi” Wood, trumpet, flugelhorn
Ed Early, trombone
Carl Green, tenor sax
Otto, percussion
no label
recorded 2014 in Sebastopol, CA/USA
Howard Wales, Hammond B-3 organ, piano
Tom Donlinger, drums

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