Acoustic Guitar Magazine takes a look at the Grateful Dead guitarist’s influential acoustic style, which reflected his love of roots music, bluegrass, and modal jazz. While the article provides some insight into his guitar style and a useful lesson, is also offers up some background on his early life.
The article explores some of Garcia’s early history:
…in 1960, after a brief stint in the Army, Garcia discovered folk music, picked up a banjo, and began playing bluegrass, while also studying at the San Francisco Art Institute. By 1964 Garcia had joined Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, a bluegrass and folk outfit whose other members included guitarist Bob Weir and harmonica player Ron (Pigpen) McKernan. Within a year, the ensemble, rounded out by Phil Lesh on bass and Bill Kreutzmann on drums, morphed into the Warlocks, an electric bar band whose name was soon dropped in favor of the Grateful Dead. Featuring Garcia on guitar and vocals, the Dead started playing free concerts in San Francisco and soon graduated to high-profile gigs at the Fillmore West and Woodstock and a recording contract with Warner Brothers.
You can read the full article on the Acoustic Guitar Website