Listen to Umphrey's McGee's brand new album Safety In Numbers on JamBase Rhapsody!
Rainman Records Presents Jam in the 'Dam
Some things just belong together. This would include jam band music and Amsterdam, the utterly civilized home of the legendary Melkweg, a so-called Dutch "coffeehouse" where the smoke blows free – and so does the music. In March '05 Umphrey's McGee, Keller Williams, The Disco Biscuits and Particle banded together to take over Holland for "Jam in the 'Dam," and cameras and microphones came along.
Rainman Records is pleased to announce the April 4th double DVD release of Lawrence Shapiro's splendid film of Jam in the 'Dam, featuring three hours of live music plus substantial interviews that reveal genuine thoughtful insight from the musicians. Beautifully shot and edited, it is a time capsule of where four of the cutting edge lineups in the genre were playing.
This highly interactive DVD offers various options of play, including the entire movie, music only, or individual songs, as well as bonus slideshows and additional music. It is cutting edge in structure as well as content.
Umphrey's McGee came together in 1997 at the University of Notre Dame. The band features the songwriting of guitarists/vocalists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, the singing and keyboards of Joel Cummins, Kris Meyers on drums and vocals, Ryan Stasik on bass and Andy Farag, percussion. Their first album, Greatest Hits Volume III hints at their gumption, and they've since played their way into considerable prominence. Citing The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Yes, and (Peter Gabriel-era) Genesis as influences, their sound is a tight, cerebral ensemble sound that reflects solid musical intelligence. "Believe the Lie," "Hurt Bird Bath," "Uncle Wally," and "JaJunk" are intricate, rigorous, scrupulous and polished.
Keller Williams is, in the words of Monty Python, "something completely different." A superb acoustic guitarist from Virginia, he hooked up with String Cheese Incident as an opening act in 1998. As his ambitions and abilities expanded, so did his instrumental lineup – but he still walks onstage alone. Thanks to the magic of modern electronics, he can establish a percussion track either vocally or with a drum pad, add on a bass part, throw in a guitar part, and then start a vocal and/or second guitar line.
"Play This," "Stupid Questions," "Dance of the Freek" > "Freeker by the Speaker" and "Breathe" create remarkably complex musical worlds that audiences love.
The Disco Biscuits – Aron Magner, keyboards, Marc Brownstein, bass, Jon Gutwillig, guitar, and Sam Altman, drums (who has since left the band) - came together in 1995 at the University of Pennsylvania, built a reputation with torrid frat party shows, and bring a celebratory atmosphere to any show. "Jigsaw Earth" and "Aceetobee" simply burn. Joined by Joel and Brendan from Umphrey's McGee for "Home Again," they bring what was obviously a fantastic weekend to a glorious close.
Particle - Eric Gould, bass, Steve Molitz, keys, Darren Pujalet, drums, and Charlie Hitchcock, guitar (who has since left the band) finishes DVD #1 with blistering versions of "King Hassan," "Ed and Molly," and "Zia." Their "Mind Over Matter" also serves as a perfect sonic backdrop for the closing credits at the end of DVD #2. They are the masters of the trance dance groove, as they proved when they took on Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart last year and created a new band, "Hydra," for a tour. Named by Relix as the best new band of 2002, they've toured extensively since then, building an impressive reputation.
Maybe it's the room. In 1981, the Grateful Dead, not at their best, visited the Melkweg for a spontaneous off-night show that was one of the most rejuvenating evenings of their late career. Maybe it's the space cakes...
Magic happens there, and you can see it in Jam in the 'Dam.