Shady Grove

Shady Grove

Shady Grove was released the year after Jerry Garcia’s death, and it collects outtakes from the albums he recorded with David Grisman between 1990 and 1993. Consisting of classic folk songs and ballads, Shady Grove works as Grisman’s memorial to his friend, collaborator, and fellow bluegrass disciple. The pair first bonded at a Bill Monroe concert in 1964, and a shared love of Appalachian folk music was the foundation for their thirty-year relationship. In that way, it makes perfect sense for Shady Grove to return to some of the most fundamental ballads from that body of song, including the title track, “Stealin’,” and “Casey Jones” (based on the 1928 Furry Lewis recording, not the more famous Grateful Dead song). In the wake of Garcia’s passing it’s impossible not to feel the elegiac quality in “I Truly Understand” and “Fair Ellender.” A sad, slow reading of “Down In the Valley” closes the collection, and provides benediction for a friendship bonded in music.

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