Jack Ryan is not a man who likes to have time on his hands. The Upstate drummer has spent much of the last four years playing a 200-show-a-year schedule as part of The Marcus King Band, the fiery, fast-rising Greenville blues-rock band led by one of the best young guitarists in the country. But rather than relax when he’s back in his hometown and away from the grind, Ryan decided to form a side band called The Shady Recruits. Together, the band digs into deep funk grooves and jazzy improvisation, styles that Ryan doesn’t get to delve into too often with King. “It’s still very much in its infancy, but the music is really ambitious,” Ryan says. “I want to leave it open to different genres and styles, with more improvisation. I don’t get to play a lot of stuff with odd time signatures with Marcus, so I wanted to get into some more of that. But it’s probably going to change the more we get to play. ”

~Vincent Harris


The Shady Recruits started in late 2016 when Charles Hedgepath asked Jack Ryan to be part of his Tuesday night residency at Smiley’s Acoustic Cafe on Augusta Street. “Charles wanted me to start my own thing so I could bring something different to his Tuesday night series at Smiley’s,” Ryan says. “It was a way for him to be able to bring guys from The Marcus King Band in without having to say, ‘Hey, it’s The Marcus King band!’ It was also a chance for me to play with David Katilius. He’s one of my best friends and one of my favorite bass players, and I don’t get to play with him much because Marcus King band is on the road so much. With the Shady Recruits I had an excuse to play with him, Justin Johnson and with Marcus White. Together, the band digs into deep funk grooves and jazzy improvisation.

~Greenville Journal

TheShady Recruits, a super group of a rotating troupe of seasoned musicians who play something their Facebook page describes cheekily as “tasty tunes.” The band’s set at The Taproom Stage turned out to be much better than just tasty. It was absolutely delicious. The Shady Recruits supporting cast includes keyboardist Marcus White of Chattanooga’s Soul Mechanic, bassist David Katilius of Greenville’s Earsight and The Jordan Okrend Experience, guitarist Charles Hedgepath of Greenville’s The Bad Popes and The Work, and trumpeter and trombonist. Justin Johnson of the Marcus KingBand. They were joined by MKB’s Dean Mitchell on sax and Deshawn Alexander on keys for a booty-shakin’ dose of funk and R&B. Sly & The Family Stone’s “Same Thing,” Nigel Hall’s “Don’t Change For Me,” the band’s own “Save Your Pride,” and, out of mad respect, Colonel Bruce Hampton’s “Working On A Building” and more were on the menu. Just in case anyone was still sitting down, somewhere in there were teases of Parliament Funkadelic’s “Give Up The Funk.” Jack Ryan will be keeping his day job, but I hope he moonlights with The Shady Recruits for a long time to come.

— Musicfest News