Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jerry’s Kids

Now back in the early to mid 90’s something interesting was happening.  Those of us in Generation X were 20 somethings.  A good majority of us were children of the Baby Boomers and more specifically children of the Hippie generation.  One musical thread that was coming from our generation was grunge.  It was a response to the commercialization of Pop and Hard Rock.  We did not want the happy plastic crap.  Another movement was the Jam bands; they did not want to be pigeon holed into a genre or format.  Their influences were Prog Rock and experimental Hippie Jam bands.  Now the Kings of the Hippie Jam Bands were the Grateful Dead and interesting enough the Dead took many of these bands under their wing.  They toured with them.  When Jerry Garcia died and the Dead stopped touring, these bands filled in the niche left open.  So you had the Hippie folk following Phish and the H.O.R.D.E. Festival around.

Here is my rough approximation of the bands the fit this bill:

Phish- Phish are the kings of the Post 1960’s Jam band.  Their fans are many of the same folks that followed the Grateful Dead.  Musically they are a jam band with an eclectic sound.  Phish is very influenced by the Grateful Dead.  They are the first Second Generation Hippie band to get their own Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream flavor.

Blues Traveler- Blues Traveler founded the H.O.R.D.E. Festival, which showcased most of these sorts of Acts.  Blues Traveler started as a College Radio band, they toured the various campuses across the U.S. in the late 80’s early 90’s.  Musically they are a fusion of Grateful Dead and the Blues Brothers.  They broke out in 1994 with their fourth album.

The Dave Matthews Band- In the Early days of their career, the Dave Matthews Band was a college radio staple. Their style was a Jazzy jam band, they toured on the H.OR.D.E. Festival a number of years.  They had a very improvisational style.

The Spin Doctors- They are a very noodley Jam band.  In the early 90’s they had a string of hits.  They have a sense of humor to their music, very light and fun.

Blind Melon- Definitely a Grateful Dead influenced band, many think of them as the beginning of the second generation hippie bands even though others started earlier.  Blind Melon was the first to gain mainstream attention.  They were only active for five years with their original line up.  Although they reformed after their original lead singer’s (Shannon Hoon) death, they never regained momentum.

Lenny Kravitz- King of the Second Generation Hippie Acts, his Music runs the gamut of Beatles, Hendrix, War, Motown, Sly Stone and funk.  Of these Acts, Lenny has had the best career in Mainstream longevity.  Even though accused of being derivative, he is extremely talented.

Rusted Root- Pennsylvania based band, they have a sound that was a fusion of folk, rock and world music.  They are heavy with percussion in their work, using African, Latin, Native American and Middle Eastern styles in their music. 

The Black Crowes- Black Crowes is a throwback to seventies Blues and R & B based Southern Rock. They are reminiscent of the Allman Brothers Band with a little Otis Redding thrown in.  They give you a slice of that down home gritty groove.

Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians- Many of these bands did not get notice till the early 1990’s.  Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians and Lenny Kravitz first burst on the music scene in the late 1980’s.  They were the proto Alternative Rock Jam band.  After their second album they went on hiatus as their lead singer left.  She came back in 2006.

311- A Feel good mix of Hip Hop, Reggae, Funk, Punk and Metal.  311 at first seemed like a Red Hot Chili Peppers clone, but they proved otherwise.  They added more Hip Hop and Reggae to the mix.

Arrested Development- In the early to mid 1990’s Hip Hop was getting the reputation of being all about the gangster rap.  Arrested Development was a positive, socially conscience alternative to that.  Due to their different approach they started appearing on Alternative Rock Radio.  They wanted the African- American community to see a positive influence in the music scene.

That Is My Not So Humble Opinion. 

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