Exclusive Premiere: Spafford Unleashes Dynamic 55-Minute Jam In Columbia


Arizona jam quartet Spafford is currently in the midst of the most extensive tour of their career. The buzzworthy band has been hitting the road hard for just about a month at this point and has even fit in studio sessions and promotional duties on rare days off. Back on Thursday night Spafford arrived in Columbia, Missouri with little left in the tank, yet pulled off a performance that turned Spaffnerds’ heads and will likely win them new fans. JamBase is pleased to premiere official audio of Spafford’s first set at Rose Music Hall in Columbia featuring a 55-minute jam that saw the band expertly move from one impressive soundscape to the next for nearly an hour.

Bassist Jordan Fairless tells JamBase about the band’s mindset going into the show, “It was Thursday night and right about the middle of the tour, we were definitely tired and in uncharted territory. That’s usually the perfect recipe for an improv session. It’s a relief to break away from song structure and just create spontaneously when you’ve been playing night after night.” The set started innocently enough with the Spafford original “All My Friends.” After a quick romp through the song, the foursome played the instrumental theme known as “Bee Jam” which they used as a springboard towards improvisation. The “Bee Jam” in Columbia spanned 55 minutes and 30 seconds before Spafford finally moved on to a set-closing cover of Men At Work’s ’80s smash, “Down Under.”

“Going in to it we weren’t really sure the mojo would be there, so we left it open to chance after our huddle before the show and took the stage with no written setlist,” Fairless explained. “As soon as we swung in to the ‘jam’ of ‘Bee Jam,’ it started to head a different direction than some of the more familiar approaches the tune lends itself to and we were off.”

Spafford would spend a few minutes exploring a bluesy progression before moving on to a more psychedelic realm. One moment they would be performing at full blast on a hard rocking, minor-key sequence and the next they would be jamming on a beautiful, major-key progression. This was the current lineup of Spafford at their absolute best and a nice introduction for those who have heard about the band but haven’t had a chance to give them a listen.

“The crowd hung in with every note and allowed us the space to figure things out which is important, it can be a challenge to let the music take over completely. It’s entering into a state of mindless mindfulness where reaction becomes intention and the music becomes a conversation. Those are the moments we live for,” Jordan said of the memorable “Bee Jam,” a notion most Spaffnerds would agree with.

Stream Spafford’s instant classic first set from Thursday night in Columbia:

Spafford 10/19 Set One Setlist

Set: All My Friends > Bee Jam > Down Under

Tour Dates for Spafford