Love Your Local Band

Love Your Local Band: Shady Groove

Shady GrooveJerry Brown, the frontman/band leader of Shady Groove, has a business card that says “funky, jazzy rock and space exploration.” This expansive description only just begins to explain the variety of the music his group plays.

“We play funk, jazz, blues. We play reggae, we play some New Orleans style. It’s primarily a dance band,” Brown says.

The five-piece, which has been around for 15 years, gets the “jam band” label in part because of all of the different styles they play, but also because of their penchant for improvisation. They, of course, play fully improvised solos in their songs, but the part that Brown feels really strongly about is what happens at the end of the tunes.

“We’ll continue out on whatever the prevailing mood is at the end. By the end, it’s kind of just phasing out on that primary vibe and we will take that and just go with it, take off into an improvisation jam based on the key and whatever else has gone into that tune that night,” Brown says. “That’s a very open-ended time. It can go anywhere. Frequently it’s not recognizable as having anything to do with the song. That, to me, is really improvisational, as opposed to noodling over the changes.”

During their set, they will play both covers and originals (roughly 65 percent covers, 35 percent originals). Even with their covers, the diversity doesn’t stop.

“We do everything from Delta Blues to Motown to classic rock, any kind of good song whether it’s gospel, reggae, anything at all. It’s all over the map,” Brown says.


INFO: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19. Don Quixote’s, Hwy. 9, Felton. $12/adv, $15/door. 335-2800.

Contributor at Good Times |

Aaron is a hard-working freelance writer with a focus on music, art, food, culture and travel. In addition to Good Times, he's a regular contributor to Sacramento News & Review, VIA Magazine and Playboy. When he's not working, he's either backpacking, arguing about music or working on his book about ska. One thing's for sure—he knows more about ska than you.

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