The incomparable Sharon Jones.

The incomparable Sharon Jones.

Sharon Jones/Instagram

Crunchiest jams of the week is a look back at some of the significant goings on in the jamband world and beyond.

Hey there kids.  It’s time again for a big bowl of crunchy jams.  We had some good stuff going on last week including some bust-outs from Mike Gordon, some sweet sit-ins for Blackberry Smoke as well as American Babies, Trey Anastasio stopped into “A Prairie Home Companion,” and another classic Dead show recreated by Dark Star Orchestra.  Unfortunately, 2016 just won’t let up.  On Friday we lost one of the most vibrant, charismatic, and just plain amazing voices around with the passing of the incomparable Sharon Jones.  We’ve got some great stuff from Sharon as well.  Here are the crunchiest jams of the week for November 14-21.

Thanks to Jambase.


Leslie West sits-in with Blackberry Smoke

Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke were at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on Friday in support of their latest album Like An Arrow. About halfway through their set, a cool moment came when Blackberry Smoke were joined by one of their progenitors: Leslie West of the 70s rock band Mountain. After jamming a bit, BBS and West cranked out a version of Mountain’s biggest hit, “Mississippi Queen.” You can check out fan shot footage captured by littlerichieny above.


Dark Star Orchestra recreate January 11, 1979

In the absence of bassist Skip Vangelas, Dark Star Orchestra keyboard player Rob Barraco has filled in on bass in both New Haven and Albany. Two special things happened at the latter show. One, Dead & Company keyboardist Jeff Chimenti hopped behind the keys. Two, DSO recreated the Grateful Dead’s January 11, 1979 show at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Dead was in the details, with Chimenti playing a setup similar to the one Grateful Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux played in 79 and vocalist Lisa Mackey was on hand to play the role of Keith’s wife, Dead vocalist Donna Jean. You can check out fan shot video of “Ramble on Rose” captured by wancheser1 above. Click here to find DSO tickets.


Bob Weir sits-in with Tom Hamilton’s American Babies

Tom Hamilton’s American Babies were in Mill Valley, CA for a two-night stand at Sweetwater Music Hall. On Friday night the band was joined by one of the proprietors, Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir. Bobby joined the band 30 minutes into their set and led the band through a suite of songs from his Blue Mountain album before launching into a jammy “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo,” on which Bobby had some trouble remembering the words and was bailed out by Hamilton. Sometimes that’s the way the cookie crunches. Bob redeemed himself on “Loser” before an epic section of “Truckin”>””Scarlet Begonias”>”Fire on the Mountain.” You can check out the whole show above shared by Moonalice including openers The Doobie Decibel System. Bobby comes out at about 1:30:00.


Mike Gordon debuts new original, covers “The Maker”

Phish bassist Mike Gordon is currently on tour with his five-piece band consisting of John Kimock on drums, Scott Murawski on guitar, Craig Myers on percussion and Robert Walter on keyboards. Cactus has been using the tour to debut some new songs and bust out some choice covers. At a gig in Madison, WI on Saturday the band debuted a new Gordon/Murawski collaboration called “Check Your Pepper.” You can find it here in a Periscope video captured by Phishman715. “Check Your Pepper” is the third song in the set.

The next night in Chicago, Mike busted out the Daniel Lanois tune “The Maker.” For those not familiar, Lanois is a Canadian record producer, songwriter, and guitarist who has produced records for Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, and Peter Gabriel to name a few. Mike recently played the song with Phil Lesh at Terrapin Crossroads and according to Jambase Phish collaborated with Dave Matthews band on a version in 1994. Phishman715 was around for the Chicago show as well. You can check out footage here. “The Maker” comes out of “Long Black Line” four songs into the second set. Click here to browse AXS for select Mike Gordon tickets.


Trey Anastasio on “A Prairie Home Companion” with Chris Thile

Trey stopped into Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver on Saturday where newly minted host Chris Thile was recording an episode of the long-running NPR program “A Prairie Home Companion.” Trey, backed by Thile and a crack band, played 5 songs throughout the program beginning with the stellar Phish ballad “Brian & Robert” and another turn of the century Phish tune in “Back on the Train.” Trey’s second segment included Phish’s “Water in the Sky,” Trey’s touching tribute to his sister with “Miss You,” and another tribute to the late, great Leon Russell with “Prince of Peace.” You can check out video of the second segment captured by Brain Geraghty above. See below for the first segment. Trey Anastasio Band will be performing at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 31, 2017. Click here for tickets.


Remembering Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones was one of the most soulful, hardest working people in the game. Along with her beloved band the Dap Kings she brought so much joy to everyone that saw her perform. She passed away on Friday, November 18, 2016 after a long and hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. She will be dearly missed. Seeing as it is the holiday season, we thought we’d share the grooviest version of “White Christmas” you’ve ever heard. Enjoy! And as always, don’t stop the boogie.