Steeped in the musical history of the San Francisco Bay Area, Shady Groove delivers an invigorating dose of funky blues and jazz-infused rock and R&B. It is good-time dance music that draws from a diversity of American popular genres, and incorporates elements of gospel, reggae and other world music. Lengthy, improvisational flights through a wide range of musical styles provide the inspiration for high-spirited crowds whose kinetic dance-floor energy serves as a vibrant counterpart to the musical journey transpiring on stage.
The strength of the group is reflected in the scope of their original material. From jazzy, ethereal, instrumental excursions, to intelligent and lyrically honest songs, the music of Shady Groove ranges from reflective introspection to full-throttle, rocking abandon. They have developed a talent for crafting unique and distinguished original works, rooted in traditional influences, yet significantly evolved to express the unique insight and intuitive musical chemistry that are the substance of the band’s creativity.
Whether singing their own material or digging into one of the classic covers they interpret, (Shady Groove covers works from Ritchie Havens, the Jerry Garcia Band, Jimmy Cliff, and a host of Motown, blues, and other artists), vocalist and guitarist Jerry Brown delivers the material with the honest feel of someone who has lived a life of music for over twenty years. Lead guitarist Matt Hartle creates hypnotic, astonishingly lyrical and fluid lines that render audiences spellbound. The animated rhythmic and melodic interplay of the guitarists sets the stage for the brand of fiery, spirited jamming that is the heart of Shady Groove’s live performances. Dave Faulkner infuses the mix with growling Hammond organ and soulful keyboard textures, establishing the dynamic tension that fuels their musical voyage. The magic, of course, is in the GROOVE. Bret Bailey’s big, propulsive dance beats and driving percussive exploits are fused with the thick, roving bass grooves of Jimmy Hubbard, to form the deep pockets and funky foundation for the improvisational journey that has earned the band its reputation as one of the Bay Area’s finest jam ensembles.
Since 2002, Shady Groove has cemented its status as a leading light in the improvisational rock scene of the Bay Area and beyond, consistently providing energetic musical sets, whether opening for nationally touring acts or hosting their own full-blown jam sessions that can last all night. They have been joined onstage for their lengthy sets by such noted musicians as Donna Jean Godchaux and Vince Welnick of the Grateful Dead, Melvin Seals of the Jerry Garcia Band, Frank Zappa alumnus Ike Willis, Barry Sless of the David Nelson Band, String Cheese Incident cohort Keller Williams, DJ Logic, and blues diva Sista Monica - to name only a few.
Shady Groove has played to capacity crowds around the Bay Area at venues such as Santa Cruz’s Catalyst and Rio Theater, as well as the Avalon Ballroom, Boom Boom Room, and Studio Z-TV in San Francisco. The summer of 2003 saw the band performing widely acclaimed showcase sets at the High Sierra Music Festival and they have enjoyed great success headlining their own series of late-night happenings in the emerging after-hours San Francisco music scene. The band’s grass roots approach to the music and their willingness to lend their sounds to almost any situation have helped to hone their unique musical rapport and establish a reputation for providing consistently high musical moments that keep their fans coming back for more. This has earned Shady Groove the kind of loyal following that assures that wherever they play you’ll find a throng of festive folks burning up the dance floor.