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Jam Central Station 2.01.14: The 2014 Jammy Awards
Posted by Jeff Modzelewski on 02.01.2014

Welcome to another year of my resurrected Jammy Awards. If the original Jammy Awards ever come back, trust me, I'll either change the name or just abandon this column. However, I enjoy a good year in review, and this is one way that I like to do it.

Before we get started, let me make something clear. These "awards" (such as they are) are my own personal opinion. I didn't go to a dozen festivals, 200 shows, or head out on Phish tour. I admit that my personal experience is extremely limited, and I simply pick these awards based on that experience. I'm not going to put an amazing Phish show (Tahoe Tweezer) that I didn't see up against a show that I was at. It's just not fair to do that.

Also, please feel free to go back and look at some of my reviews of the nominated shows, events, albums, etc... Every show and artist that I list here did amazing work. Just because one set or show or album "wins" doesn't mean the others were bad. I probably saw upwards of 120 sets this year (including festivals), listened to 50 or so new albums, and went out of my way to discover a couple dozen new bands. Anyways, this is all in fun anyways, so please enjoy!

Best "New" Band of the Year
This award goes to the best band that's new to me. Doesn't matter how long they've been around, this award is based on the band that made the biggest impression on me in 2012.

Nominees are:
The Main Squeeze
Rising Appalachia
Delta Rae
JJ Grey & Mofro
The Revivalists

And the Jammy goes to....
The Main Squeeze!

First off, I promise that the fact that The MuckleBuck is opening for The Main Squeeze on Thursday here in Cleveland had nothing to do with this one. These guys have an amazing groove, a powerful live show, and tons of chemistry. I saw them at Electric Forest and Earth Night this year, and at both shows they commanded the stage. Their most recent studio album is a top-notch effort as well. They're starting to generate a tremendous buzz, and they're already booked for summer festivals in 2014. I have a lot of confidence that these guys are on their way up.

Surprise Show of the Year

Nominees are:
Pigs on the Wing at Electric Forest
Rising Appilachia at FloydFest
Ott at Earth Night
Delta Rae at FloydFest

And the Jammy goes to...
Pigs on the Wing at Electric Forest!

Seriously, a bunch of great musicians covering Floyd songs? What's not to like? This set was a lot of fun, the band seemed to be having a great time, and they stayed very true to the original Floyd sound. The setlist was great as well. The only thing that would have made this better would have been to put it on as a late night show. But, whatever, I got to hear Floyd in the forest. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Album of the Year

Nominees are:
Keller Williams & More Than A Little Funk
Gogol Bordello Pura Vida Conspiracy
Elephant Revival These Changing Skies

And the Jammy goes to...
Elephant Revival These Changing Skies
love all three albums, but Elephant Revival absolutely nailed their sound on These Changing Skies. The songwriting is there, everyone has a chance to shine, and it's got tremendous diversity. I had very high hopes for this album, and the band delivered. Many of the songs were songs that they've been playing live for some time, but they still sounded fresh on the album. Great, great job.

Set of the Year
This award goes to my favorite set of the year. In the case of a multi-set show, this only takes into account one set (and an encore if it was the second set). It does not take into account any openers.

Nominees are:
Greensky Bluegrass 9/18/13 Set 1
John Butler Trio at FloydFest
Umphrey's McGee 10/21/13 Set 1
String Cheese Incident 6/29/13 Electric Forest Set 2

And the Jammy goes to...
John Butler Trio at FloydFest

There was something that was just absolutely perfect about this show. The venue, the crowd, the energy, and of course a spectacular performance by the John Butler Trio. While JB3 doesn't typically get to headline the bigger "jam band" festivals, FloydFest was just the right size and right environment to give this band top billing. And they proved without a shadow of a doubt that they deserved it and could handle the headlining slot. The band absolutely plowed through their set, keeping the crowd dancing and moving while adding their message into the music. This set elevated the John Butler Trio from "great band" to "can't miss band" as far as I'm concerned. Can't wait to see them again.

Event of the Year
This award goes to my personal favorite major event of the year. It has to be an event that I attended. Music, environment, and "extras" are all factored in.
Nominees are:
Electric Forest
Earth Night

And the Jammy goes to...
Electric Forest

All three events were top-notch. FloydFest in particular exceeded expectations. However, logistical and weather issues kept that fest from overtaking Electric Forest. Add that to the fact that this may have been the best Electric Forest to date, and there was just no way that I couldn't give them the award.

Show of the Year
This goes to my favorite single show of the year. In the case of headlining shows, all sets and opening bands are factored in. For festival shows, other bands are not factored in.

John Butler Trio at FloydFest
String Cheese Incident 6/29/13 at Electric Forest
Elephant Revival and The Ragbirds 2/20/13 at The Beachland Tavern

And the Jammy goes to...
String Cheese Incident 6/29/13 at Electric Forest

While the John Butler Trio had to best single set of the year, this show was almost perfect. Both sets were top notch, the second set had some of the best SCI craziness that I've ever been a part of, and the crowd was absolutely on fire. This show was simply Cheese at their finest, and there's very few acts that can compete with that. This wasn't a runaway victory, however, as the John Butler Trio show was amazing for all of the reasons I stated earlier, and the Elephant Revival/Ragbirds show included two of my favorite bands in a small setting. 2013 was a great year for live music, and there were so many great shows that it was not easy to narrow this down. However, once again, Cheese gets the nod.

Pete Seeger passes away
Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger passed away at the age of 94 this week. His music was extremely influential early in the folk music movement, and his recordings of "This Land Is Your Land" and "We Shall Overcome" helped bring folk music to the nation. He was also one of the first modern musicians to use his music as a social tool, advocating for civil rights, the environment, and labor unions.

Mike Mirro, original drummer for Umphrey's McGee, dies
Mike Mirro, a founding member of Umphrey's McGee, passed away this week. Mirro left the band in 2002 to attend medical school and sat in with the band occasionally in the years since. Mirro was influential in creating many early Umphrey's songs, and the band seriously considered breaking up after his departure.

Phases of the Moon Festival announces initial lineup
The first Phases of the Moon Festival will be held from September 11-14 in Kennekuk County Park in Illinois. The festival announced their initial lineup, featuring two nights of Widespread Panic, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov't Mule, leftover Salmon, Galactic, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The Revivalists, JJ Grey & Mofro, and many others. The next phase of the lineup will be released in coming weeks.

Northwest String Summit announced
The Northwest String Summit will return to Horning's Hideout in North Plains, OR on July 17-21, 2014. The event will feature Yonder Mountain String Band, The Motet, Steep Canyon Rangers, Fruition, Dead Winter Carpenters, and many others. This is the only festival scheduled at Hornings this summer.

Jack Johnson announces summer tour
Jack Johnson will be heading out for a summer tour in 2014. The tour will run from May through August, although no dates are currently scheduled for July. Johnson will be bringing a variety of high-profile opening acts on the road with him for the tour.

March 20 Veracruz, MEX—Festival Cumbre Tajin
May 18 Gulf Shores, AL—Hangout Music Festival
May 20 St. Augustine, FL—St. Augustine Amphitheatre*
May 21 Cary, NC—Koka Booth Amphitheatre*
May 24 Saratoga Springs, NY—SPAC^
May 28 Toronto, ON—Molson Canadian Amphitheatre^
May 30 Cuyahoga Falls, OH—Blossom Music Center^
May 31 Chicago, IL—Firstmerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island^
June 1 Indianapolis, IN—The Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park#
June 3 Alpharetta, GA—Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre#
June 5 Columbia, MD—Merriweather Post Pavilion#
June 6 Philadelphia, PA—Mann Center for Performing Arts#
June 7 Wantagh, NY—-Nikon at Jones Beach#
June 10 Brooklyn, NY—Celebrate Brooklyn!
June 19 Dover, DE—Firefly Music Festival
August 18 Morrison, CO—Red Rocks**
August 21 Burnaby, BC—Deer Lake Park**
August 23 Quincy, WA—The Gorge**
August 24 Eugene, OR==Les Schwab Amphitheatre**
August 26 Berkeley, CA—Greek Theatre
August 27 Los Angeles, CA—Greek Theatre
August 28 Los Angeles, CA—Greek Theatre
August 30 Sna Diego, CA—Rimac Field
August 31 Santa Barbara, CA—Santa Barbara Bowl**
September 1 Santa Barbara, CA—Santa Barbara Bowl**

(*) with ALO
(^) with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
(#) with Amos Lee
(!) with Bahamas
(**) with Michael Kiwanuka

The Devil Makes Three announces tour dates
The Devil Makes Three announced a string of dates in April. The band is currently on the road through the middle of February, and will get back on the road on April 17 in Connecticut.

January 30 Bend, OR – Midtown Ballroom
January 31 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
February 2 Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO
February 4 Redway, CA – Mateel Community Center
February 5 Arcata, CA – Van Duzer Theatre
February 6 Chico, CA – Senator Theatre
February 7 Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
February 8 Stateline, NV – MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa
February 12 San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO Brewing Co
February 13 San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO Brewing Co
February 14 West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues
February 15 San Diego, CA – House of Blues
February 16 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
April 17 Stafford Springs, CT — The Stafford Palace Theatre
April 18 Providence, RI — Fete Ballroom
April 19 Northampton, MA — Pearl Street
April 22 State College, PA — The State Theatre
April 23 Rochester, NY — Water Street Music Hall
April 24 Cleveland Heights, OH — Grog Shop
April 25 Grand Rapids, MI — The Intersection
April 26 Louisville, KY — Mercury Ballroom
April 29 Madison, WI — Majestic Theatre
April 30 St. Louis, MO — The Randy Room
May 15 Indianapolis, IN — Deluxe @ Old National Center

Rodrigo y Gabriela announce US dates
Rodrigy y Gabriela will return to the US for a short run of dates in May as well as a stop at Red Rocks on August 17. The duo will release a new album on April 29.

May 01 New York, NY—The Beacon Theatre
May 02 New York, NY—The Beacon Theatre
May 06 Los Angeles, CA—The Orpheum Theatre
May 07 Los Angeles, CA—Hollywood Palladium
May 09 Oakland, CA—Fox Theater – Oakland
May 11 Seattle, WA—Paramount Theatre
Aug 17 Morrison, CO—Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Aura Music & Arts Festival
February 14-16, 2014
Spirit of the Suwanne Music Park
Live Oak, FL
Performers include: Papadosio, Lotus, Conspirator, Zoogma, The Werks, The Revivaalists, Particle, Marco Benevento, Dopapod, and many others.

International Incident
February 19-23 2014
Hard Rock Hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Performers include: Multiple shows from the String Cheese Incident, EOTO< Kyle Holingsworth Band, The Motet, and Prophet Massive.

Winter Wondergrass
February 21-23, 2014
Nottingham Park
Avon, CO
Performers include: Greensky Bluegrass featuring Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Fruition, and many others.

Jam in the Sand
February 28-March 4, 2014
Negril, Jamaica
Dark Star Orchestra will host the event. Other performers to be announced.

Panic en la Playa tres
March 17-21, 2014
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Widespread Panic will perform four shows during the event.

Suwannee Springfest
March 20-23, 2014
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Avett Brothers, Punch Brothers, Sam Bush Band, Southern Soul Assembly, Donna the Buffalo, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others

Hoopla in the Hills
March 27-30
Poston Lake Music Park
Athens, OH
Performers include: Papadosio, Keller Williams, EOTO, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Cosby Sweater, Rumpke Mountain Boys, and many others.

Wanee Festival
April 10-12, 2014
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Allman Brothers Band, Trey Anastasio Band, Umphrey's McGee, moe., Lynard Skynard, Gov't Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dumpstaphunk, and many others

Tortuga Music Festival
April 12-13, 2014
Beach Park
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Performers include: Sheryl Crow, Train, Slightly Stoopid, Ziggy Marley, Brett dennen, Delta Rae, Moon Taxi, The Revivalists, and many others.

Counter.Point Festival
April 25-27, 2014
Kingston Downs, GA
Performers include: Outkast, Pretty Lights, STS9, Foster the People, Krewella, Big gigantic, Thievery Corp., Griz, Shpongle, Moon Taxi, and many others

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 25-27 and May 1-4, 2014
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Phish, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, String cheese Incident, John Fogerty, Galactic, Avett Brothers, and many others.

Hangout Music Festival
May 16-18
Gulf Shores, AL
Performers include: The Black Keys, The Killers,Outkast, Jack Johnson, Queens of the Stone Age, Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, STS9, The Flaming lips, Modest Mouse, Zedd, and many others.

Summer Camp
May 22-25, 2014
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
Performers include: moe., Umphrey's McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, Bassnectar, Primus, Yonder Mountain String Band, Lotus, EOTO, and many others

Dark Star Jubilee
May 23-26, 2014
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH

Nelsonville Festival
May 29-June 1, 2014
Nelsonville, OH
Performers include: The Avett Brothers

June 5-8, 2014
Mulberry Mountain
Ozark, AR
Performers include: The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, STS9, Umphrey's McGee, John Butler Trio, Flaming Lips, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Lettuce, Dr. Dog, Papadosio, and many others.

Mountain Jam
June 5-8, 2014
Hunter Mountain, NY
Performers include: Gov't Mule, Bob Weir & RatDog, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov't Mule, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Umphrey's McGee, Pretty Lights, and many others

Governor's Ball
June 6-8, 2014
Governor's Island
New York, NY
Performers include: Outkast, jack White, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Skrillex, Interpol, and many others.

June 12-15, 2014
Manchester, TN

Snowmass Mammoth Festival
June 13-15, 2014
Snowmass Village, CO
Performers include: LEftover Salmon, chris Robinson Brotherhood, Xavier Rudd, Les Claypool's Duo De Twang, The Motet, Bonerama, and many others

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 19-22, 2014
Telluride, CO
Performers include: Sam Bush Band, Bela Fleck & The Colorado Symphony, Brandi Carlile, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Del McCoury Band, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others.

Firefly Music Festival
June 19-22, 2014
Dover, DE
Performers include: Foo Fighters, Outkast, Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Pretty Lights, The Lumineers, Weezer, Girl Talk, Tegan and Sara, and many others.

High Sierra
July 3-6, 2014
Quincy, CA

Northwest String Summit
July 17-21, 2014
Horning's Hideout
North Plains, OR
Performers include: Yonder Mountain String Band, The Motet, Steep Canyon Rangers, Fruition, Dead Winter Carpenters, The Rumpke Mountain Boys, and many others

July 23-27, 2014
Floyd, VA
Performers include: Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Ms. Lauryn Hill, ray LaMontagne, Thievery Corporation, Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and many others

Gathering of the Vibes
July 31-August 1, 2014
Seaside Park
Bridgeport, CT

Outside Lands
August 8-10, 2014
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

Lockin' Music Festival
September 4-7, 2014
Arrington, VA
Performers include: The String Cheese Incident, The Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh & Friends, Widespread Panic, and Bob Weir & Ratdog

Phases of the Moon Festival
September 11-14, 2014
Kennekuk County Park, IL
Performers include: Widespread Panic (2 nights), Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov't Mule, Galactic, Leftover Salmon, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and many others.

Catskill Chill
September 5-7, 2014
Camp Minglewood
Hancock, NY

Thanks again for stopping by. I'll be back next week with more jam. Until then, check me out on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute concert announcements. Until next week, Jam On!


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