I wanna Jamericana

By SAM PFEIFLE  |  August 31, 2011

Often, the jam feels built right in, like even the five-minute songs are being restrained in some way. "Day Job" is probably the most obvious nod to the genre, with even a bit of Dave Mathews accent and chirpy guitars on the one hand, down-and-dirty ramble-on on the other.

"All this stressin' is very depressin'," Montgomery sings. "It gets so I'd rather just stay in bed." The hippies ought to be able to get with that. Plus, there's a "just can't stand it" lilt that's sure to be a live singalong favorite.

It'd be easy to say songs like "Scene Fades to Black," which can be downright disco at times, are just studio takes of what must be much better live songs — I could groove around to this for hours in an open field with half a buzz on — but almost everything here works as an album take, too. Where many jam-oriented albums are more like ways for loyal fans to throw a few bucks the way of the band, in exchange for the dozens of live recordings they've swapped around with friends, Jamericana is a solid effort that stands well enough on its own.

It's catchy, easy in its own skin, and familiar in a good way from the first listen (heck, you can sing along by the second). That might not endear them to those looking for a brand-new sound, but it should be more than welcome to folks who find themselves happiest shuffling around a bar with a longneck between their fingers.

Sam Pfeifle can be reached atsam_pfeifle@yahoo.com.

JAMERICANA | Released by Dirigo | with Superfrog | at the Big Easy, in Portland | Sept 9 | at Mainely Brews, in Waterville | Sept 10 | dirigomusic.com

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