Jam Bands: North America's Hottest Groups
A book by Dean Budnick/h2>
Review written by John Metzger
In 1996, Dean Budnick chronicled the Phish phenomenon in The Phishing Manual: A Compendium to the Music of Phish and made a name for himself in the jam band scene. In his most recent effort Jam Bands: North America's Hottest Live Groups, Budnick has created a comprehensive encyclopedia for fans of improvisational rock music.
The number of bands that Budnick found to include, which is more than 165, is truly overwhelming. Yet, it's even more amazing how many he didn't mention. With the exception of Missing Man Formation, The Other Ones, and JGB, it's really not any fault of Budnick. There are just that many local and regional bands out there trying their hand at improvisational music.
Budnick acknowledges that this book was written as a reference guide, inspired by the jazz and blues encyclopedias that line his bookshelves, and in that sense Jam Bands works. With Budnick's book, it's easy to find out a little more about a band by turning to the appropriate profile. Each group is listed with a brief synopsis of its history, a discography, and its website.
Budnick does provide a solid overview of each group, yet there's something missing in his descriptions. Each band is covered with an almost sterile detachment, and there's no attempt to truly describe the band's sound or judge the quality of its live performances or even its albums. It's these missing parts that keep a good resource from being a great one. ½
Jam Bands: North America's Hottest Groups is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here to order!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
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