The Shady Grove Band "Back in Circulation ," Chapel Hill's Shady Grove Band has carried the torch for nearly three decades as one of our state's most popular and widely traveled bluegrass combos. So, while it's not quite proper to say they've been out of circulation, it is a rare treat when they return to the studio to craft another album of solid, Southern, homegrown 'grass.
Released earlier this year on their own SGB label, "Back in Circulation" is vintage Shady Grove - a compelling mix of originals and standards rooted , but not mired, in the ancient tones. Bill Monroe gospel ("The Old Cross Roads") and lovesick blues ("Dark as the Night, Blue as the Day") nestle snugly alongside the folk tale of North Carolina bandit "Otto Woods" and the blistering instrumental Logan County Blues."
But it's the original songs from a talented corps of Piedmont songsmiths that stand out. They include several tracks from Shady Grovers Charles Pettee ("Gracie," Silvery Moon,"'The Anchor"), John Boulding ("Muscadine"), and Jerry Brown ("Darling Abigail").
As vocal lead, Brown goes high lonesome on "I'm Back in Circulation Again," written by former Bass Mountain Boy Johnny Ridge, Pettee transforms Bob Dylan's "One Too Many Mornings" from folk to bluegrass, And Adael Shinn's warm vocals enliven Tommy Edwards' "Sweet Home in Dixieland" and embrace "If It Takes Two," written by former Shady Grove bassist Lynn Davis.
      Jack Bernhardt, The News & Observer 12/21/08 (Raleigh, NC)

The Shady Grove Band "Back In Circulation," The title of this disc is fitting, insofar as it represents a return to the studio by North Carolina's Shady Grove Band following a hiatus of several years. After releasing a number of popular discs on the Flying Fish label in the mid-1990's, the band continued a busy touring schedule, but as this new self-released effort reveals, it's nice to have them "circulating" on CD players and radio stations again. Still anchored by founders Charles Pettee (mandolin) and Jerry Brown (guitar), the current lineup also features Adael Shinn on bass and John Boulding on banjo and dobro.
Pettee, Brown and Shinn are the featured vocalists, and it's Shinn who is particularly good on a pair of Bill Monroe tunes. "Dark As The Night (Blue As The Day)" and "The Old Cross Roads," while Pettee does a fine turn on Bob Dylan's "One Too Many Mornings." Brown's leads include "Otto Woods" (a.k.a. "Otto Wood The Bandit" to fans of fellow North Carolinian Doc Watson) and the nominal title track, "I'm Back In Circulation Once Again." Shady Grove made their reputation as a band with a contemporary feel that still appeals to the fans of traditional bluegrass and country, and it's satisfying to find that they still have that touch.
     
JL, SingOut! Magazine

The Shady Grove Band "Back In Circulation," North Carolina's Shady Grove Band consists of Jerry Brown, guitar and clawhammer banjo; Charles Pettee, mandolin and mandola; Adael Shinn, upright bass; and John Boulding, banjo and dobro. Each band member shares vocals. Guest performers include Nicky Sanders, Bobby Britt, Don Lewis and Matt Hooper. Tommy Edwards helps out with some finer-style guitar picking on Sweet Home In Dixieland, a song he penned. Robert Sledge offers the lead guitar work on Silvery Moon. Robbie Link fills in on bass for one number. The album opens with a lively number which set s the paces for the entire project. The Old Crossroads, sung by Adael Shinn, is about as good a version you'll ever hear of this classic. The project ends with Jerry Brown performing one of his own compositions, Darling Abigail, on clawhammer banjo. Other selections include Gracie, Just Ain't, If It Takes Two and The Anchor.
      
Robert Steelman, Bluegrass Music Profiles

The Shady Grove Band "Back in Circulation," 2008 "Back in Circulation" hits the bluegrass highpoints. There's Bill Monroe's gospel "The Old Cross Roads" and his swing tune, "Dark as the Night." Guest fingerpicker and writer, Tommy Edwards, brightens "Sweet Home in Dixieland," the sentimental paean to the South. Charles Pettee's mandolin gets in some nice licks as well. The title track opens, a humorous she-done-me-wrong song, introducing the band with a tuneful banjo, sweet chorus harmonies, and a nifty solo trade-off from banjo to fiddle and, later, from fiddle to banjo. Special kudos to guest fiddler Nicky Sanders who approaches every tune he's on with confidence and imaginative solos. The unexpected cover entry is Dylan's "One Too Many Mornings." Brown's ominous guitar triplets lead to an extensive revision of the song, including a chorus using the original's refrain. Brown's attack on the guitar is buzzsaw vicious. The instrumental "Gracie," featuring only the core band, showcases their picking. The Shady Grove Band, going strong for over twenty-five years, has never been out of circulation. But, on their second self-released disc since leaving Flying Fish, the band is back from somewhere with a wide-ranging and pleasing record.
       Minor 7th - non-mainstream acoustic guitar music e-zine © David Kleiner

"They have it all -- tight singing, impeccable instrumental capabilities, and above all strong original material."

      Southern Bluegrass News

"Strong, original material, hot picking and powerful singing that will please many fans of bluegrass music."
      Bluegrass Unlimited

"Who would have thought that songs about the Tennessee mountains, rivers in North Carolina and four string-plucking folk could get a bunch of Behtlehemites hee-hawing and whistlin' like they were back home in the hills of Kentucky."
      Bethlehem Globe-Times, Musicfest '89

"...Intense instrumental ability, a feel for tradition."
      Option Magazine, Los Angeles

"They are one of the most talented and creative bands you could hope to find...the best young band in the country."
      Dirty Linen Magazine