Jam in the ‘Dam 2010

Leidseplein at night

It was a little over three years ago that I first attended Jam in the ‘Dam, the greatest tiny music festival you could ever wish for as an American jamband fan (or as a Dutch jamband fan, for that matter). For three nights I got to see my four favorite bands at the time — The Duo, STS9, Disco Biscuits and Umphrey’s McGee — at the legendary Melkweg club in Amsterdam, and it still comes to memory easily when I think of how great my first trip to Europe was. I met a guy named Harm, my first real “anonymous” international fan incident. Here’s what I said about it at the time:

I got to meet Hans, the man behind Here comes the flood. I’ve been enjoying his blog since the very beginning of the Live Music Blog and it was really cool to shake his hand. He had a friend with him named Harm who asked me how my feet were doing, and that was quite a surreal moment for me. Wait, people actually do read this blog? I met him on my way out of the Disco Biscuits set onto the Duo, and we never crossed paths again during the evening. No big deal, though, I’ll FOR SURE be back to Amsterdam one of these days and Hans and I can go for a bike ride then.

After a year off from the festivities, they just announced their lineup and dates for the 5th Anniversary taking place March 21-23, 2010. The lineup big-dog is Umphrey’s McGee, once again, and they’ll be joined by Yonder Mountain String Band, Les Claypool, New Mastersounds and The Bridge. Read on for the full announcement from the promoters.

A warm Hello to all of our loyal fans,

WE’RE BACK!! It is SO great to be able to send this to you all and let you know of our plans for the 5th Anniversary of Jam in the Dam. The festivities will ensue March 21-22-23, 2010, back ‘home’ at the Melkweg in Amsterdam.

Our plans for 2009 hit a fairly large bump in the road, when the festival founder Armand Sadlier finally gave in to his slowly declining lung health. He was never a cigarette smoker, so even more a cruel blow. Luckily, he was able to go to Duke University Hospital, and received a double-lung transplant last October. He has done extremely well thus far, and wants to thank everyone who expressed kind wishes and said prayers. Just four months later, in February, he was able to ski in Vermont with his family. We’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to become an organ donor, if you aren’t already. It’s the reason Jam in the Dam still rocks on.

But let’s get back to the music! Of course Armand’s old friends Umphrey’s McGee will be there. Their career has really picked up speed since our first show in 2005. You couldn’t find a nicer, more talented bunch of musicians, and they truly deserve it.

Joining them is Yonder Mt. String Band, who appeared in 2007, and were a big hit with the Europeans, who seem to love their bluegrass. Jeff Austin and Brendan Bayliss, the lead singers of UM and YMSB, have a project called db30. They actually have a recording coming out together, and will play an acoustic set during the festival.

Two years ago, we showed Electric Apricot in the cinema at the Melkweg. It’s a really funny movie directed by Les Claypool, and we’ve been wanting to get Les to Amsterdam for three years. Well, we finally got it done, and the founder of Primus will be joining the fun. This will be the first time he has been to Europe without Primus, and he is a festival staple here in the States. We will definitely show the movie again this year.

Rounding out the line-up will be the New Mastersounds and The Bridge. NM are from Leeds, England. Four-piece, high-energy jazz/fusion funk. We saw them at the AllGood Festival last week, and they blew it up. We smell a new favorite band for some folks. The Bridge is an under-the-radar band who is huge in their hometown of Baltimore, and has a real New Orleans feel. Cris Jacobs is a great singer, and when Kenny the mandolin player starts beat boxing with Cris on lap steel, it’s something you’ve never seen. Mike Gordon from Phish chose them as the opener for his east coast tour last Fall.

As always, there will be lots of sit-ins and crazy collaborations. We are also planning to shoot a new DVD for the 5th Anniversary. Travel packages will be available through ConsideritDan and CS Travel sometime in August. We will also be doing canal boat cruises, which is THE best way to see Amsterdam. More info on those at a later date.

Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, July 29th at Noon at http://jaminthedam.com/ As a special treat for our most loyal fans, the first 75 people to buy tickets will get a free canal boat cruise on one of the festival days! (a $50 value which includes an open bar). Tickets for the 2010 show will be $250 for a 3-day pass. In Europe, they will be 170 euro for the 3-day pass, and 60 euro for single day tickets. Chances are, the euro-on sale will lag a week or so behind the US. The demand here in the States is very low for single day tickets, but we will set up a way for those interested.

That’s it for now! Anyone unfamiliar with the show format can stop by the website for ‘the scoop’. And all your questions can be answered by others who have attended at our message board http://jaminthedam.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=2 All bands play all days, in one of the two rooms in the venue. Schedule tba. We can’t wait to see all your smiling faces in the greatest city on Earth!