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Spafford has solidified themselves among the most creative and hard-traveled bands on the contemporary jam scene. Pairing complex compositions with extended improvisations, the rousing energy of the Southwest-based quartet — Brian Moss (guitar, vocals), Jordan Fairless (bass, vocals), Andrew “Red” Johnson (keys, vocals), and Nick Tkachyk (drums, vocals) — is matched by their outstanding talent, versatility of playing styles, and extensive catalogue of original music and innovative covers. Each Spafford show is a sensory expedition of extended jams—an interplay of lights, tones, cascading melodies, and balance that carries a ceaselessly-dancing crowd through the night.
Underscoring a meteoric rise since their start in 2010, the Huffington Post proclaimed “Spafford is the latest buzzword in the jam-band scene . . . Their sound is like everything and nothing you’ve heard before, making them one of the next big things happening in improvisational music today.” (Huffington Post, 2017).
Spafford is remarkable for demonstrating mastery in the art of anticipation, seamless transitions, intoxicating crescendos, and sublime peaks. Their off-the-cuff extended jams create an unpredictable and unforgettable musical experience that Relix attributed to “a wide swath of influences and keen improvisational cohesion . . . all four members of Spafford have ample room to stretch their wings onstage . . . And Spafford pride themselves on being able to chameleon between mid-sized clubs, large festivals and historic venues like Red Rocks.” (Relix, 2019).
Spafford’s discography includes an eclectic mix of studio (e.g. Spafford ; For Amusement Only ; The Gaff Tapes ), live (e.g. Live Vol. 1-3 [2015, 2016, 2020]; A Taste of Fall ; Live at the Drive-In ), and improvisational works (e.g. Abaculus ; Chapel Jam ; Big Field Sessions ). The band is also keen on making video and audio recordings of many of their live shows available shortly after each event, to the delight of their large and growing fanbase.
Featured tour highlights in support of their studio albums include their 2014 Southwest tour, 2016 breakout tour, 2017 tour with Umphrey’s McGee, 2018 For Amusement Only tour, and a 40-show winter tour across the U.S. in 2019. Spafford has graced the stages of many national festivals including at Summer Camp, Bonnaroo, Firefly, High Sierra, Levitate, Peach, and Lockn’, among many others. Additionally, Spafford has collaborated with the likes of Karl Denson (Rolling Stones, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe); Aron Magner (Disco Biscuits); Brendan Bayliss (Umphrey’s McGee); and Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman, and James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band) during the tenure of their illustrious career.