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JAMerica: The History of the Jam Band and Festival Scene Hardcover – August 27, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Publishers Weekly, 8/5/13

"Conners has, by synthesizing these different ideas into a harmonious collection of quotations, musings, memories, and even e-mails from fans, created a literary work that captures on paper the collaborative, spontaneous, and uplifting nature of the jam band music."



Examiner.com, 8/26/2013

Jamerica is a Behind the Music styled treatise devoted to American ‘jam’ music and its prolific purveyors. Author Peter Conners hits on all pertinent bands and festivals of the virtuosic neo-hippie movement, kicking up intriguing points like a patchouli-scented undergrad shoeing a Hacky Sack outside the student union…When strung together like Christmas lights, these insightful, entertaining tidbits and musical memories instill a sense that reader is amongst friends.”



Houston Press, August 2013

“A worthy account for jam fans”



Upstate Live (NY), 9/4/13

“JAMerica gives the reader first hand tales with little to no filter on them that shine a light on both the jam band scene and the music industry as a whole…. Peter Conners does an admirable job in giving this popular musical genre both a more tangible definition and the credit it so richly deserves in influencing a generation of bands and artists. ..JAMerica is the most complete work out there that attempts to tell the story of the jam band scene and how it has reached its current state of popularity.”



PopMatters.com, 9/10/13

JAMerica skillfully assembles an oral history of America's jam bands…An entertaining read that’s thoughtfully assembled and inviting in its casualness.”



Blinded by Sound, 9/1/13

“There is a world of great music being made by these groups, and quite a scene to boot, JAMerica is a good place to start in getting to know just what is going on there.”



Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 9/15/13

JAMerica is well-researched and excellent reading.”



Library Journal, 10/15/13

“Readers interested in the history of the jam band scene from the musicians’ point of view would be most interested in this book…Conners’s goal is to gather the history of jam bands from the musicians, and that is achieved.”

Rochester Democrat Chronicle, 2/9/14
“Tells the story of the roots, evolution, values, and passion of the jam band scene in the words of those who knew it best.”

About the Author

Peter Conners book Growing Up Dead, about his teenage years as a Deadhead, established him as a vital new voice in American music and social history. Conners lives with his wife and three children in Rochester, New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; First Edition edition (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306820668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306820663
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,116,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Todd Weiner on September 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent Book! Finally a book getting to the heart of the festival and music scene going on here in the USA over the past 20 or so years. If you love music, or like it at all, and have any interest in the current state of the music scene beyond the corporate music machine, then this is a must read. If you know a ton about this already, you will still learn something valuable here. This book takes the reader through a sociological timeline of what happened with the formative bands that created today's scene, within the context of a huge number of recent interviews with many of the genre's best performers and industry professionals. In a well debated way Peter Conners explains how the 'Jam' moniker actually came to be. Specifically, this genre of 'jamband' has evolved out of a necessity to distinguish exactly why this form of music really is different and so powerful. And he explains why it deserves it's own label (as occurred for jazz and even rock 'n roll) where a short label attempts to explain huge musical territory. Of course the 'jam' moniker falls short, but it does make for fascinating creative debate among the key players and the author shows why it's earned it's place in describing what's going on. JAMerica is also a very creative read, as the author utilizes some very innovative techniques in laying out the stories via his interviewees. Instead of laying out all the interviews by labeling each musician and bantering back and forth with questions and answer format, the author creates a conversation where it feels as if all of the folks involved are in the same room having a conversation.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What better way to understand the history and growth of the jam band scene than from the mouths of those who lived it, created it, and remember it. This book is the first I've ever seen to delve into all the various elements that wound up creating a "scene" that, at the time, didn't seem like it was actually going to be a scene. Not until in our collective rear view mirror did those events appear to meaningfully lead into what is now one of the biggest collective cash machines in touring rock and roll today. Peter Conners exhaustively interviewed dozens and dozens of the folks who were there at the beginning (and those who've come along since) to get the story from the horse's mouth. Great job Peter!!

The *only* thing that might catch readers is that the list of who's-who doesn't come until near the end of the book, so many readers may be confused as to who's talking. This is easily remedied by dog-earing the listing in the back and just using that as an index to go back to whenever you don't recognize the name of the interviewee.
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Format: Hardcover
Peter Conners new book JAMerica is a fascinating look at players and sequence of events that help galvanize one of the true music scenes in America. The overall chronological layout flows well set up with interviews with everyone from members of the Dead to lesser known players not quite on the radar. Being a Deadhead and a music fan in general has allowed Mr.Conners to get to the meat of the issues, debates and the state of the Jamunion. Honing in on some key events such as the death of Jerry Garcia and the inaugural H.O.R.D.E run provides great insight into 1st generation jam bands and beyond. As with any scene, there are plenty of opinions and depending on when and from which gopher hole you popped out of, perspective is everything. I especially enjoyed reading interviews with some of the newer and sometimes lesser known players to see where they're influences came from and how icons like Phish and the Dead have distilled down over time. I enjoyed the forward to the book very much and love all the interviews about the vast array of festivals as well. I can't recommend Mr.Conners work enough, whether you are a casual fan or hardcore there is quite a lot to take away.
Patrick Kavaney
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my son and he seemed to be thrilled with it. One of the first things he said was that he knew several of his friends were going to want to borrow it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good book overall, but not as good as I had thought it might be. Occasionally had to put the book down, as my attention to it wandered.
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