Jam bands. Historically, Coloradan music fans just can't get enough of them. Whether it's the groups who approach the genre from the past through the lenses of bluegrass or roots, or the contemporary and experimenting with electronica, there's a good chance that their skills will find welcoming audiences here. Red Rocks is the perfect venue for jam bands, especially when the sun's beating down or the stars are drifting overhead. Fortunately, there are some awesome bands of the genre playing the classic outdoor venue this year, starting this weekend.
8. JJ Grey & MOFRO
Friday, May 6
with the Infamous Stringdusters and Fruition
This Floridian band blends Southern rock with soul, blues and funk into one mega-jam and, for fifteen years, they have been wowing the country with a celebrated live show, plus a string of great albums. Ol’ Glory
is the ninth and most recent and, while the reviews have been mixed, the long-time fans seem to be appreciating the funky, swampy gospel that the band is putting out.
7. The Infamous Stringdusters
Friday, May 6
with JJ Grey & MOFRO and Fruition
Sitting right on the line where bluegrass and roots meets jam band, the Infamous Stringdusters are old favorites here in Colorado, since the band’s formation in 2006. In fact, double-bass player Travis Brook used to live in Durango. The new Ladies & Gentlemen
album, which came out in February, is typically soulful and honest while simultaneously technical and dazzling.
6. The Disco Biscuits
Saturday, June 4
with Ghostland Observatory and Twiddle
These Philadelphia boys come at the jam-band genre from the electronic side, so it’s only natural that Colorado music fans lap it up. For 21 years, they’ve been bending genres and hammering existing perceptions into the ground with music often labeled trance-fusion and, even better, livetronica. There hasn’t been a new studio album in some time but they’ve still been busy, involved in numerous food drives and relief efforts. It’s tough to argue with their priorities.
5. Widespread Panic
Like many band tagged with the “jam band” label, it often isn’t as simple as that and many genres are blended together into a jambalaya of sounds. Widespread Panic is definitely on the rock end of the spectrum, following in the footsteps of the likes of the Allman Brothers Band, the Dead and Phish. The band has been doing it for thirty years now too, making it one of the longest running jam bands still out there in its original form. A new album Street Dogs
, came out in September.
Read on for more of the jammiest jam bands playing Red Rocks this year.