Phishermen Hook Three Jammys
With frontman Trey Anastasio picking up two awards, the band winning one, and he and bassist Mike Gordon together again onstage, last night's (Oct. 2) 2002 Jammy Awards Presented by TDK went a long waWith frontman Trey Anastasio picking up two awards, the band winning one, and he and bassist Mike Gordon together again onstage, last night's (Oct. 2) 2002 Jammy Awards Presented by TDK went a long way in bolstering the excitement of Phish fans for the band's upcoming reunion.
Anastasio took the tour of the year honor for his summer trek supporting his Elektra eponymous solo debut, which earned the studio album of the year award. Phish -- which will end a two-year hiatus on New Year's Eve at New York's Madison Square Garden -- won a Jammy for archival album of the year ("Vol. 11-11/17/97: McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado").
The crowd erupted in laughter and cheers when the charming Anastasio ended an a cappella song delivered as an acceptance speech with the line "enough of this s***, give us our Phish."
Dressed in a t-shirt, flannel pants, and a robe -- his "jammies" -- Blues Traveler frontman John Popper hosted the third annual jam-band awards show at New York's Roseland Ballroom. The seven-hour event featured performances by most of the biggest names in the genre, including Anastasio, Gordon, the Allman Brothers Band, the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and his band Ratdog, Rusted Root, Gov't Mule, moe., Dave Matthews Band bassist Stefan Lessard, and Robert Randolph & the Family Band.
Also appearing were the Blind Boys Of Alabama, Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider of the B-52's, John Mayer, John Scofield, Blue Oyster Cult, DJ Logic, and many more. The teaming of Tom Tom Club (featuring Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of the Talking Heads) and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band acted as the house band. Presenters included the Allman Brothers' Butch Trucks, lyricist John Perry Barlow, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president/CEO Terry Stewart, and comedian Al Franken.
One of the many highlights of the performance-heavy show was a jam that featured Mayer and Allmans guitarist Derek Trucks trading licks with electrifying guitarist Randolph, who introduced the theme to "Sanford and Son" and licks from Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)." Later Blue Oyster Cult joined live performance of the year winner moe. on a rendition of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and unannounced performer Gregg Allman added keyboards and vocals to a passionate rendition of "Soulshine," which won the song of the year Jammy for Gov't Mule.
Widespread Panic won the live album of the year award for its Widespread Records/Sanctuary release "Live in the Classic City." In a videotaped acceptance speech, frontman John Bell saluted late guitarist Michael Houser, who died of pancreatic cancer Aug. 10, saying "We will always be writing songs together in some form or fashion." The Mimi Fishman Memorial Award for nonprofit organizations went to the Widespread-affiliated Panic Fans for Food.
After a passionate speech delivered by a contest winning Grateful Dead fan, Weir accepted the lifetime achievement award on behalf the band, and took time to debunk the "myth" that the Dead was the first jam band. He pointed to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Louis Jordan, and Louis Armstrong, among others, as proof. After more talk of the history of bands and rock music, he cut his comments short out of fear he was sounding like a "f***in' professor," ending with "now we'll go do what we actually live to do."
With that, Weir joined his Ratdog bandmates for a set that included the Dead's "Sugar Magnolia," "Help on the Way," and "Franklin's Tower." As the latter segued into the Dead staple "Lovelight," many of the nights performers -- including Anastasio, Randolph, Popper, Gordon, Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule/Allman Brothers Band), DJ Logic, moe.'s Al Schnier, Gov't Mule drummer Matt Abts, and Rusted Root's Liz Berlin, among others -- returned to Roseland's two stages to join in on that and the evening's closer, a rendition of Van Morrison's "Gloria."
More than 50,000 fans voted on the awards via the Internet or mail-in ballots from Relix magazine, which produced the event along with jambands.com. To view the full list of winners, click here.