Phish and the Grateful Dead were the big winners at the second annual Jammy Awards, held last night (June 28) at New York's Roseland Ballroom. Phish took home two of the most prestigious awards -- stu
Phish and the Grateful Dead were the big winners at the second annual Jammy Awards, held last night (June 28) at New York's Roseland Ballroom. Phish took home two of the most prestigious awards -- studio album of the year for "Farmhouse" (Elektra) and live performance of the year for the band's July 11, 2000, gig at the former Deer Creek Music Center in Noblesville, Ind.
Unable to attend, members of the band -- which is on an indefinite hiatus -- sent letters of thanks. Of the latter award, bassist Mike Gordon said he had "no recollection" of why that particular performance was special, but noted that "Deer Creek is one our favorite venues." In his acceptance letter for the studio album of the year award, Phish leader Trey Anastasio said, "this award ceremony shows just how far this [jam band] movement has gone."
The Grateful Dead was awarded the Jammy -- a bowl-shaped trophy -- for release of the year, for Grateful Dead Records' issuing of the band's final concert (and the final concert given) at the now-defunct Fillmore East in New York, "Ladies and Gentlemen The Grateful Dead: Fillmore East New York 1971."
"Late Night With David Letterman" star Paul Shaffer announced the winner for jam of the year, which went to former Dead bassist Phil Lesh for a medley of "Mountains of the Moon," "Dark Star," and "I Am the Walrus" that was performed on Dec. 31, 2000, at the Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, Calif. Lesh was also unable to attend, but longtime Dead spokesman Dennis McNally was on hand to accept the award for release of the year. "Thank you all for being a part of the Grateful Dead family," he said.
Though probably the biggest bands of the genre, Phish and the Grateful Dead didn't to seem to be nearly as popular with the near-capacity Roseland crowd as some of the other nominees, including moe. and the Disco Biscuits, each of which received spirited applause when their names were announced.
The show -- presented by Peter Shapiro, owner of New York club Wetlands, jambands.com, Relix magazine, and SFX -- included a number of surprising and spirited performances, including steel guitarist Robert Randolph with the Derek Trucks Band and Col. Bruce Hampton, as well as the Tom Tom Club with Michael Franti of Spearhead.
Former Primus front man Les Claypool -- who, with his Frog Brigade band won the live album of the year (non archival) for "Live Frogs Set I" -- jammed with Shaffer and Junior Brown. During his acceptance speech, Claypool said, "Last year, when Primus decided to take an undetermined length of hiatus, needless to say, I was a little nervous and frightened, and this jam band community began to embrace my work. It makes me feel so good."
The night also featured performances from the Disco Biscuits, who were helped out by the Roots' Black Thought; Blues Traveler's John Popper; Steve Kimock; former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Jim Breuer; the Del McCoury Band; the Roots' Rahzel; and New York Yankee Bernie Williams, among others.
In all, more than 15,000 votes were cast at Jambands.com.
Here is the full list of winners:
Studio album of the year: Phish, "Farmhouse" (Elektra)
Live performance of the year: Phish, July 11, 2000, Noblesville, Ind. (Deer Creek)
Jam of the year: Phil (Lesh) & Friends with Mike Gordon (12/31/00)
Release of the year: "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Grateful Dead"
Live album: Les Claypool's Frog Brigade: "Live Frogs, Set I"
New groove of the year (best new artist): Yonder Mountain String Band
Festival of the year: Gathering of the Vibes (Bridgeport, Conn.)
Radio show of the year: Jam Nation / WMRQ 104.1 Hartford, Conn.
Fan Web site of the year: Etree.org
Topper/Zahn Award: Howie Schnee
Mimi Fishman Memorial Award: Mockingbird Foundation
Lifetime Achievement: George Porter Jr. and the Meters