music / Columns

Jam Central Station 2.16.13 – The 2013 Jammy Awards!

February 16, 2013 | Posted by mojo4395


Hey all! It’s time for my annual Jam Central Station Jammy Awards! Not at all to be confused with that “other” awards show that happened a few days back. We’ve got some great awards to hand out and some great music to cover, so let’s get on with the show!


Before we get started, I want to be clear about one thing. These awards are voted on by one person. Me. These are all shows or festivals that I attended or albums that I enjoyed. I’m not saying these are the best of everything, just the best of everything I experienced this year. And it’s my opinion, and your opinion may differ substantially. But it’s all in good fun, so I hope you understand. Time for the first award!

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:
Elephant Revival

And the Jammy goes to….

Elephant Revival
This should’ve been tougher than it actually was. I was blown away by my first Cornmeal show, and Papadosio is probably my favorite newer jamtronica band. But Elephant Revival is a tremendous blend of folk and bluegrass, and their style is just as unique as Cornmeal’s, but there’s just a “next level” that I see Elephant Revival reaching in the near future. I’ve loved everything from Elephant Revival that I’ve been able to get my hands on, and they were an absolute shoe-in for this award.

Surprise Show of the Year
This award goes to the best show of the year that I went to not expecting much. Low expectations and high reward are the key here.

Nominees are:
Cornmeal at the Beachland Ballroom
Papadosio at the Werk Out Festival
Pickin’ Workshop at Summer Camp

And the Jammy goes to…

The Pickin’ Workshop at Summer Camp!
Here’s how much of a surprise this set was. I didn’t even realize it was happening until I walked in on it. Summer Camp has a variety of Workshops where you can spend time up close with artists, and for some reason this workshop had fallen off of my radar. I happened to hear a bluegrass cover of “Friend of the Devil” while doing some writing in the media area (which was a part of the church where the workshops were held) and walked in on a bluegrass jam session featuring over a dozen musicians. The main players were the folks from Cornmeal and ALO, although I’m pretty sure other artists were involved. It’s the type of thing that you’d expect to see at a family reunion, with everyone just jamming and having a good time, choosing songs off the top of their head. It was a completely unique experience, and one that I just happened to wander into.

Album of the Year
This goes to my favorite album that was released in 2012. It has to be widely commercially available.

Nominees are:
The Lumineers The Lumineers
Elephant Revival It’s Alive
Dispatch Circles Around the Sun

And the Jammy goes to…

The Lumineers The Lumineers
These guys absolutely came out of almost nowhere to put together one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time. It’s obviously riding the modern folk/Americana wave that’s happening right now, but it’s doing that in such an exciting way. The songwriting is great and the musical talent is obvious. It’s not at all surprising that this band is already garnering headlining status on smaller festivals and high billing on larger festivals such as Mountain Jam. They have a very wide appeal, and the next couple of years will be crucial in deciding just how far this band can go.

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:
Cornmeal at the Beachland Ballroom
Gogol Bordello at Summer Camp
String Cheese Incident Electric Forest Saturday Set 2

And the Jammy goes to…

Gogol Bordello at Summer Camp
I’ll be honest and admit that my location at this set had a big impact on this. I was front and center for this show. Here’s a piece of advice: If you can ever get front and center for Gogol Bordello, do it. It was absolutely insane. The band put on a set with more energy than almost any show I’ve ever seen. They seemed always to be just on the brink of chaos on stage, but musically they put together an extremely tight and entertaining set. They’re also very diverse, and they borrowed from plenty of influences throughout their set. It was an amazing set and one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time.

Festival of the Year
This award goes to my personal favorite festival of the year. It has to be a festival that I attended. Music, environment, and “extras” are all factored in.

Summer Camp Festival
Electric Forest Festival
Dark Star Jubillee
Werk Out Festival

And the Jammy goes to…

Electric Forest Festival
Ok, I’m biased. I absolutely admit that. But every year I’ve been to Electric Forest, it’s been the best weekend of the year for me. 2012’s Electric Forest certainly had a mix of music that I wasn’t entirely familiar with, but in the end it didn’t matter. String Cheese Incident lived up to their billing as the festival headliner. Band like The Infamous Stringdusters and Elephant Revival brought some awesome, non-EDM music to the lineup. Gary Clark Jr. was a hell of a surprise. And the EDM that I saw just added to the party and the environment. And while Summer Camp was pretty much on par musically with Electric Forest, the festival atmosphere at Electric Forest is, year after year, head and shoulders above any other festival that I’ve experienced. The forest, the art, and the other activities all lead to an amazing annual tradition. It’s going to take an amazing event to knock Rothbury/Electric Forest out of the top spot that they’ve held every year that the festivals have been active.

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.

Nominees are:
Elephant Revival at the Stan Hywet Gardens
String Cheese Incident Saturday Night at Electric Forest
Cornmeal at the Beachland Ballroom

And the Jammy goes to…

Elephant Revival at the Stan Hewitt Gardens
I went into this show with very high expectations, and the band absolutely blew them out of the water. It was two sets of perfection. First off, the location is absolutely gorgeous. I don’t know who decided to have Elephant Revival play at the Stan Hywet Gardens, but they deserve a raise. This is a historic home and garden located on 70 acres in the Akron, Ohio area. I’m not a “floral” guy, but this place is absolutely beautiful. And the band fit the location perfectly. They played a full two-set show, moving between instruments, vocalists, and styles with ease. They told stories, joked among themselves, and hit every single note. This show epitomizes why I go to see live music. You never know when you’re going to get that “perfect song” or “perfect moment.” This was the rare example of the “perfect show.” I’m lucky enough to be seeing Elephant Revival again on Wednesday (this time with the awesome band The Ragbirds opening), but I honestly don’t see how they will ever be able to top this spectacular show.

Solid Sound Festival lineup announced
Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival announced their initial lineup this week. Along with the hosts, the festival will feature Yo La Tengo, Medeski Martin & Wood, Neko Case, White Denim, and many others. The festival will take place on June 21-23 in North Adams, MA.

Camp Barefoot Lineup
Camp Barefoot announced their 2013 lineup. The West Virginia festival will feature the Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Keller Williams, EOTO, Tea Leaf Green, Break Science, Conspirator, Particle, The New Mastersounds, Dangermuffin, and many others.

Jambase to host a festival at The Gorge
Jambase, an awesome resource for live music fans, will be hosting their own festival at The Gorge. The festival will be held on July 5-6 and will feature many new bands to The Gorge as well as many returning artists. Details and performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Trey Anastasio to play with National Symphony Orchestra
Trey Anastasio will perform a one-time show with the National Symphony Orchestra on May 22 at the Kennedy Center. This will be a one-time performance featuring orchestral arrangements of Phish songs as well as Trey’s own orchestral compositions.

Widespread Panic adds dates
Widespread Panic announced another run of dates in 2013. After their year off, the band has already been active and will likely be touring extensively in the next year, including a variety of festival shows.

une 1 Ozark, AR—Wakarusa Music Festival
June 3-4 Knoxville, TN—Tennessee Theater
June 5 Vienna, VA—The Filene Center at Wolf Trap
June 7 Hunter, NY—Mountain Jam Festival
June 8-9 Raleigh, NC—Raleigh Amphitheater

Gov’t Mule tour dates
Gov’t Mule announced some Spring dates for their tour. Along with festival dates the band will be playing a handful of dates in the Eastern half of the country.

April 18-20 Live Oak, FL—Wanee Festival
April 21 Charleston, SC—North Charleston PAC
April 24 Wilmington, NC—Greenfield Amphitheatre
April 27 Cincinnati, OH—Taft Theatre
April 28 Columbia, MO—Blue Note
April 30 Kansas City, MO—Uptown Theatre
May 1 Springfield, MO—Gilloz Theatre
May 3 New Orleans, LA—Mahalia Jackson Theatre
May 17-19 Gulf Shores, AL—Hangout Festival
June 6-9 Hunter, NY—Mountain Jam

STS9 announces dates
STS9 have an extensive tour lined up. The band is scheduled to be on the road at least through the end of April, and festival season will start for the band soon after that.

February 21 Portland, OR—Crystal Ballroom
February 22 Seattle, WA—Showbox (SoDo)
February 23 Eugene, OR—McDonald Theatre
February 24 Eureka, CA—Eureka Theater
February 27 Chico, CA—Senator Theater
February 28 Stateline, NV—Montbleu Resort
March 1 Oakland, CA—Fox Theatre
March 2 Los Angeles, CA—Palladium
March 7 Tulsa, OK—Cain’s Ballroom
March 8 Dallas, TX—House of Blues
March 9 New Orleans, LA—BUKU Festival
March 12 Lawrence, KS—Liberty Hall
March 13 Lawrence, KS—Liberty Hall
March 14 St. Louis, MO—The Pageant
March 15 Milwaukee, WI—Riverside Theater
March 16 Chicago, IL—Congress Theater
March 17 Chicago, IL—House of Blues
March 20 Charleston, SC—Music Farm
March 21 Athens, GA—Georgia Theater
March 22 Athens, GA—Georgia Theater
March 23 Asheville, NC—Orange Peel
March 24 Asheville, NC—Orange Peel
April 11 Minneapolis, MN—First Avenue
April 12 Madison, WI—Orpheum Theatre
April 13 Detroit, MI—Fillmore Detroit
April 14 Pittsburgh, PA—Stage AE
April 16 Buffalo, NY—Town Ballroom
April 17 Burlington, VT—Higher Ground
April 18 Syracuse, NY—Landmark Theatre
April 19 Portland, ME—State Theatre
April 20 New York, NY—Roseland Ballroom
April 21 Richmond, VA—The National
April 23 Wilmington, NC—Greenfield Amphitheater
April 24 Savannah, GA—Trustees Theater
April 25 Orlando, FL—Beacham Theatre
April 26 Fort Lauderdale, FL—Revolution
April 27 St. Petersburg, FL—Jannus Landing

Keller Williams releases Keys
Keller Williams released a new album this week. Keys is a collection of Grateful Dead covers featuring Keller on the piano. The album includes songs from throughout the Dead’s catalog, all done in Keller’s own way.


Jam in the Sand
March 1-5, 2013
Breezes Grand Resort
Negril, Jamaica
Dark Star Orchestra’s first Jamaican event. This event will feature multiple DSO shows as well as three Keller Williams sets and other activities

Buku Music Project
March 8-9, 2013
Mardi Gras World Warehouse
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Kid Cudi, Calvin Harris, Primus, Passion Pit, STS9, Zedd, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, Datsik, Lettuce, and many others

SnowBall Music Festival
March 8-10, 2012
Winter Park, CO
Performers include:Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Portugal. The Man, Rubblebucket, and many others.

Suwannee Springfest
March 21-24, 2013
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Peter Rowan, Keller and the Keels, Jerry Douglas, Cornmeal, Leftover Salmon, Donna the Buffalo, The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Ultra Music Festival
March 15-17, 2013
March 22-24, 2013
Miami, FL
Performers include: Tiesto, David Guetta, Above & Beyond, Bassnectar, Fatboy Slim, Richie Hawtin, Crystal Castles, deadmau5, Major Lazer, Thievery Corporation, and many others.

March 21-24, 2012
Killington Resort
Killington, VT

April 12-14, 2013
April 19-21, 2013
Performers include: Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur, Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bassnectar, xx, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed, Postal Service, Grizzley Bear, Wu-Tang Clan, Lumineers, and many others.

Wanee Festival
April 18-20, 2013
Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang, and many others.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 26-May 5, 2013
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Dave Matthews Band, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Widespread Panic, B.B. King, The Black Keys, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Maroon 5, and a very diverse lineup of many other artists.

Shaky Knees Music Festival
May 4-5, 2013
Atlanta, GA
Performers include: The Lumineers, Band of Horses, Drive By Truckers, Jim James Band, Gary Clark Jr., Dr. Dog, and many others

BottleRock Festival
May 10-12, 2013
Expo Grounds
Napa Valley, CA
Performers include: Furthur, The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, Cake, Alabama Shakes, The Black Crowes, Ben Harper, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and many others.

Hangout Music Festival
May 17-19, 2013
Gulf Shores, AL

Summer Camp Music Festival
May 23-36
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
Performers include: moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Thievery Corp., Big Gigantic, Lettuce, Cornmeal, Keller Williams, and many others.

May 23-26, 2013
Cumberland, MD

Dark Star Jubilee
May 24-26, 2013
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
Performers include: 3 nights of Dark Star Orchestra, Mickey Hart Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Wailers, The Werks, Greensky Bluegrass, Donna Jean Godchaux Band, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Sasquatch! Music Festival
May 24-27, 2013
The Gorge
George, WA
Performers include: Mumford and Sons, The Postal Service, Sigur Ros, Vampire Weekend, Primus, The Lumineers, The xx, Cake, Arctic Monkeys, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and many others

May 30-June 2, 2013
Mulberry Mountain
Ozark, AR
Performers include: Widespread Panic, Yonder Mountain String Band, STS9, The Black Crowes, Umphrey’s McGee, Dispatch, Shpongle, Snoop Lion, Gogol Bordello, Zed’s Dead, Rebolution, and many others.

Mountain Jam
June 6-9, 2013
Hunter Mountain, NY
Performers include: Phil Lesh & Friends, Gov’t Mule, Widespread Panic, Primus, The Avett Brothers, Dispatch, The Lumineers, Gary Clark Jr., Soulive, ALO, and many others.

Governors Ball Music Festival
June 7-9, 2013
Randall’s Island
New York City, NY
Performers include: Guns and Roses, Kanye West, Kings of Leon, The Avett Brothers, Pretty Lights, The Lumineers, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Thivery Corp., Gary Clark Jr., and many others

Camp Railroad
June 10-14, 2012
Full Moon resort
Big Indian, NY
This 4-day music camp will feature members of Railroad Earth in an assortment of workshops, performances, discussions and other sessions to help aspiring musicians and those interested in the music industry to gain an insight into the inner workings of the band. A variety of accommodations are available, and musicians of all skill levels are accepted.
June 13-16
Manchester, TN

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 20-23, 2013
Telluride, Colorado
Performers include: Sam Bush Band, Jackson Brown, Emmylou Harris 7 Rodney Crowell, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Jerry Douglas Band, Punch Brothers, Trampled by Turtles, Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Firefly Music Festival
June 21-23, 2013
The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway
Dover, DE

Solid Sound Festival
June 21-23, 2013
Museum of Contemporary Art
North Adams, MA
Hosted by Wilco. Other performers include: Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Neko Case, White Denim, and many others.

Electric Forest Festival
June 27-30, 2013
Double JJ Ranch and Resort
Rothbury, MI
Performers include: String Cheese Incident (3 nights), Pretty Lights, Lotus, Passion Pit, Dispatch, Beats Antique, Railroad Earth, Trombone Shorty, Digital Tape Machine, Jeff Austin & Friends, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others

High Sierra Music Festival
July 4-7, 2013
Quincy, CA

Jambase Live
July 5-6
The Gorge
George, WA

Camp Bisco
July 11-13, 2013
Indian Lookout Country Club
Mariaville, NY

All Good Music Festival
July 18-21, 2013
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH

Northwest String Summit
July 18-21, 2013
Horning’s Hideout
North Plains, OR
Performers include: Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Keller Williams & Friends, and many others.

Pitchfork Music Festival
July 19-21, 2013
Union Park
Chicago, IL

Floyd Fest
July 25-28, 2013
Floyd, VA
Performers include: The Lumineers, John Butler Trio, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles, Blitzen Trapper, and many others.

Gathering of the Vibes
July 25-28, 2013
Seaside Park
Bridgeport, CT

Newport Folk Festival
July 27-28, 2013
Newport, RI
Performers include: The Lumineers, Andrew Bird, Shovels & Rope, and many others

Newport Jazz Festival
August 2-4, 2013
Newport, RI

August 9-11, 2013
Snow Ridge Ski Resort
Turin, NY

Outside Lands
August 9-11, 2013
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

Camp Barefoot
August 22-24, 2013
Bartow, WV
Performers include: Kyle Hollingsworth Band, EOTO, Keller Williams, Team Leaf Green, Zoogma, Conspirator, Break Science, The Motet, and many others.

Catskill Chill
September 6-8, 2013
Camp Minglewood
Hancock, NY

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
October 4-6, 2013
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

Austin City Limits
October 4-6, 2013
October 11-13, 2013


Thanks for hanging out! I’d love to see some of your favorites through the year. Feel free to hit me up on Facebook and Twitter. Until next week, Jam On!


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