Jam in the ‘Dam 2006 vs. 2007 Thoughts


The dudes behind the annual Jam in the ‘Dam festival have just posted a video capsule showing some highlights from the 2006 fest. Man, this took me back. The fact that I went with a music festival in Amsterdam as the anchor for a two-week run through Europe seems pretty intelligent in hindsight. It was a great spot to end the trip on. It was my four favorite bands playing in a small club in Amsterdam. It was a no-brainer, as I like to say…

For everyone else’s sake, I wish the lineup for the 2007 festival was as strong as the 2006 lineup. To be 100%, completely honest here — it just isn’t. The main anchor of this year’s festival is actually Dark Star Orchestra, a band that uses the songs and setlists of the Grateful Dead as the music that they play live. Do they write originals? Maybe…but they certainly don’t play them. They cover the Grateful Dead.


They’re up there as one of the most unexciting things happening in music these days if you ask me. And I’ve never actually even listened to them. Talk about blissfully ignorant, huh?

Rounding out the lineup, you’ve got Keller Williams — who’s played Jam in the ‘Dam before and still continues to do the same if-you’ve-seen-it-once guitar and electronic looping — Galactic — who’s NOLA funk got excluded from last year’s fest after being originally announced — and Yonder Mountain String Band — the newgrass jamband that seemingly doesn’t fully mix well with the rest of the lineup (except for Keller’s forays into the bluegrass realm).

Am I missing something here?

I feel close to this festival — I feel invested — and I feel that we had this great festival that was pushing the limits and they’ve gone and taken a giant-ass 25-year step backwards. I feel that there are plenty of jamband fans that are willing to move on PAST the Grateful Dead as opposed to constantly living with their memories of “better times” when Jerry was alive and whatnot. Do we really need another festival dedicated to *his* memory? Is this homage-worthy or not? I’m curious as to your thoughts. Drop some knowledge in the comments…