Jack Ryan

(Marcus King Band)

Marcus White

(Voodoo Visionary, Killakeyz_band)

David Katilius

(Scrumptious, Adam Knight’s Buried Alive)

Charles Hedgepath

(The Work, The Bad Popes)

Justin Johnson

(Marcus King Band)

Formed in 2016, The Shady Recruits is a 5-piece band based out of Greenville, South Carolina with a funky, jazzy, and at times heavily improvisational fusion of what they describe as “tasty tunes”. Influenced by the likes of Funkadelic, Frank Zappa, Soulive, Steely Dan, and so many others, the band plays an eclectic, high-energy mixture of originals and covers guaranteed to keep you dancing all night. While still relatively in its infancy as a band, The Shady Recruits have been fortunate to share stages with such acts as The Marcus King Band, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, and Dumpstaphunk.
Led by drummer Jack Ryan of the Marcus King Band, The Shady Recruits are an “all-star lineup” of sorts, consisting of musicians from several prominent local and regional bands. The ensemble includes fellow Marcus King Band member and Greenville native Justin Johnson on horns and vocals, as well as two other Greenville music scene staples – bassist David Katilius of jamtronica rockers Scrumptious and Phish tribute outfit Adam Knight’s Buried Alive, and Charles Hedgepath on guitar and vocals, affectionately dubbed the “unofficial mayor of Greenville” due to his involvement in countless musical endeavors around Greenville and the Upstate. Keyboardist Marcus White of Chattanooga adds a musical tour-de-force, splitting his time between the Recruits and touring with Atlanta funk/improv giants Voodoo Visionary, as well as leading his own project killakeyz_band.

…and a surplus of surprise special guests is always a unique part of The Shady Recruits performances.

The Shady 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