Sunday, August 14, 2005

The S.E.A.D. is sprouting!

I've been Jam Banding for a really long time. It started with seeing bands like Phish, Blues Traveler, Bela Fleck and others like them in small clubs before they became the monsters they are. (Yeah, I'm old.)
Seeing The S.E.A.D. at the Hard Rock with us,(and loving it so much we followed them to Deland Saturday)I knew they were to be one of those bands. Sitting at The Blue Martini, I felt like I was seeing a little history, like Phish at the small culbs, like Galactic at small festivals, like Susan Tedeschi before she got the Grammy...I had that feeling that these guys are going to be huge, and soon, and without selling out.
Geoff Weeks, their lead man and keyboardist, has an absolutely unmatched skill on the keys, backed by what sounds like a long study of jazz fundamentals. He just pours himself completely into what he's doing, soulful and deliberate and fully tuned in to the music as it happens, which makes his skill come off even greater.

Mike Obrien (guitar), David Whittaker (bass), and Brian Groff (drums)worked together like one person, holding down the groove and instinctively enhancing each other's rhythms with a unity that is extremely rare. And BJ Callahan on the sax has the perfect knack for knowing just what seasonings to add to the stew. They have another guitar player, Dan Mowrey, who was out for the night, but had been at the Hard Rock, and is totally kickin' as well. And what a genuinely nice bunch of guys!

So the thing is, I've stood through lots of long String Cheese Incident shows, lots of Widespread Panic, and Galatic, and Medeski, Martin, and Wood, and as great as those musicians are, as stellar as their skills are, I'm bored by the 5th or 6th song, almost every time. I don't know what it is.
But Funkus, Leftover Salmon, The Code Talkers, David Schweitzer, I can stay with them all night and never want them to stop. The S.E.A.D. has that kind of energy -- a contagious "we live for this stuff" kind of vibe, that I'm just a sucker for. It's the kind of act that got me back into music, and it sure inspired me last night.

So see them -- see them now, while you can still get up close! They'll be a Slingaour's on Thursday and The Copper Rocket on Friday. (I might even skip Skippers (The Code Talkers) to see that show! Maybe I'll see you there!


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