Old & In the Way remains one of the shortest-lived but most revered bluegrass bands in history. Formed in 1973 by Grateful Dead lead guitarist Jerry Garcia as an outlet to revisit his banjo picking bluegrass roots. Old & In the Way featured David Grisman (mandolin/vocals), Peter Rowan (guitar/vocals), Vassar Clements (fiddle/vocals), and John Kahn (bass). Old & In the Wayís origins can be traced to Stinson Beach, California, where Garcia, Grisman, and Rowan were living at the time.

A bluegrass jam session at Garciaís house led to some local gigs, which initially had either Richard Greene or John Hartford on fiddle. The band gigged whenever schedules permitted, and their self-titled album was released by Grateful Dead Records in 1975. By that time, the band had become a pleasant memory.

The musicians in Old & In the Way, while mostly performing rock music at the time, had come to rock from bluegrass, folk, blues and similar roots music idioms. Perhaps what made them special to so many people, (aside from their eclectic and extensive repertoire) was that now they had gelled all their experience into another mutual quest for that 'High, Lonesome Sound' of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and others.

While the original Old & In the Way album was the biggest selling bluegrass album for a long stretch during the '70s, '80s and early '90s, their legacy continued to expose countless numbers of fans and new generations to bluegrass music.

Shortly before his death in 1995, Jerry Garcia had asked David Grisman to go through master tapes of more live recordings of Old & In the Way for potential release on the Acoustic Disc label. The results are "That High Lonesome Sound," released in 1996, and 1997ís "Breakdown."