Jam Bands: More Than a Stereotype

Written by on December 24, 2014

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Jam Bands and Their Fans

It has always been a challenge to rigidly define what jam bands really are.  The only thing tougher to put a finger on is the fan base that supports these bands and consistently shows up to their shows.  These fans are continuously stereotyped as unemployed drug users, when in reality it is much, much more!  Those who appreciate the musicality involved with a jam musician show understand that the bands consist of extremely talented musicians who are able to improvise on command while still enticing and intriguing audiences.

Jam bands focus on giving the people what they want, a great and unforgettable performance.  It is for this reason that many of these bands do not focus on creating albums, but rather to improve the quality of their shows through improvisation and long, engaging sounds that musically inclined audience members can define and appreciate.  Although fans of these bands have been given a negative, hippie type of image, the truth is they are technical listeners who see a lack of talent and uniqueness in mainstream or scripted concerts.  With a talented following, these bands are held to even higher standards when it comes to putting on great shows.  With fans longing for complex solos and extended periods of skillful improvisation, the pressure is on for bands to explore the most advanced audio possible.

The high expectations of concert-goers force jam bands to not only practice the songs that people have come to know and love, but also continue to create fresh material that fits in with their style of music.  It is for this reason that the musicians in these bands are forced to constantly perfect their craft, and vigorously learn new or rare techniques that fans with musical prowess will comprehend and appreciate.  The ability to keep shows fresh is something that many artists lack, and this is why as time passes, the number of fans coming to their shows decreases.

For those who wish to be involved in a natural, organic performance based on skill and not repetition, nothing will compare to an improvised band performance from the likes of the Allman Brother Band, Govt. Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Grateful Dead, Phish, The Dead, Devon Allman, Wide Spread Panic, Block Crowes, Little Feet, The Dave Mathews Band, or Phil Lesh and friends.  These are just a handful of the most well-known bands on the scene, but each and every one knows how to put on an outstanding show and please a crowd with high standards.

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