This year marks the 20th anniversary of JamBase. Part of the yearlong celebration includes the 20 For 20 series featuring 20 lists focusing on 20 notable topics and events of the JamBase era. The lists were compiled by current and former JamBase staff members and contributors, music industry professionals and other experts. Stay tuned for more, as the series continues throughout the year and we look back at two decades of encouraging fans to Go See Live Music!
Previous 20 For 20 Lists include Standout Debut Albums By Jam Acts, Pranks & Gags Played By Jam Acts, Festivals We’ve Lost, Memorable Reunions, Farewells Of The Past 2 Decades, Longest Jams & Standout Improvisations, Fan Sites, Memorable Halloween Concerts, Bands Covering Phish, Post-Grateful Dead Bands, Holiday Songs, Supergroups and Memorable Live Collaborations from the past 20 years. Next up is a look at 20 Jam Acts Covering Jam Acts during the JamBase era.
A cover song can serve a variety of purposes. For new acts starting out it can be a way to fill out a setlist or introduce fans to your influences. Covers can serve as homages and tributes to musical heroes and they can be avenues to putting one’s own spin on a beloved classic or little known deep cut. Whether or not the song is performed true to the original or given an updated arrangement, the cover song has long been a mainstay of the jam scene.
While covering classic rock and other well-known tunes is commonplace, a less frequent phenomenon is a jam act covering another jam act. The list below collects 20 such instances of a song originally written by a group or artist associated with improvisation covered by similarly-minded musicians. Since we already examined Phish covers as part of the 20 For 20 series, the list below did not include covers of songs by that band.
the Disco Biscuits Cover “In The Kitchen” By Umphrey’s McGee
May 5, 2006
Philadelphia-based The Disco Biscuits had a few years of performing together when they rolled into Chicago in May 1999. Umphrey’s McGee — who had formed at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana the year before — opened for Bisco at Martyrs’ in what would later become UM’s hometown.
A friendship between UM and tDB grew in the years that followed, as the two acts went on to tour together, co-host beach-destination festivals and form side projects. Back on May 5, 2006, the pair of bands capitalized on a tour-routing coincidence by treating each other’s hometown fans to dueling covers.
Umphrey’s McGee opened their second set at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory with the Disco Biscuits’s “Home Again,” a song associated with the City Of Brotherly Love. The Disco Biscuits opened their second set at Chicago’s Vic Theatre with UM’s “In The Kitchen,” a song that namechecks the Windy City.
That evening’s reciprocal cover remains the lone instance Bisco has covered Umphrey’s. “Home Again” was played by UM at Camp Bisco in 2013 with tDB’s Marc Brownstein on bass and Jon Gutwillig on guitar. Brownie also joined UM on “In The Kitchen” during that collaboration.
[Audio taped by ]
Umphrey’s McGee Covers “Home” By The New Deal
Apr 2, 2014
[Video Credit: mrjayfoo2]
In 2002, (now former) drummer Darren Shearer of Canadian jamtronica trio The New Deal sat-in with Umphrey’s McGee in Chicago on a jam whose elements would later form the UM original “In The Kitchen” (see above). The following year saw the pair of jammers share a few bills, and UM also started teasing “Glide” and “Deep Sun” by The New Deal. Additionally that year, in a likely nod to TND, Umphrey’s named an untz-y instrumental track on their 2003 live album, Local Band Does Oklahoma, “FDR.”
2003 saw the release of The New Deal’s studio album, Gone Gone Gone, as well. The follow-up to their self-titled 2001 debut featured the track “Home.”
According to UM setlist archive All Things Umphrey’s, the first time UM teased “Home” was in March 2008. The band continued to tease the track at other shows that year, at times pairing it with elements of “Glide.” The New Deal teases, including “Home” continued to sporadically pop up during Umphrey’s McGee’s improvisations through 2013.
On April 2, 2014, Umphrey’s made a stop at Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. That night, they debuted a complete cover of “Home” within a second set performance of their original “Cemetary Walk II.”
“Home” remains the only The New Deal cover performed by Umphrey’s McGee, though “Glide” and other teases still spring up from time to time. A second complete rendition of “Home” was played by UM on August 18, 2019 — once again in North Carolina — this time at Wilmington’s Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. The bust out marked 513 shows between UM performances.
[Audio taped by John Wilson]
Spafford Covers “Send Me On My Way” By Rusted Root
Aug 4, 2012
In 1994, the same year they would release their widely popular sophomore album, When I Woke featuring the hit single “Send Me On My Way,” Rusted Root joined the traveling jam festival H.O.R.D.E. for the first time following its debut two summers prior. By 1996, Rusted Root was among the acts headlining H.O.R.D.E. alongside the likes of Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews Band and G. Love & Special Sauce.
The final H.O.R.D.E. tour was held in 1998. Rusted Root continued to record and tour through 2017 when frontman Michael Glabicki put the band on hiatus.
Formed in Arizona in 2010, Spafford incorporated several Phish, Grateful Dead and other influential covers into their early setlists. During a show on August 4, 2012 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Spafford guitarist Brian Moss told the audience, “So we’ve been fucking around with some new songs lately – and we’re going to try one of those right now.”
The quartet then launched into their first live cover of “Send Me On My Way.” The debut sung by bassist Jordan Fairless stretched to the 10-minute mark and closed the first set that night at Marble Brewery. The cover remains a Spafford rarity but showed up in a setlist as recently as November 2019.
[Audio taped by Jordan Fairless]
The Werks Cover “Glory” By Umphrey’s McGee
Apr 24, 2015
[Video Credit: IZEoftheWorld]
Founded in Dayton, Ohio in 2005, The Werks followed in the footsteps of fellow Midwest-based jam acts like Ray’s Music Exchange, Family Groove Company, Cornmeal, ekoostik hookah, The Big Wu, Umphrey’s McGee and others. A few years later The Werks joined the likes of UM, The Big Wu and ekoostik hookah by hosting a music festival. The almost 15-year-old band has continued to host The Werk Out each year since its debut in 2010.
Leading up to The Werk Out in 2015, the host band gave a nod to Umphrey’s ahead of the latter’s debut at the ongoing annual event. The Werks were in Indiana — the state where UM formed while attending Notre Dame in 1998 — a few days before The Werk Out and worked up a cover of UM’s instrumental “Glory.”
Here’s JamBase’s coverage, which also noted Twiddle’s cover of “Glory,” from 2015:
Ohio’s The Werks will welcome Umphrey’s McGee to co-headline the 2015 installment of The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival, which will take place at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio between August 6-8. The Werks are gearing up for UM’s Werk Out debut as the quartet performed a cover of Umphrey’s McGee’s beloved instrumental “Glory” at the Vogue Theatre in Indianapolis, Indiana on Friday night.
The Werks toyed with the tempo during their rendition of “Glory” which showed off the talents of guitarist Chris Houser. Houser shredded his way through Jake Cinninger’s signature song as displayed in fan-shot video provided by Charles Izenstark. Take a look [above]:/p>
TAUK Covers “Jelly Belly” By Medeski Martin & Wood
Mar 25, 2016
[Video Credit: JamBase/Jake Alexander]
Three years ago, JamBase celebrated a different 20th anniversary via the Twenty Years Later video series that focused on influential albums that were released in 1996. The series featured Fruition covering The Wallflowers, Strangefolk covering The Black Crowes and more, including the late Jeff Austin covering Phish’s “Waste.”
Instrumental quartet TAUK also participated in the Twenty Years Later series by covering instrumental trio Medeski Martin & Wood. TAUK chose to perform MMW’s “Jelly Belly” and here’s more on the song and recording:
The fourth album to be issued by the progressive jazz trio composed of keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood, Shack-man was recorded at and named after The Shack recording space on the island of Hawaii. The record’s ninth track “Jelly Belly” became a staple of the band’s setlists in late 1995 and was among the songs guitarist Trey Anastasio sat-in on during the famed pairing of MMW and Phish in Austin, Texas in October of that year …
Up-and-coming instrumental quartet TAUK was in the Bay Area recently as part of their tour supporting Umphrey’s McGee. Members of Team JamBase met up with guitarist Matt Jalbert, keyboardist Alric “A.C.” Carter, bassist Charlie Dolan and drummer Isaac Teel backstage at the Fox Theater in Oakland. The foursome had just come off stage after opening for UM and set up using some of the headliners’ practice gear for the cover performance. The result can be heard and seen in the video [above]:
moe. Covers “Thorazine Shuffle” By Gov’t Mule
Aug 25, 2016
[Video Credit: Melodie Yvonne]
Another instance of two bands trading covers of each other’s songs on the same night occurred between moe. and Gov’t Mule. Unlike the situation above with the Disco Biscuits and Umphrey’s McGee swapping covers while the other band’s hometown, moe. and Mule traded covers on the same night while performing on the same stage. And it wasn’t just any stage, it was the majestic Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Denver.
On August 25, 2016, moe. joined Mule and Blackberry Smoke on their Smoking Mule Tour stop at Red Rocks. Performing in the middle slot, moe. busted out a cover of “Thorazine Shuffle” as the penultimate song in their set. Prior to Red Rocks, the rarity had last been played by moe. in 2012.
moe. crossed paths with “Thorazine Shuffle” back in May 2002 when the members of Mule came out in New Orleans while moe. was playing “Opium” (see entry below). One-by-one guitarist Warren Haynes, drummer Matt Abts and now former Mule members, bassist Andy Hess and keyboardist Rob Barraco, eventually took over the stage while the members of Gov’t Mule performed “Thorazine Shuffle” before giving the stage at the Orpheum Theater back to moe.
Almost seven years later, guitarist Chuck Garvey handled lead vocals on the first complete official moe. cover of “Thorazine Shuffle.” A few more years later, in 2012 while Mule and moe. were touring together, Haynes and current Mule keyboardist Danny Louis sat-in with moe. on “Thorazine Shuffle” and moe.’s “Opium.”
The 2016 Red Rocks concert ended with Mule leading an encore featuring Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr and Brandon Still along with all the members of moe. (Garvey, Rob Derhak, Al Schnier, Chuck Garvey, Vinnie Amico and Jim Loughlin), converging for a cover of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.”
Gov’t Mule Covers “Opium” By moe.
Aug 25, 2016
[Video Credit: Billy D]
Days before embarking on the above mentioned tour with moe. in summer 2012, Gov’t Mule previewed the co-bills by covering moe.’s “Opium.” The June 13, 2012, debut cover came early in the show and followed a rendering of “Thorazine Shuffle.”
“Opium” appeared in a few additional Gov’t Mule sets during the tour which saw the members of the two bands collaborating often. Mule opted to cover the song that closes moe.’s 2001 studio album, Dither, sporadically after the ’12 tour. Mule’s appearance at Mountain Jam 2013 was highlighted by Bill Evans sitting-in on “Opium” and the guest saxophonist repeated the collab in early-2015. Mule guitarist Warren Haynes joined moe. on a performance of “Opium” at Mountain Jam 2015.
Guitarist John Scofield also bolstered Gov’t Mule on a cover of “Opium” in 2015 and a version played at Gov’t Mule’s 2016 Island Exodus destination event in Jamaica that included contributions from saxophonist Ron Holloway as well. The Red Rocks rendition of “Opium” remains the most recent Mule attempt at the moe. cover.
Holly Bowling Covers “Magellan” By the Disco Biscuits
Oct 19, 2017
Perhaps the musician on this list most associated with covering jam acts, pianist Holly Bowling rose to promience namely for her solo arrangments of Phish and Grateful Dead songs. While Bowling, who currently performs with Ghost Light, maintained a focus on reinterpriting Phish and Dead tunes and released full albums devoted to each group, she also covered the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers Band, Leonard Cohen, CSNY, Cat Stevens, Ani DiFranco and others.
Holly has also covered jamtronica stalwarts The Disco Biscuits on several occasions. Bowling’s Bisco repertoire includes a “Confrontation” one-timer in tDB’s hometown of Philadelphia as well as “Magellan” — the latter of which made a number of the pianist’s setlists.
Bowling first explored “Magellan” during a set at sea aboard Jam Cruise in 2016. She was joined by Bisco keyboardist Aron Magner on a cover of the Dead’s “Franklin’s Tower” that segued into the ending section of “Magellan.”
That collaboration would not be the only voyage for “Magellan” on Bowling’s piano. She navigated “Magellan” at a few subsequent shows in 2016 and 2017. In typical Bisco fashion, Holly often broke the song’s sections up, sometimes playing them out of order and/or completing versions across sets or even shows.
The most recent “Magellan” expedition with Bowling at the helm took place in October 2017 as part of a sequence surrounding Phish’s “Col. Forbin’s Ascent” and “Fly Famous Mockingbird.”
[Audio taped by Jeffery Bowling]
Ryley Walker Covers ‘The Lillywhite Sessions’ By Dave Matthews Band
Nov 16, 2018
Well, actually, Walker recorded a cover of the unreleased DMB studio album commonly referred to as The Lillywhite Sessions — named after leaked recording sessions DMB held in 1999 and 2000 with acclaimed producer Steve Lillywhite.
Some of the songs Dave Matthews Band recorded with Lillywhite were re-recorded for their 2002 album Busted Stuff. Several other songs were never-officially-released by the band.
“It was a blast to really dig into those songs,” Ryley told The JamBase Podcast. “It was the most fun I’ve had – obviously the source material is there, the lyrics and the melodies are there. So we just kind of got to put our own little twist on them, and it was a blast.”
Dead Oceans released Walker’s The Lillywhite Sessions in November 2018. The record features Walker alongside Andrew Scott Young on bass and Ryan Jewell on drums.
Soon after its release, Walker and Mattews met while both were on tour in Montreal. Matthews followed the meeting by posting a message on Facebook that read:
The first time I heard Ryley’s cover of The Lillywhite Sessions, I was in a record store. I didn’t recognize it. Then I heard the words… It’s much more than a cover record. It’s all its own. A beautiful new collection. A tipped hat, maybe. It stands alone. If you didn’t know what inspired it, it wouldn’t matter. It’s all Ryley Walker and it’s badass. Now I have everything he’s released.
Billy Strings Covers “All Time Low” By Widespread Panic
Sep 7, 2019
[Video Credit: T Shaw’s Progressive Bluegrass]
On August 24, 2019, Georgia-born jam rockers Widespread Panic played the middle show of a three-night run at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Rising guitarist Billy Strings sat-in with the veteran group — literally since it was a seated acoustic performance — during the evening’s first and second sets, adding WSP to Strings’ ever-growing list of impressive collaborators.
JamBase’s coverage of the collab at The Ryman noted:
Strings emerged [in the first set] after a cover of Talking Heads’ “Heaven” to assist on a performance of The Dillards’ “There Is A Time,” marking just the third time the song has appeared in a Panic setlist. The guest guitarist stuck around for “Blackout Blues,” which closed the first set.
Frontman John Bell went solo to open set two, playing banjo on a version of “Ribs And Whiskey” that interpolated parts of “Milk And Cookies” and “Silent Night.” Keyboardist John “Jojo” Hermann and percussionist Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz then came out for “Imitation Leather Shoes” with JB only providing vocals. The full band then worked through “Big Wooly Mammoth” and “Blue Indian” before calling Strings back onstage. Strings accompanied a cover of Billy Joe Shaver’s “Chunk Of Coal.” The extra guitarist remained for “Airplane,” which segued into “Ride Me High.”
Weeks later, on September 7, 2019, Strings rolled into WSP’s hometown of Athens to play a show at the Georgia Theatre. Strings and his touring companions, banjoist Billy Failing, bassist Royal Masat and mandolinist Jarrod Walker, started the second set that night with their debut cover of Widespread Panic’s “All Time Low.” WSP bassist Dave Schools shared a video clip of the cover on social media, saying he was “honored” by the “ripping” performance.
Dopapod Covers “Squadlive” By Lettuce
Nov 24, 2019
[Video Credit: 215Music]
Boston-based band Dopapod have done well in paying homage to their fellow jam bands. The four-piece have covered the Nth Power’s “3-0-321 Jam” The Allman Brothers Band’s “Revival” and “Blue Sky,” Medeski Martin & Wood’s “Bubblehouse,” Phish’s “Makisupa Policeman,” Jimmy Herring’s “Scapegoat Blues” and a number of tunes by the Grateful Dead including “Eyes Of The World,” “Crazy Fingers,” “Scarlet Begonias,” “Fire On The Mountain,” “Friend Of The Devil,” “Help On The Way” and “He’s Gone.”
But it’s also no surprise that Dopapod has covered funk outfit Lettuce as both bands can trace their roots back to Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music.
Dopapod’s first known cover of Lettuce’s “Squadlive” was on Feb 3, 2011 at Theodore’s in Springfield, Massachusetts. The song appears on Lettuce’s 2002 debut album Outta Here.
Dopapod recently returned to the cover during a “surprise” show at North Bowl in Philadelphia on November 24, 2019 as part of their “Funk ‘n’ Bowl” series. At North Bowl, “Squadlive” would cap off a guest-filled, tease heavy concert that saw the band incorporate elements of Phish’s “Foam,” Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man,” Jimi Hendrix’s “3rd Stone From The Sun” and more into the sets.
For “Squadlive,” Dopapod would welcome trombonist Ian Gray, allowing them to offer up a pretty spot-on rendition of the brass-punctuated, infectiously funky number.
Aqueous Performs moe. tribute set
Jul 23, 2015
[Video Credit: IZEoftheWorld]
On July 23, 2015, Aqueous honored fellow Buffalo-birthed band moe. with a tribute set at the Paradise Music & Arts Festival in Hustonville, Kentucky. The set was a special one for Aqueous guitarist Mike Gantzer who had long considered moe. an inspiration and mentors.
“Growing up in Buffalo, moe. was huge for us,” Gantzer told JamBase in a 2018 interview. “I saw them in town when I was 15, and I remember moe.down was the first festival I ever went to.”
Aqueous kicked off their hour-long tribute to moe. with a “Plane Crash” they jammed into “32 Things.” The quartet fit the instrumental “Tubing The River Styx” and classic “The Pit” within portions of “32 Things.” Gantzer and Dave Loss then shared lead vocals on “Seat Of My Pants” before Aqueous capped the set with a 15-minute “Rebubula.”
Less than two years later, Aqueous would pull off a full band swap with moe. in Cambridge and later in 2017 the quartet would team with moe.’s Al Schnier and Vinnie Amico for a set at Brooklyn Comes Alive.
Lotus Covers “It Get’s Funkier” By Vulfpeck
Aug 24, 2014
[Audio Source: nirradical]
Indiana-bred, Philadelphia/Denver-based jamtronica band Lotus has covered the likes of Phish (“Ghost,” “Alumni Blues,” “Bathtub Gin,” Gotta Jibboo,” “David Bowie”), the Grateful Dead (“Help On The Way” > “Slipknot” > “Franklin’s Tower,” “Fire On The Mountain”), The Allman Brothers Band (“Jessica,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”), Medeski, Martin & Wood (“Just Like I Pictured It”) and Garage A Trois (“Tchfunkta”).
But in 2014, the band covered Michigan-based Vulfpeck with a rendition of the latter’s “It Gets Funkier” during Lotus’ annual Summerdance Music Festival.
Vulfpeck’s version dates back to 2011 when keyboardist Jack Stratton recorded the song with his project, Vulfmon. Soon after, the song would appear on Vulpeck’s 2011 debut EP, Mit Peck. The song continues to evolve in funkiness as new versions have appeared on subsequent records including “It Gets Funkier II” on the 2012 EP Vollmilch, “It Gets Funkier III” on the 2013 EP My First Car and “It Gets Funkier IV” on the 2018 LP Hill Climber.
Lotus tackled the original version of “It Gets Funkier” during their Saturday night headlining performance at Summerdance on August 30, 2014. That year marked the seventh annual Summerdance with Lotus delivering the maiden voyage in 2008.
The group got into the Vulf tune toward the end of the first set. As they are wont to do, Lotus put their own electronic spin on the track, replacing Vulf’s more traditional instruments like piano and Fender Rhodes with some crunchy synth.
Twiddle Covers “Barbeque” By ALO
Dec 31, 2008
[Video Credit: Twiddle]
Over the years, Vermont-based four-piece Twiddle has covered Keller Williams’ “Best Feeling,” Medeski Martin & Wood’s “Bubblehouse,” Kitchen Dwellers’ “Buckle Down,” “Mountain” and “Visions Of Mohr,” Papadosio’s “Find Your Cloud,” Phish’s “Bouncing Around The Room,” “Divided Sky,” “First Tube,” “Harry Hood” and “Heavy Things” as well as a litany of tunes by the Grateful Dead including “Althea,” “Bertha,” “Casey Jones,” “Eyes Of The World,” “Fire On The Mountain,” “Scarlet Begonias,” “New Speedway Boogie,” “Peggy-O,” “Shakedown Street,” “Truckin,” “Viola Lee Blues” and “West L.A. Fadeaway.”
But the next-gen jammers have also paid tribute to prior-generational jam act ALO by covering the latter’s song “Barbeque,” which originally appeared on ALO’s 2005 album Fly Between Falls. Twiddle began playing the song fairly early in their career, with the first known performance on New Year’s Eve 2008, according to Phantasy Tour.
In those early days, Twiddle liked to drop “Barbeque” in the middle of their original tune “Atlantic Mocean” and would sometimes add Phish’s “Heavy Things” to the meaty sandwich as well. Soon the songs would separate but still appear together on setlists with the ALO tune becoming something of a staple for Twiddle.
Over the years the bands have also formed a relationship and in 2017 all four members of Twiddle joined ALO onstage in San Francisco in a concert that also saw sit-ins from Jenifer Hartswick and Moon Hooch.
Twiddle and ALO performed a wild “Barbeque” sandwich that included Prince’s “1999” in the middle. Twiddle’s last known performance of “Barbeque” came in September 2019. But the song may make another appearance when Twiddle and ALO play a pair of co-headlining dates in the Pacific Northwest in 2020.
Golden Gate Wingmen Covers “Luckiest Man” By The Wood Brothers
Dec 4, 2019
Golden Gate Wingmen — one of JamBase’s 20 For 20 Supergroups consisting of guitarist John Kadlecik, bassist Reed Mathis, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and drummer Jay Lane — sort of exist in that liminal space between cover band and original act. While the band’s bread and butter are Grateful Dead songs and Jerry Garcia Band staples, they have steadily stocked their repertoire with more original material and have also branched out to include more varied and contemporary cover tunes since forming in early 2015.
At a recent show on December 4, 2019, at Ardmore Music Hall near Philadelphia, GGW unveiled a number of new covers by Warren Zevon, Wilco, Nathan Moore and a rendition of The Wood Brothers gem “Luckiest Man” from their 2011 album Ways Not To Lose.
The GGW version doesn’t deviate too much from The Wood Brothers original other than an extended Fender Rhodes solo from Chimenti after accompanying Mathis while the bassist sang the first verse and chorus before the whole band comes in over Lane’s funky beat. GGW’s version at Ardmore also stretched to nearly 11 minutes, including a solo from Kadlecik.
Keller Williams & Yonder Mountain String Band Cover “Partyin Peeps” By Umphrey's McGee
Mar 18, 2007
[Video Credit: Michael Foley]
Keller Williams and Yonder Mountain String Band teaming up isn’t unexpected given their grassy roots and connections to Colorado. But the band and artist performing an Umphrey’s McGee song should pique any jam lover’s interest.
The cover collaboration came during a YMSB set at the third annual Jam In the Dam music festival, one of JamBase’s 20 For 20: Festivals We’ve Lost entries, at the famed Melkweg in Amsterdam on March 18, 2007 where Yonder welcomed Keller for a rendition of Umphrey’s McGee’s “Partyin’ Peeps.”
The song actually dates back to pre-Umphrey’s days. Penned by UM guitarist Jake Cinninger and his longtime collaborator Karl Engelmann, the pair first played the song in their South Bend, Indiana band Ali Baba’s Tahini before Cinninger joined fellow South Bend band Umphrey’s McGee in 2000. Jake would bring a number of Ali Baba’s Tahini songs with him including “Nothing Too Fancy,” “Padgett’s Profile,” “Ringo,” “Professor Wormbog,” “Resolution,” “Got Your Milk (Right Here),” “Ringo,” “40’s Theme,” “Kabump,” “Mulche’s Odyssey” and more.
In 2005, Keller and UM rubbed shoulders on the Big Classic Tour. The earliest known Keller cover versions of “Partyin Peeps” date back to 2006.
Umphrey’s had played Jam In The Dam in 2005 and 2006 but were absent in 2007, perhaps prompting Keller to suggest the cover to YMSB.
He prefaced the tune by saying, “What do you think about an Umphrey’s McGee song?” Yonder’s Jeff Austin replied “Why not?” and KW added “That seems kinda right, right?”
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Cover “Picture In Picture” By Dopapod
Oct 28, 2016
In the 2016, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Dopapod came together for an extensive tour that spanned from October to December. While most nights during that time span saw the two bands playing the same venue, on October 28 PPPP found themselves in Boston while Dopapod was playing a gig in Burlington, Vermont.
Pigeons did not play a show on Halloween night in 2016, instead using October 28 and 29 to celebrate the holiday. That year saw the Baltimore-based quartet play a pair of themed shows “Brought To You By The Letter P.”
PPPP’s show on October 28 at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club featured a setlist packed with songs starting with the letter P. The band opened with “Porcupine” and from there worked in “Paradise City,” “Penguins,” “Peace Frog,” “War Pigs,” “Pigs (3 Different Ones),” “People Say,” “Play That Funky Music,” “Pick Up The Pieces,” “Pop Off,” “Poseidon,” “Pink Panther,” “Pinky And The Brain,” “Po-Jama People,” “PYT,” “Pinball Wizard,” “Praise You,” “P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up),” “Pigs On The Wing” and “Peanuts.”
That night, while Dopapod held a show at Higher Ground in Burlington, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong debuted a cover of Dopapod’s “Picture In Picture” that came during a sequence featuring the band’s first-time performing the aforementioned “PYT,” “Pinball Wizard,” and “Praise You.” Dopapod and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong resumed their joint tour together the next night in Northampton, Massachusetts where PPPP played another show “Brought To You By The Letter P.”
Greensky Bluegrass Covers “Bust It Big” By Widespread Panic
Dec 8, 2017
[Video Credit: Strings & Sol]
Michigan-formed five-piece string band Greensky Bluegrass boasts a deep repertoire of cover songs that continues to grow alongside the group’s impressive catalog of originals. Traditional bluegrass tunes, classic rock ‘n’ roll favorites, more contemporary hits and some songs from fellow jam-focused bands like Phish, Grateful Dead and others have been played live by GSBG.
Beginning in 2012, Cloud 9 Adventures began hosting the annual Strings & Sol destination music festival in Mexico. Beginning in 2013 (and continuing each year since), the Strings & Sol lineup featured Greensky Bluegrass.
The 2017 installment of Strings & Sol wrapped up earlier this month at Now Sapphire Resort in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Many jamgrass acts participate in the destination event including Greensky Bluegrass. One of the numerous surprises GSBG fit into their Strings & Sol ’17 performances was the debut cover of a Widespread Panic jam vehicle.
Greensky’s first set of the event came on December 8. The five-piece played one marathon set. Towards the end of the performance, the group lit into Widespread Panic’s “Bust It Big.” Mandolin wiz Paul Hoffman handled the lead vocals sung by JoJo Hermann with Panic. Paul’s mention of “Mexico” garnered cheers from the crowd. Both Hoffman and dobro star Anders Beck took solos in GSBG’s version of “Bust It Big.” Beck also threw in teases of “Tweezer Reprise” for good measure …
Railroad Earth Covers “What The Night Brings” By Jeff Austin
Nov 4, 2019
[Video Credit: Kyle Isaac]
In 2015, shortly after leaving Yonder Mountain String Band — the group he co-founded in 2002 — Jeff Austin released his debut solo album, The Simple Truth. The album proved to be Austin’s lone solo record. The mandolin player tragically died in June 2019 at the age of 45.
Several tributes followed in the weeks and months after Austin’s death and many of his peers, collaborators and admirers came together in November 2019 to hold a tribute concert for Austin, with proceeds benefiting The Jeff Austin Family Fund.
The concert at 1st Bank Center outside Denver was billed as What The Night Brings, taking its title from the song that opens The Simple Truth. Among the performers were Yonder Mountain String Band, Bill Nershi, Billy Strings, Brendan Bayliss, Greensky Bluegrass, Hot Rize, The Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams, Leftover Salmon, Todd Snider, The Travelin’ McCourys and members of the Jeff Austin Band (Kyle Tuttle, Jean-Luc Davis and Julian Davis).
Railroad Earth was also on the lineup and emerged during the evening’s encore. The veteran jamgrass outfit began with a cover of Austin’s “Even Fade,” which they played earlier in the year as one of the aforementioned tributes that came soon after Austin’s passing. RRE then launched into “What The Night Brings” with the help of guests Mike Robinson and Kyle Tuttle.
The emotional performance was the penultimate song of the concert as nearly all of the participants came on stage to end with the Austin staple, a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “No Expectations.”
Railroad Earth continued playing “What The Night Brings,” which Austin originally brought to YMSB in 2010, at subsequent shows held after the tribute concert.