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Published: 2006/07/20
by Jeremy Sanchez

The JamCam Chronicles Season 2, Set 3: BIG Summer Classic

The latest edition of JamCam Chronicles concerns the Jammy award winning BIG Summer Classics two-day stop in Schaumburg, Illinois in 2005 (A note: monetary issues actually caused this edition to be mailed out a few weeks later than anticipated, but everything is reported to be back on schedule for the upcoming release I still say this is a project worth subscribing to!). The theme of this DVD is one of collaboration and friendship among musicians working together to bring a festival environment to the people. The BIG Summer Classic was a touring festival showcasing bands like String Cheese Incident, Michael Franti, New Monsoon, Keller Williams, Umphreys McGee, and additional ones in different cities. Summing it up, SCIs bassist Keith Moseley says, Its a festival everyday. How can you go wrong with that? I dont think you can!
Now that festival season is swinging and a lot of us are busy packing (Im trying to pack in the middle of finishing this review), driving, partying, packing, driving…......seeing JamCam Chronicles is even more of an adrenaline rush than the editions I received in the spring. As I prepare for All Good, Im watching this edition and am so excited just to leave for the festival grounds that its hard to work out a review, but its a good thing. I actually saw the BIG Summer Classic tour while at last years All Good festival, as they managed to route the tour into the middle of the three-day festival to entertain us on Saturday. Its funny how things tie back togetheras I write this, All Good 2006 starts tomorrow!
I mentioned collaborations. The collaborative aspect of the BIG Summer Classic was this tours main selling point. Umphreys McGee plays with SCIs Michael Kang, who walks out for a violin solo before Keller Williams (acoustic guitar) and Yonder Mountain String Bands Jeff Austin (mandolin) join the pack to finish off The Triple Wide (ending with a Stairway to Heaven tease). The same crew also interprets the Doobie Brothers Black Water. Williams plays with Franti (a freestyle out of Freek Show with both artists taking beat box duties for the other to flow), Austin joins New Monsoon for En Fuego, Franti and Spearhead invite SCIs Bill Nershi to grace their set (One Step Closer to You) and on
Like all of the JamCam Chronicles DVDs, this one provides spinning and dancing crowd footage along with shots of children at play (we are the scene people!) and some all-star interviews focusing on the friendly vibe shared by the bands and their fans. Along with that friendly vibe comes some rivalry that just amplifies creative drive and makes the improvisational elements captured on this DVD that much better.
Theres even a sweet bonus section after the always-interesting JamCam Chronicles credits roll. This will be your incentive to find someone with the DVD or get your own subscription, because its a jam session not to be missed. I just have one question: Do you like your Umphreys with Cheese?

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