Prescott Band Spafford's Jams Aim for the Greats

Categories: Jam

Say you've been waiting for your favorite band to perform at a music festival. You've spent some time scoping out the best spot on the lawn, and you've sacrificed any object you can spare to carve out your spot. It's a tough decision to give it up to check out a local band on another stage, but those who left their coolers and lawn chairs behind before STS9 took the stage on the first night of the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in late March experienced the sweet reward of Prescott's very own Spafford, a band bent on providing "electro-funk therapy."

See also: 10 Things We Learned at McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2014

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Dark Star Orchestra to Bring an Acoustic Grateful Dead Set to MIM

Categories: Jam

There are an estimated 300 Grateful Dead tribute bands (by one website's account), including the Tempe-based Xtra Ticket. But of all those bands, only Dark Star Orchestra actually play the Dead.

Let us be a little clearer. DSO picks a Grateful Dead show from a list of thousands spanning the Dead's 40-plus-year career -- that's a hell of a lot of shows! -- listens to them (almost everything the Dead did is archived) and then performs that set list. The band always brings in the right equipment -- organs or pianos, percussion instruments, the "Donna" singer, etc. to get the feel as right as the songs. Yet, DSO doesn't try to emulate the concert note for note, but rather puts its take on the show. Having studied the Dead for so many years and having performed over 2,000 concerts, DSO accurately captures the feel and intensity that was the Grateful Dead. This is as close to the real thing as it gets.

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