The jam band of the modern era
Jam bands have been a cultural force since the 1960s; their free-form, ever-evolving musical performances have been inducing musically-inspired reveries and promoting good vibes since day one. Although most of the world’s most famous and influential jam bands are now considered historical relics (see The Grateful Dead, Phish, Allman Brothers, etc.), there is a new wave of jam bands that are carrying on the tradition and bringing the genre into the modern age. Colorado-based SunSquabi’s “Pablito,” off of their EP Odyssey, is a shining example of the group’s funk-inspired, electronically supported brand of jam band music. While the group only has three members, their use of live looping technology allows them to switch instruments during live performances and create a robust, full band sound. “Pablito” starts off with an undeniably positive energy – a righteously funky guitar riff guaranteed to inspire confidence and put swagger in your step.
Supported by wobbling synth patterns, staccato keyboard pulses, and rock beats on a classic drum kit, the song then plunges into a calmer, more jazz-focused section, heavily featuring drummer Chris Anderson’s chops, with trickles of guitar and bells backed by a solid bass background. A long, winding guitar solo deftly navigates the fast-paced, double-time percussion, and brings the almost seven minute track to a close, leaving no doubt in your mind about the group’s serious compositional and technical talent. “Pablito” is the perfect jam band track, with moods ranging from upbeat and in-your face to tranquil and contemplative. While their recordings are excellent pieces of art, SunSquabi’s improvisational live performances are truly awe-inspiring, will turn whatever shoes you’re wearing into your best dancing shoes, and make you not care how you look when you’re busting those moves.