I'm old. I'm a professional musician, too. And I remember QMS from waaay back.
This is a band that was uniformly inconsistent in some ways. The production quality of all their music was always very good. The writing suffered from various degrees of a lack of focus on what kind of band they wanted to be.
But that doesn't mean they were bad. Quite the contrary. QMS was a great band live. Less inconsistencies at their shows. But that said...
Shady Grove has some great music on it. In between are a few so-so tunes. But the highlights far exceed the "filler", which makes this album worth owning for fans of the whole San Francisco sound of the late 1960s. QMS was in the thick of it.
Favourite cuts: Joseph's Coat, Shady Grove and Edward The Mad Shirt Grinder, wherein Nicky Hopkins (who's played with just about everyone) gets to really stretch out. And the rest of the band is in fine form.
The musicianship of the collective members is without question. The production values are well represented. But, to be honest, QMS isn't for everyone and, since they were constantly searching for new things, the inconsistencies may put people off.
At the end of the day, QMS managed to create something for everyone, from Country tinged to the more progressive, with just a touch of classical influence.