Friday, April 16, 2010

Live Music Fridays Continues With Jam Bands

No other genre of music is associated with live music more than jam bands. Whether it's Phish, Widespread Panic, or the Grateful Dead, jam bands exist to play live music. Period. It's almost as if when they play a song live, the original studio recording is sort of a framework to work with. Songs evolve one into the other, and often one song begins, another is embedded in the initial song only to have it completed. Set lists may be made up on the fly. It's true on-the-spot improvisation  with no two shows being alike.


Jam bands have always had a culture that is an integral part of the music experience. I suppose it began in the 60's with Grateful Dead shows, grew large with groups like the Allman Brothers, and has continued with Phish, Widespread Panic, and The String Cheese Incident. 


The music itself seems to have some common threads from group to group, but it ends up being a musical gumbo of prog rock, jazz, blues, progressive bluegrass, and funk all mixed together. The amount of each ingredient varies from band to band, but it is always satisfying.


I used to funnel this stuff into my ears in the past... big time (Widespread actually played at my high school in 1990). In recent years, though, I've branched out a little, and I haven't listened to jam bands exclusively. But, spring has sprung here in Nashville, and there is nothing better on a sunny day than listening to a little Widespread and drinking a "cold, cold, beer"


Jam on...










2 comments:

The Zhush April 17, 2010 at 4:57 PM  

Was just listening to Bertha the other day...love the GD...the real one, from the Jerry days!

Matt April 18, 2010 at 12:43 PM  

I was lucky enough to see them twice. One of the shows I saw was just a few months before Jerry died. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.