Jerry Garcia & David Grisman
First Appeared in The Music Box, October 1998, Volume 5, #10
Written by John Metzger
It's truly amazing how much outstanding material was captured by David Grisman during his loose recording sessions with Jerry Garcia between August 1990 and Garcia's death in 1995. Shady Grove is the first compilation of that material, and it offers a selection of traditional folks songs and ballads. (So What, the second volume in the set, is a collection of jazz standards that was released in August of this year).
Though the duo perform thirteen traditional folk songs, the music is pure Garcia/Grisman magic. Joe Craven and Jim Kerwin also add their brilliant musicianship to a handful of the tracks on Shady Grove. Some of the many highlights include The Sweet Sunny South, which features Garcia and Grisman in a banjo duel, and Casey Jones, which pays homage to the original recordings by Mississippi John Hurt and Furry Lewis. Elsewhere, Louis Collins is beautifully sung by Garcia and includes a delicate interplay between his guitar and Grisman's mandolin.
In essence, Shady Grove revisits the music that launched the Grateful Dead, and hearing Garcia perform it is a real treat. Shady Grove is a truly brilliant collection that should help to persuade Deadheads to explore the vast array of outstanding traditional American folk music that is available, including Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music as well as the songs of Mississippi John Hurt. This collection also just might persuade folk purists to open their minds to the music of the Grateful Dead. After all, there always was much more to the group than its lengthy improvisational jams.
Shady Grove is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1998 The Music Box