Jamerica: The History Of The Jam Band and Festival Scene

Peter Conners. Da Capo, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-306-82066-3
This oral history of jam bands is told through the words of the musicians and others connected to the jam band scene, which is well known for its improvisational style, passionate audiences, and extended live shows. Though the scene has its roots in midcentury jazz, the hippie bands of the ’60s, and the psychedelic music of the 1970s, this book focuses on the music created from the late ’80s to the present day. While it could use some more background on groundbreaking bands like the Allman Brothers and Cream, the book features members of well-known jam bands like Phish, Blues Traveler, and Widespread Panic. It creates a detailed picture of how jam bands rose from small clubs in Manhattan and small towns like Burlington, Vt., to create a cultural movement that includes the H.O.R.D.E. tours of the 1990s and today’s Bonnaroo. Though very few in the book want to be pigeonholed by the term “jam band,” the musicians interviewed explore topics like what it means to be a jam band, the influence of the Grateful Dead, the power of live music and a dedicated fan base, and the free taping of live shows. Conners (Growing Up Dead) has, by synthesizing these different ideas into a harmonious collection of quotations, musings, memories, and even e-mails from fans, created a literary work that captures on paper the collaborative, spontaneous, and uplifting nature of the jam band music. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/05/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-306-82239-1
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