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Published: 2006/01/07
by Mike Greenhaus

The Jambands.com 2005 Year in Review: First Set

2005 has been a whirlwind year both on and off the stage. Before we dive into ’06 we asked some of our favorite musicians, and some of the scene’s most creative forces, to look back on the rollercoaster year that was 2005, from hurricanes to wars, festivals to music themed cruises. Be sure to check back each week in January for more from the scene’s most visible personalities. This week we catch up with Marc Brownstein, Steve Kimock, Bela Fleck, Mike Doughty, the Dark Star Orchestra, Addison Groove Project and Tea Leaf Green, as well as SCI Fidelty’s Kevin Morris, Relix’s Aeve Baldwin, Ropeadope’s Andy Blackman Hurwitz and the Grateful Dead’s Dennis McNally.

Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits, Conspirator)

What will you remember most about 2005?
It’s gotta be the process of auditioning a new drummer (what up X-Factor!!!!). That was an intense and rewarding process.

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
I haven’t been totally obsessed with anything like I have in years past, but I did listen to a lot of Air.

What CD has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD player)?
The Unreleased Disco Biscuits Double Live CD. The Wind at Four to Fly receives top honors in my Itunes this year, just behind The Key. I guess producing two CD’s leaves you with not that much time for other music.

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
I really had the best time of all at the Conspirator show at Wakarusa Festival. Something about telling Jake [Cinninger] to let Brock [Butler] come up on stage to jam with us and having Jake look at me and say "ROCK???, You got it!" He then proceeded to Rock as hard as possible. Good Times.

Steve Kimock

What will you remember most about 2005?
My shock at the failure of the US Government to deal with the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina.

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
Bob Dylan – No Direction Home (rediscovered). This year, The Bad Plus’ Suspicious Activity.

What album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)?
Tied for first place:
Lakshmi Shankar Heures Et Les Saisons
Said Chraibi – La Clef de Grenade

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
Singing my son Skyler to sleep, “She’ll be comin’ ‘round the mountain…”

Bela Fleck

What will you remember most about 2005?
The busiest year of my life!

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
Julian Lage is a guitarist I got reacquainted with, really fine.

What album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)?
Oumou Sangare collection

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
Duet performance with Bobby McFerrin in Montreax ,Switzerland

Aeve Baldwin (_Relix_ Magazine)

What will you remember most about 2005?
The launch of Relix Japan!

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
The Wood Brothers (discovered),

What album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)?
Mike Doughty, Haughty Melodic

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
Jack Johnson in Japan, May 2005

Rob Marscher (Addison Groove Project)

What will you remember most about 2005?
It seems like this is the year that energy and environmental issues have started to really hit the mainstream – as shown by the Syriana Hollywood movie and the TV special Earth to America. The number of hurricanes this year, soaring oil and natural gas prices, war in Iraq, and warm weather continuing until December have caused a lot more people to seriously think about global warming and "peak" energy theories. Many celebrities are showing off their new alternative energy vehicles. Brendan and I now ride in a Prius to shows. That’s what I’ll remember the most about 2005.

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
Of Montreal—-their new album Sunlandic Twins is awesome.

What album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)?
Beck – Guero

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
I had a really hard time with this one… I saw some great performances by My Morning Jacket, Ween, Flaming Lips, Secret Machines, Sean Lennon and Arcade Fire… but I’m gonna have to go with Beck at Vegoose for this one just because it was my first time finally seeing him and I was impressed to hear songs off of all of his major albums. My favorite performance with AGP was our third set at moe.down because the crowd was bouncing off the walls and there was a vibe like everyone was in deep. We improvised most of the music and practically broke new ground at some points in the set which doesn’t happen that often after you’ve been playing together for nearly 9 years.

Mike Doughty (Mike Doughty’s Band, Soul Coughing)

What will you remember most about 2005?
Searching for the guys in my new band, finding them, and playing with
them. Amazing dudes.

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
I love Imogen Heap, and I was so happy to hear her new CD. There’s also
an Ethiopian singer named Gigi who blows my mind.

What CD has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD player)?
I keep obsessively re-listening to the Stones’ song "Moonlight Mile,"
off Sticky Fingers

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
The recent Broadway production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. The cast is self-contained—the actors play all the instruments! So a major character will go right from a big scene into picking up a cello. Such a thoroughly thrilling musical experience. The show’s about a London barber in 1846 who cuts his customers’ throats and then makes meat pies out of them. Really dark stuff. I saw the show twice, I may go see it
again.

Kevin Morris (SCI Fidelity Records)

What will you remember most about 2005?
Hurricane Katrina

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
Tie, Brothers Past and Surprise Me Mr. Davis

What album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)?
Tie: Beck, Guero and Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
Drive-By Truckers, Bonnaroo

Rob Koritz (Dark Star Orchestra)

What will you remember most about 2005?
The difficulties in dealing with losing a bandmate and good friend, Scott Larned.

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
Bonerama—What a great time.

What album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)?
The Essential Johnny Cash

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
One that I was part of was The Gathering of the Vibes tribute to Jerry Garcia. Just to grace the stage with so many folks who made music with him throughout his life was quite and honor. One that I attended was The Brian Wilson Smile Tour. Great musicians, great writing, great production

Josh Clark (Tea Leaf Green)

What will you remember most about 2005?
I think that what will stay with me from 2005 on a personal level is the adventure and opportunity that has come along Tea Leaf Greens path. Lots of dream scenarios have come to pass for us: Bonnaroo was a highlight along with touring with Trey and Gov’t Mule. We all had fun, no one got hurt, all in all a good year. Hopefully 2005 will also be a year to be remembered for some tough lessons learned amid natural disasters and wars, and that maybe we got a little closer to realizing we aren’t all strangers.

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
I really like the song by Big and Rich about the honky tonk badonkadonk. Its good for a laugh or two.

What album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)?
I’ve been listening to Big Star non-stop. Super pop-rock from the 70’s.Very tasty!

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
Jammin on “Voodoo Chile” with my little brother in his room. He rocks!

Andy Blackman Hurwitz (Ropeadope)

What will you remember most about 2005?
When my cat Otis made poopie in the box by himself.

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
Pilot Drift

What album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)?
Benevnto/Russo Duo – Best Reason to Buy the Sun

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
John Medeski, solo piano recital, Chicago.

Dennis McNally (_A Long Strange Trip_)

What will you remember most about 2005?
Echoing my esteemed fearless leader [Bob Weir], the most memorable and best part of a generally horrible years in the history of the planet is that the Bush administration’s vicious arrogance and general contempt for anyone not in their club seems finally to have begun to catch up with it.

Name one band you discovered (or rediscovered) in the past year?
I’d listened to her first album, so it’s a rediscovery, but I fell in love with Madeline Peyroux all over again this year.

What album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)?
Honest, this is not a plug. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of the Dead’s Fillmore West 1969 box set uh, I know some people and that’s 10 CDs worth of pleasure, so it’s kept me for a while.

What is your favorite performance from the past twelve months?
I was privileged to see Yo Yo Ma and Emanuel Axe at Zellerbach Hall at U.C. Berkeley this past year simply unbelievable music.

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