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Shady Grove

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 15, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

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Throughout his life, Jerry Garcia had an abiding fondness for the banjo, bluegrass, and roots-folk music. It not only helped shape the Grateful Dead's vast repertoire, but also led him on various musical excursions outside of the Dead. One of his most consistent collaborators in his extra-Dead adventures was "newgrass" mandolin master and bandleader David Grisman. The two of them formed the nucleus of the short-lived but influential bluegrass ensemble Old & In the Way in the early 1970s. These 13 delightful folk songs were culled from numerous laid-back Garcia-Grisman sessions that took place in Grisman's studio between 1990 and 1995, often joined by Joe Craven on fiddle and percussion and Jim Kerwin on bass. Garcia and Grisman pulled these songs--some of them quite obscure--from a variety of American eras and genres. Included is a vivid rendition of Mississippi John Hurt's "Louis Collins," as well as folk odes like "Casey Jones," "Whiskey in the Jar," and "The Handsome Cabin Boy." Throughout, the resulting music is mellow and evocative, likely to appeal to both neo-folkies and open-minded Deadheads. --Bob Allen
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 15, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Acoustic Disc
  • ASIN: B00000391J
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,875 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Otterstrom on August 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The last time I saw Jerry Garcia perform was in Golden Gate Park in the '60s & 'Pigpen' was still at the keyboard, so I admit to being a slacker of a 'Deadhead', but in my defense I always kept a few essential Grateful Dead albums in my collection, 'Workingman's Dead', 'American Beauty', etc. As the '60s faded, the drugs and psychedelia and 'happenings' wore thin for me, but what continued to interest me was Jerry's work outside the Dead, especially with Grisman, 'Old & In The Way' for example, and the wonderful 'Devout Catalyst' with Ken Nordine of 'Word Jazz' fame was awesome. So, I thought I was primed for 'Shady Grove' when it came out, but I wasn't. Shady Grove is the essence of Jerry Garcia, it's the root of his many-branched tree, the place he came from and never left, a clear pool from which his creativity sprang. His mastery of folk music goes beyond words like authentic, this recording is just plain old real! Until I heard 'Shady Grove' I had no idea what the world lost with Jerry Garcia's passing.
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By A Customer on June 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This album is superb, from the opening title track to the surprise, unlisted piece at the end. Almost any one of the songs would by itself, in fact, justify buying the whole album. Many fans of the Grateful Dead will see a side of Jerry Garcia that they probably never knew about, and anyone who has even an iota of interest in traditional American and English music will see what real "folk" talent -- as opposed to the mountains of mediocrity and posing that came out of the sixties and seventies -- is really about. Like the music fan from Iowa, I found this to be an album that I can enjoy with my father, which is not surprising, because the music is truly timeless, as well as priceless. One can only lament the terrible loss that two entire musical traditions suffered when Jerry died, and hope that David Grisman has more of these beautiful recordings to offer his and Jerry's growing legion of fans.
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Format: Audio CD
As I work my way through various Grisman & Garcia collabarations I continue to be astounded & elated. I am particularly taken w/this disc. It is as much a celebration of their musical powress as their friendship. This disc is the first of several volumes arranged by Grisman according to genre. These are traditional folk songs & ballads. Grisman is releasing them to showcase Garcia's musical depth & breadth. The same could be said of Grisman's artistry.Many of the songs here I heard for the first time but definitely not the last. The accompaning booklet is lovingly crafted. The history of each song is presented as are the lyrics. Grisman's & Garcia's friendship allow us to connect to a simpler & purer time that is very much a part of our legacy. As always the Acoustic Disc quality has to be heard to be fully appreciated.
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Format: Audio CD
My musical journey hasn't even reached a 2 digit number of years yet, but it's been quite profound so far. I count my album collection by the hundreds. I really truly love all the albums I own, but I've been blown away by an album only so little times. (Nevermind, Dark side of the Moon, Blue, Moon Safari).

Now - when I say blown away - I mean it. Literaly. Blown away, to me, means having to sit back and re-think everything you thought you knew about music and discovering a whole new genre, a new approach. Discovering you like something else. That's blown away, as far as I'm concerned. And this album definately blew the hell out of me.

I remember hearing it for the first time, on some early morning train ride, that went through the sun, through the rain, and back to sun light again. From that first string pluck to that very last "truly obnoxious instrument" monolog, I was simply amazed. I never thought I'd like country music, or anything related to it, for that matter.

And the whole atmosphere of the album - so relaxed, so free, so "we're here just for the fun of it. really" kind of feeling. I've only heard that feeling come out of one other album - "Traveling Wilburys Volume 1". The only thing David and Jerry wanted to get/achieve in these recordings was the shere pleasue of hearing each other play together, and the excitement of what the music may do while they play.

If you're a dead head, you'll probably get this album anyway. If you're not, if you only have a couple (or less) "dead" albums, then pick this one up. You're exactly where I was when i pressed that "play" button.
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Format: Audio CD
This is stunning! Garcia and Grisman at their best. I have always been a defender of Garcia's genious, and this recording proves it in an exciting and refreshing way. It's not just the same old "Dead" tunes one might expect. It's a wonderful collection of mostly traditional folk songs. If you like it raw, down-home and intimate, then Shady Grove is for you. Everytime I listen to it I almost think Jerry's in my living room with me; it's that for real. No overdubs, no edits, just unadulterated musical prowess. The mandolin is superb, the bonjo's superb, it's all just plain superb. Buy it, hear it, love it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An awesome disc. I loved it from beginning to end. Garcia and Grisman are flawless in their choice of material as well as in their execution. This is a CD that I'll play over and over. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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