We here at Jam Band Purist are very excited about this years coverage of FloydFest 22! This will be the 4th year that FloydFest and ATW Productions have given us full access to Virginia's premier festival. We are sad that it will be the last time on the mountaintop but looking forward to big changes next. Thanks again to Sam Calhoun and Brian Swenk for hooking this up. JBP won't be covering this one but we have our finest writer onboard and heading on-sight this Wednesday. Stay Tuned For More!
It was my pleasure to host and jam out with Garst & Co at Base Camp in Massanutten Virginia. I hope to get out there and play more live shows! Thanks for all the support and more JBP Reviews coming soon.
Out Of My Mind Episode #13:Moon Hoochin’ is up on YouTube now! I’ve been working hard to try and change a few things about the vlogs and make them more of a live review. Let me know what you think and thanks for watching!
This episode features Moon Hooch at Bright Box in Winchester, Virginia.
Considering All Sources (Acoustically and Electrically)
SpunJ Album and Single Release -('Sanity')- Short Review
I have been following up and coming Pacific Northwestern band SpunJ or Spun Jelly for a few years now but when I first pulled up their single "Sanity" I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This band has an explosive and impressive sound. The crisp quality of the recording only adds to the impressive musicianship. And this was in the first few seconds.
"Sanity" takes the listener on a funky-danceable journey back from the reaches of insanity. The easy transitions and vocal melodies shine through the mix, which is filled with: amazing keys, guitar, and blasting drums. I was willed by some unearthly musical power to pull up their entire SpunJ catalog and give all the songs a listen. I wish I had time to write a full review on this album but I promise we will come back to Spun Jelly soon. Until then much more to come!
Dopapod Releases Single "Grow"
Dopapod has released a new song “Grow” and it immediately gives me those “Mucho” vibes. The songwriting is strong and the band is always tight. The lyrics are poignant and I would love to review this new album once it is released.
I have been seeing Dopapod for 8 years now and they never disappoint. While some bands in the jam scene cannot make an album to save their life, Dopapod is one of the few that can release a track like “Grow” and sound like their live performances. It’s always a pleasure to review and share their music with you here at www.jambandpurist.com
You can check out “Grow” and more from Dopapod on all platforms and check out my VLOG Episode #10 featuring Dopapod! Below...
Here are a few things I've written in the past:
"Dopapod is on the cutting edge of Jam/Prog Rock mastery. Encompassing sounds from Disco Biscuits, moe. Pink Floyd and even the Grateful Dead, they are the perfect blend of light and dark, soft and heavy. Just when you think they can't go any deeper, they go in again and add another layer of musical intensity.
"Dopapod has the lightness of YES and the dark intensity of moe. The build-up and crescendo work is sparkling with raw unattainable energy that every band wishes they could have. You can hear the classically trained elements within the songwriting techniques themselves. "
"I took some friends with me and I think they were impressed remarking, “Once they get going, they are actually really good."
FloydFest 2022- The Heart Beat Of Virginia
What can I say about Floydfest that my readers haven't heard yet? That its one of the best festivals in Virginia if not the country? Or that the spirit of Floyd Virginia and its musical roots are alive and well at Floydfest? How about Floydfest is the heartbeat of the Virginia musical community!? I cannot wait to get back on the mountain again this year. It was a privilege to record my very first VLOG episode of Out Of My Mind and I am now on #11! In the past few years, Floydfest has become Jam Band Purist festival home and I am looking forward to 2022. Readers let me know if you want some interviews with some of the artists. See you back on the mountain!
Introducing Crap Artist- The Real JR Williams Story (A Music Mockumentary)
As a music fan and movie lover, I love it when these two worlds combine. Some of my favorite movies are, in fact, music mockumentaries: Spinal Tap, Electric Apricot, and Walk Hard come to mind. I can recite almost the entire script of the latter forward and backward.
"It's still not finished yet, I'm hearing more aboriginal percussionists and I want an army of didgeridoos fifty thousand didgeridoos." Dewey Cox
Music mockumentaries have become a great source of relief and I think the world needs more of them. It's my pleasure to introduce to my readers "Crap Artist" featuring the one and only Oteil Burbridge and starring J. R. Williams. The film is about a struggling musician who is sued for not finishing a song live. "Crap Artist" is meant to honor the jam band tradition and features prominent members of the musical community. I have always wanted to do movie/TV reviews, now Is my chance. As a writer and video content creator, it has always been my dream to work on films and movies. I think “Crap Artist” is a great place to start.
More as the mockumentary is released.
Just Another Wednesday Night With Kendall Street Company
I haven’t seen Kendall Street company since LOCKN’ Music Festival, a couple of years ago. They opened up right before Umphrey’s McGee and I thought they did a great job keeping the audience's attention before such a big act. And that was a few years ago. They have since grown into a fullfledged touring band deserving of an entire review here at www.jambandpurist.com
It was just another Wednesday night in Harrisonburg, Virginia; my hometown. Not a lot of music seems to come through here. When it does, I feel lucky to be able to see a show five minutes away from my house. Oh, the luxury of actually having a somewhat decent venue that is getting some music near you. I wasn’t expecting the crowd that attended for a Wednesday night show and I was glad to see the turnout. There were a lot of college kids and some older folks. Kendall Street Company seem to have a diverse fanbase. I had previously been in contact with some of the band members trying to get them on my website and YouTube VLOG. Finally, things worked out and here it is.
Kendall Street Company have some major hype and a big management company to boot. There is a reason why they are billed as, "Virginia's Breakout Jamband.” And why have been getting some major attention on this upcoming tour. Kendall Street Co has what it takes to take their sound to the next level. Skipping right past most bands of their caliber. I have been seeing live Jam band music for 17 years now… wow just saying that makes me feel really old. Anyway, I’ve been seeing this kind of music for almost two decades and I have reviewed hundreds of bands. Kendall Street Co are already up there with some of the bigger acts in the scene. With a little honing of technique and constant practice/performance all they need now is for you to hear them.
It was a fairly straightforward setlist, covers were thrown in with the originals but what made this performance stand out was the creativity in which the covers were performed. While they had a simple, easy take on "Bertha" they switched things up with "Lowrider" making it more of a "Slowrider": funky and slower in tempo. I enjoyed this change of pace and sometimes, covers need to be flipped on their head to become something more than what they were before. I was excited to hear "Oye Como Va" done with a nice groove and solid articulation but I was not expecting them to go into "Groove Is In The Heart" by Deee-lite and then back into "Oye Como Va". This was surprising and fun. This is exactly what being a Jam band is all about; taking the music away from bar covers with actual musical segues and changes. Kendall Street Co's originals are also fun, danceable, and party anthems. Their musical abilities combine well together to create something more.
(Lead Singer) Louis Smith's energy is infectious; his constant smile represents the feeling of this band. Brian Roy (bassist) brings the style to Kendall Street & Co, kicking off those fancy slippers and dropping the bass bombs. (Drummer) Ryan Wood is perhaps the most skilled musician of them all and truly plays to the heart of this band. Ben Laderberg on guitar is a melodic wildcard, never knowing exactly when he is about to take off on a tangential solo. Jake Vanaman (Sax) is the solo captain, always bringing the notes. I think there was another keyboardist but I can't find anything online! I hate to leave him out because it certainly added another element and let Jake's sax go to work. I talked with many of the concert-goers and all of them loved the band and wanted to see more. This says a lot about a small local show on a freakin' Wednesday! I haven’t decided if I am catching the next Sunday show but I would definitely like to see Kendall Street company again. I would certainly listen if they were playing at a festival this summer. Here’s to another wild and crazy Wednesday night!
P.S.- I did end up going to the next Wednesday show and it was even better than the one I reviewed here. They were tighter and even more improvisationally sound. I am glad I returned for another round of KSC and I did not have to review it. It felt nice to just enjoy the show and dance. Thanks, Kendall Street for the great times.
It was a cold, frigid evening as I traveled up the highway to Winchester, Virginia. This small quaint town is filled with history; mostly from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Many monuments, museums, and plaques are displayed throughout the downtown area where the Bright Box is located. History was certainly made that night, not some war history, but musical history. The one-of-a-kind Prog-Jam-Rock band, Dopapod, may have laid a set down for the ages in the intimately situated venue. I have been to the Bright Box before but this time, there was no stage: The band was on the floor, eye to eye with the audience and almost completely surrounded by people. At one point, Neal "Fro" Evans, the drummer, even had someone from the audience help him on drums. That is how intimate this was. I situated myself as close as I could and really got to watch this band work as a unit. Dopapod is prodigious, raw, and tight. They work together as one, as a family. Bringing something entirely new and creative to every performance. You honestly never know what you will get with these guys. Case in point, they covered an amazingly funky version of Rammstein's "Du Hast." This was absolutely hilarious and unexpected. I did not think I would be dancing to "Du Hast" when I arrived at this show. This is another instance of Dopapod taking chances and having fun.
Oh yeah, before I forget! The opener Eggy was also impressive and fun. I wasn't able to catch the entire show but what I did see was high-energy and thought-out material. This band also works well together and seems to be pushing each other to play better and better. Opening up for Dopapod is also a great experience learning firsthand how to create jam transitions and keep the audience in the palm of your hand. I would check out Eggy again for a full review.
Back to Dopapod; Rob Compa is a wizard on the guitar. His playing is diverse and melodic: sometimes preferring the groove over the solo, which takes a lot of willpower with that nasty rhythm section. Bassist, Chuck Jones always with a smile on his face. Eli Winderman has seemed to allow the other guys to grow and pursue their own sounds. At times, I think of Eli as the bandleader but now it seems everyone is on equal musical terms, and it's amazing to watch this band grow together and separately. This pandemic has changed a lot for everyone especially musicians but I could tell Dopapod was having so much fun on stage, laughing, dancing, and talking shit into the mics to one another. The audience was fully committed and hooked to the music. There wasn’t one person there that was standing still. This truly felt like a house party show. Like you just say went over to your buddy, Benjamin Bumblebees, house to see some new band formed in the basement. But it’s actually a top-tier Jam band playing for themselves and loving it. Dopapod isn’t afraid to try new things, mess up, or completely flub because that’s what creating improvisational music is all about; taking chances. And Dopapod takes more chances than them all, combining every genre into a magical soup, boiling it down into a potion, and serving it spoonful by spoonful, tasty jam after tasty jam; until you are filled to the brim and it all explodes inside you! Ok, did I get carried away?
I had to add the setlist here just for posterity purposes. This show truly was one for the history books.
I: Trickery, Garbage Man, Trapper Keeper^, Onion Head > Du Haast* > Onion Head > Hi Doggie, Picture in Picture+
II: Cloud World, Vol. 3 #86 -> Fannie -> Vol. 3 #86, Best Friends, 8 Years Ended -> Velcro, Piazole
+W/ Jake Brownstein from Eggy on guitar
Check out Dan and The Fam's Newest Music Video "Stratus" I hope to join Richmond's newest Jam Sensation sometime soon onstage!
Jam Band Purist Full Halloween 2021 Review and Vlog: "Witches, Horrors, Bears, and Cults" Oh My
While the Jam world looks to Phish and their Halloween spectacular in Vegas, I was stuck in Virginia trying to make the best of my Halloween weekend. Halloween for me is a palpable holiday unlike many ie: the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Easter. Halloween is real and can be manifested in many different ways. I have always taken it upon myself to find something to do during this All Hallows’ Eve, Samhain, or whatever pagan ritual it’s descended from. Music, movies, books, entertainment, and ghosts stories all fill this season to the brim with consciousness, making it more alive than most other holidays. So in the spirit of Halloween, in the spirit of being ALIVE, I got out and did something, anything. Even if it killed me...
The weekend began on Friday with a small show from the band, Litz. There are very few shows that come around my small Virginia hometown and I try and support these small shows as much as I can. The Golden Pony, like many of the downtown bars and small venues, has been going through hard times due to covid restrictions and unemployment. It’s sad to see these great small bands only get a handful of patrons when there is a huge college community. Either way, there was more room to dance and space to move around. There were no costumes to be seen except for a solitary Witch that sat in the corner practicing some sort of divination or casting spells on us all. Litz exceeded my expectations and put on a quality show. Each musician seemed familiar with the music, their instruments, and each other. I brought along some family members since it was a local show and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Litz is solid, in-sync, and fun. By the end of the night, the crowd would gather in the center of the dance floor and boogie. While it may have been a smaller show, Litz played like it was sold out and that, in itself, is a success. I highly recommend checking this Electro-Jam-Funk band out anytime you can.
Saturday's big plan was to see the Rocky Horror Picture show live presented by James Madison University students. I have always loved Rocky Horror even as a child I can remember dressing up and singing like a "Sweet Transvestite," or doing the "Time Warp" again. The show was an unrestrained good time and my first time seeing it with performers. While I enjoy the music, the rock & roll vibe, and the lyrics, I wasn’t much for the yelling and distractions from the storyline itself. Still, this is quite the experience that every red-blooded American should have before they kick the great bucket.
Halloween night my friends and I would gather together to see Andy Frasco and The UN in Charlottesville Virginia at The Southern. I adorned my Grumpy Bear onesie and we caught the opening act, Nick Gerlachs Cult Conference. It was danceable and fun to gather with friends and talk about whatever Halloween things people talk about. Witches? Ghosts? Goblins? The overall atmosphere changed drastically when Andy and The U.N. got onstage and the onslaught began. While this wasn’t the most high-energy or wild show I’ve seen from this band, something was growing beyond all the antics. Perhaps an air of maturity? Andy did not crowd surf but The Southern is a small venue and it was far from capacity. It was more like a low-key evening with the band than anything. I kept to the corner and tried to observe, record, and write as much as possible. The crowd was entranced and enthralled in the musical rapture that is the mystery cult of Frasco. What he says goes, he is Simon. He is the creepy Korean kid statue yelling, "Redlight, Greenlight." He is the leader. He is the ONE. He will transcend the JAM and into pop culture. God Speed. It’s just his world and we are living in it for the night. I will always see Frasco in my mind's eye, aboard my very first Jam Cruise, literally smoking dabs taking mushrooms, and crowd surfing across the entire venue. Pink boxing outfit, ready for battle. Andy, you are a treasure to this community and this world. Stay original.
After the show, we would catch a few songs from Seleus, a local Virginia band that played some Classic Rock songs mixed with their unique jam style. I wish I could have stayed longer but my group started to feel under the weather. We all came down with the dreaded covid. This is the main reason for this review and the accompanying VLOG is so late. It has taken all of a month to start to feel normal and I have also been very busy starting my Tik-Tok channel!
Yea yea, I get it. Tik-Tok but I am using my musical knowledge to spread fun music facts and music trivia. It has already been a wild start with nearly 500k views on my first video. Please join me on Tik-Tok at jambandpurist for more. I’d love to have my readers on this platform as well. Although I always feel as though my website is our little secret and the best way to get in my head. Thank you for sticking around and much more to come even if no one is reading.
I have been working on the Travel Vlog for awhile now and finally just published episode #1 on YouTube. Check it out and hit subscribe!
WARNING: The views and opinions expressed on this site may not be in conjecture with your own. Be Advised
Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.