http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/a7ab501b4b83b2f2d7e219388322391cd9c43581.jpg Shady Grove

Jerry Garcia

Shady Grove

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
December 26, 1996

Shady Grove is the way Jerry Garcia's last years should be remembered. Whatever problems the Grateful Dead guitarist had with substance abuse and the burdens of his celebrity, he left them at the door whenever he stopped off at mandolinist David Grisman's Dawg Studios for a session. Recorded from 1990 to 1993, Shady Grove captures Garcia and Grisman — whose friendship and passion for traditional folk and country music went back three decades — in relaxed, intimate form, roaming through their old records and public-domain songbooks, playing the unplugged hits of their, and America's, youth. The picking is immaculate; Garcia's singing is shaky in that gentle, endearing way that was unmistakably his; and the tunes — hardy old ballads and barn-dance kickers going back to the Civil War and beyond — underscore the truly deathless beauty and virtue of Garcia's life's work.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »