10 Bands In The Jam Scene People Love To Hate

Article by Phil Sunkel

Some people just love to hate. Its almost like they can’t help but take some sort of sick pleasure by disliking actual quality that the masses love. This is especially apparent in the jam scene, where music goers are just as elitist as any hipster yuppie pawing through vinyl at Generation Records in The Village.

In honor of all those out there who love to hate on some of the greatest bands in the scene, I give you the 10 bands most hated on by these hating haters of the greats, who have probably actually never seen any of these amazing acts.

The McLovins
What is it with people not giving a band a listen simply because of the group’s name? That has always boggled my mind. Having a listen to The McLovins will literally make the idea of their name, melt out of your thoughts.

These dudes, some of them still in college, have been playing some epic shows. Just a couple months ago at Wormtown, the guys had Kenn Mogel of The Mantras sit-in, as well as Oteil Burbridge of The Allman Brothers Band.

In my opinion, The McLovins are on the road to becoming one of the best and perhaps well known bands of this generation.

I personally love Moe. But some people just love to hate them. A lot of what I hear is usually “All their songs sound the same” or something along those lines. I beg to differ, so does this video above.

Moe. has honed their skills over the years to something totally unique to themselves. This is put into fruition on their latest album “No Guts, No Glory.” Songs like “Silver Sun” and “Annihilation Blues” highlight the guys progression over the years.

Rusted Root
Aside from Rusted Root’s major hit “Send Me On My Way”, most people aren’t really that familiar with the band’s catalog. I mean the group has Seven studio albums.

Rusted Root also puts on a pretty damn good live show with some mind-melting 10-minute jams. Totally not what you would expect from the group who gave us “Send Me On My Way.”

Ghost Owl
When Perpetual Groove split and Ghost Owl was formed, many P Groove fans were curiously, angry. Instead of looking at the group’s decision as a step forward, some people took it as an end. P Groove splitting was never the end, simply the beginning in a journey for all the dudes in the group.

If you haven’t given Ghost Owl a chance because you think it will sound like P Groove or because its not P Groove, well then thats really your loss. Ghost Owl is really one of the most outstanding bands to form within the last couple years.

Songs like “Eleven”, “Sky Yellow” and “Crooked Youth” on their debut release, “Say Goodbye To Finland”, are some of the best songs I’ve heard all year.

I simply don’t understand anyone who doesn’t like Twiddle. Obviously you hate greatness.

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band
The Booty Band is definitely another band that people put aside simply because of their name. However, this simply means more fun for the people who have discovered the incredibly crazy party that is a booty band show.

The Booty Band has a sound akin to Galactic with some booty shaking hip-hop vibes. I highly recommend get your booty to a YMBFBB show asap.

Umphrey’s Mcgee
Let me put this simply, Umphrey’s is just too heavy for some people. I personally came from a metal/HXC background and love the heavier sound that Umph brings to the table. For others though, its just too much.

The Disco Biscuits
Ok, even I can agree that The Disco Biscuits can get a bit repetitive from time to time but c’mob everyone they’re legends and put on a crazy good live shows thats pretty much impossible to forget.

Grateful Dead
Personally, I never quite got the whole deal about the Grateful Dead. I always considered the Allman Brothers Band to be much more influential. Others in the scene though swear that the Grateful Dead is one of the best bands of all time and most influential.

I seem to be in the other category having never really been able to connect to their music. Call me a hater if you will, I just simply never got it.

Ah Phish, how loved and hated you are. Personally, I don’t really have a stance on the guys. I do like some of their songs and they put on an incredibly unique and amazing live shows but just like the Dead, I’ve never truly been able to connect with them like I do with bands like Tycho or ABB.

No matter what I think though, Phish is probably the greatest band of this century. They’re one of, if not the most, top selling bands in the country and they’ve never had a hit single, so basically they kick ass.

Thats it for my list. Let me know what you think below.


63 thoughts on “10 Bands In The Jam Scene People Love To Hate”

    1. I think you misread what I wrote. I stated that I was never able to connect with their music, nowhere did I write that I don’t like them. Either way, I am free to my opinion as are you. I simply find The Allman Brothers Band to be much more impressive at that time than GD.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. how about some hate/love/press for Spafford out of AZ. They blow most of these bands off the map with their talent, song writing and jamming. Spafford.net give them a whirl. Picking up a lot of steam heading into 2015!


  2. How can someone write a piece on jambands and not enjoy the the Godfathers of Jam…aka the Grateful Dead, or, even Phish. But, write positively about some of these weaker bands listed in this piece…aka, Moe that essentially is a dressed up version of Phish. This makes no sense. Please get someone with some cred to write these pieces. 1973-74 GD jams will blow away anything being done by any band then or since. Phish, has been doing it right for 30 years and keeps churning out creative jams. Everything I hear from many of these other bands has been done over and over by others before them. Twiddle has serious chops but it sounds like all the bands I used to see at the Wetlands 20 years ago.


    1. I’ll tell you how someone can write this piece, its called opinion and it is mine own. You are entitled to your opinion as well. And I do have cred, if you haven’t even taken the time to google my name then why try to chastise me for my opinion?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know it is unprofessional to respond to comments on your own article. Let the comment section be. If you are going to get offended at every internet troll you might not be cut out for this business.


      2. I am guessing that you are too young to have seen the GD perform(according to your FB page you are mid-twenties). Henceforth, no real cred to talk about them as a band. Anyone who has seen enough Dead shows understands that there is nothing that exists today that can match the energy, love and excitement surrounding that band. Not even Phish, a band I have seen over 150 times and many many times before they blew up to what they are today. Having said all that, you are an amazing photographer and should probably stick to photography rather than writing. Peace!


    2. He just doesn’t get it, just like you don’t get that people think differently than you. Watch Frozen dude…just let it go


    1. Tycho is a band with a composer at the lead. Obviously you have never seen Tycho because yes it is a full band. Scott composes all of the music and then has his band play it live. Not only does he do that but he films his journeys, writes his music to it and then projects the video on him and his band. Dude google is super easy to use these days.


      1. Talk about a band whose stuff all sounds the same….and talking about 3rd tier jam bands exuding greatness? How good WAS that L? Haha. It’s gonna take a few more years on the scene to form any opinion about it. Sounds like you started going to shows last summer. Therefore your opinion is invalid. Oh and PS, WSP is the most hated band in the scene, but considering that your article is filled with the 3rd tier jambands your saw at the chill this year, you prob don’t even know who they are.


      2. You just sound like a noob trying to sound all high and mighty. Tycho is Scott Hansen. Sure he has developed a live show recently, But out of the dozen times i’ve seen Tycho, ONCE has been with a live band.


  3. Phish is one of the top selling bands in the country? What does that even mean? Try checking your facts before publishing an article.


  4. This article is trash. Couldn’t even correctly choose a video of the Disco Biscuits live, just a bunch of random promo vids they did. Author is a moron.


      1. My name is irrelevant to the conversation. Seems like you can’t take a bit of criticism. If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen brahj. You should enjoy the hate, bask in it, it means your getting page views, numbnuts.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. All opinions aside, the writing in this article is piss poor. Saying “I simply don’t understand anyone who doesn’t like Twiddle. Obviously you hate greatness” does nothing to boost the credibility of this site or the band. Instead, it gives off the vibes of a diary entry rather than a piece of informative journalism. You guys kill it in the visual aspect, but your writing never seems on par. It is way too conversational, even for a site like this, and is full of of cliche remarks and overly simple predictable wording.


    1. This is true, we are not writers. We are a team of photographers and videographers who happen to post on a blog. With that said, we’re always looking for people to make what we do better, shoot us an email if your interested in working with us.


      1. The comments suck. Guys, it’s an opinion piece. And dude said that “people” don’t like them in the title. Chill out or better yet, write your own piece instead of bashing others.


  6. To me he hit the nail on the head with this opening comment, “This is especially apparent in the jam scene, where music goers are just as elitist as any hipster yuppie pawing through vinyl at Generation Records in The Village.” and it was immediately proven by these comments of “3rd tier jam bands” let me guess “I just don’t get good music”? you people are hilarious…try listening to these “3rd tier bands” you might find something you like, after all its all about enjoying the music…or have I been missing something? Is it more important what tier you have decided they are on?
    OK I am done…go ahead and attack and show me how much smarter you are than me by your exquisite musical taste.


  7. Are you just trolling looking for reactions? Did you really just write this after saying you have never connected with phish or the dead? Dude. Take a lap. You called Twiddlol greatness and do not even understand Jerry Garcia. Wow. Do you have any credibility whatsoever discussing “the jam scene?” Are you even affiliated with “the scene?” Sorry but loving moe and Twiddle but not “getting” Phish and GD makes you a sorry person.
    Plus your writing sucks and the videos you chose probably took like 3 minutes to find each. Like I said, take a lap.


    1. Also, you completely missed out on even mentioning Panic and Cheese… instead you listed GD and Phish, two bands that anyone who likes jam music, respects and loves. I mean come on dude.


  8. Twiddle. Their music is worse than their name. And they’re name sucks, hard. I mean, jamming over three chords and throwing in overplayed bass lines, a terrible sounding guitar and an unfocused keyboard player, then sprinkle in some incoherent, hippy psycho babble over it, and you have the un-unique sound of every horrible jamband you’ve ever heard, TWIDDLE.


    1. I don’t even understand where the guy bashing twiddle is coming from. You obv have never seen them live. They absolutely destroy each and every show they play and they play many many shows. Mihali is one of he best guitar players out there period. Zdeneks bass lines are def not overplayed. And their drummer brook is a monster. Yes their keyboard player can be unfocused but he’s brilliant and his music is amazing….stop trashing on a band that works harder than most of you will ever understand. They kill it. Period


  9. Hmmm… Definitely an interesting article. I can agree with most of these, but have the opposite opinions about Phish/The Dead/Allman Brothers. I always found I connect the most with Phishs music, also really enjoy The Dead, but find the Allman Brothers to be rather run-of-the-mill in comparison.


  10. Wow, so much hate in these comments. Thank you, Phil Sunkel, I did enjoy reading the article. I think every person’s opinion matters, and you had just as much right to post this article as these people had to leave a comment/criticism. My love for GD and Phish aside, I think Twiddle and the Mclovins are great! I don’t get why people hate on them. (and it’s probably the same people leaving comments here). Haters gonna hate…


  11. Lol, what dribble.

    “No matter what I think though, Phish is probably the greatest band of this century.” Haha, this is GOLD!

    “c’mob everyone they’re legends and put on a crazy good live shows thats pretty much impossible to forget.” It’s VERY possible to forget tDB shows.


  12. If you use Tycho as a comparison to the Grateful Dead, and they way you “connect”, maybe you shouldn’t be writing an article like this. Amateur writing and an amateur taste in “jam band” music.


  13. People hate Twiddle because their songs sound the same. Sweet – 15 minute jam on G D A. They are all pretentious, except the bass player. He’s a genuine individual. They wish they were Phish. They set up like phish, sound like phish, have quirky lyrics/song titles like phish, play everywhere phish does and steal their fans. For all the “Frends ” bullshit, they aren’t really friendly and are condescending. The keyboardist is a pervert. He did mean things to girls all for a laugh with his friends.(Cue the “OMG, HE WOULDN’T HURT A FLY!” Everyone has a past, and he was mean/inappropriate/he knows it.) And so he doesn’t think I’m just spewing hatred: We can talk about my friends who know you. Also, he’s been mean for the sake of being mean to people who aren’t as lucky to have the opportunities he has. Behavior like this only comes back to haunt you. He’s a pervy perv but isn’t Bill Cosby level. He’s basically a dick. On top of that, he’s ruined some very important sets because of being to messed up. If being under the influence is affecting their show while they’re blowing up, the rest of the band needs to do what they need to do. That being said, they want to be Phish, but are shady and spiteful like The Dead. How are they even on this list? The Guitarist shreds for the sake of showing he can shred, there are no real coherent riffs. Earth Mama has some good tone, and he’s good at choosing his tone. He tries to fit in a lot of notes on the scale. Their new track “Be there” is a great song, just the title is corny and doesn’t sound like Twiddle because Twiddle can’t be sad. Plus the kids tripping are going to go from a good vibe to overthinking/mind racing because the melody is sad, but there is nothing wrong with that. I can see the sadness that exists in the guitarist and be there is an attempt for him to express that sadness. He probably isn’t allowed to play sad sounding songs because they play fests and they can’t ruin the vibe. That’s unfortunate to not be able express yourself doing something that you’re supposed to honestly express yourself. A confused crowd. Drummer wants to be Fishman. Seriously, he hits with the same amount of power/effort that Fishman does, as Fishman isn’t a heavy hitting drummer. He’s a talented drummer. Bass player is on point and does what’s needed, while showcasing his talents. It’s one thing to emulate your favorite band when in high school, but they are adults and need more authenticity. Stop being Phish, start being Twiddle.


    1. Jealous???? You need to get over yourself. Ryan’s a good person. Quit using this thread as a way to trash people who aren’t there to defend themselves.


  14. this comments section just made me laugh my ass off so hard. its just funny. love the hate. its so ripe and inspired. seriously though this article was uninspired, unresearched (i know, not a word), uninformed, written by some who is not experienced, just trying to push something out quickly to get reaction. for shame with article. for shame. stick to your photography or videography or whatever it is you do regularly because writing articles based on knowledge of this particular genre of music and cultural scene is NOT it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. LOL!

    Don’t really care about the Dead or Phish but love bands like moe and bisco?

    This right here is a jamband fan. Loves the noodling, disregard for quality vocals/lyrics, guitar wanking and monotony of bands like the above, but can’t get into the real bands that jam.

    The dead and phish are bands that jam. They write quality songs and happen to improvise over the music live. Allman brothers are a great example of this stark difference too.

    There’s a reason those 3 bands have been so successful and the true jambands are relegated to the same small venues and festivals every year.


  16. The same shit jambands booked by the same booking agency at every festival. We are forced to hear these pretentious fucks cover the same songs that the Dead covered every summer.


  17. 2 points I would like to make
    1. Music should stand for itself, if people listen to the dead and don’t like it.. the argument shouldn’t be you don’t understand because you weren’t there to experience it ect. ect. The dead is literally the only band I know where its supporters make this requirement. Purely based on music I don’t really like the dead, I love Miles Davis… I never saw him preform but I don’t have to because his music is amazing.
    2. the idea that if you like x band then you must like the dead… I dont really like the dead.. I love phish… but their music is different… If you listen you’ll find that Phish’s music is closer to the prog rock bands of the 70s like Yes (especially Yes), Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Genesis, Pink Floyd ect ect.. than the dead. In fact many prog rock forums will have threads about Phish, they are generally well received by the prog rock community.

    and an add on… Teasing Roundabout doesn’t constitute a cover… I’d love to hear a Phish Roundabout or Starship Trooper.

    TL/DR A dislike of the Grateful Dead does not automatically disqualify any opinions you may have of the Jam Band scene.


  18. I think soamy people need to stop and read the title of this article before they flip out. This isn’t an article of the greatest jam bands of all time. It’s an opinion piece from the writer, and if you take a stroll through the comments, you an see that his opinions are mostly correct.

    Just because you don’t get a band doesn’t mean you can’t have respect for what they do. I don’t get the Dead, but I can certainly admit that they are amazing musicians and without them the jam scene wouldn’t exist as we know it. I personally enjoy Phish over the Dead. I just like what Phish does. I never got to see the Dead live, as I was in college when Jerry died and wasn’t really into jam bands yet. But I have seen Furthur, and although they were stunning, it’s just not what I enjoy.

    I love Twiddle. I get that they are not for everyone. I wish the writer would have expanded on the bands ability as his short little quip doesn’t do much justice for the band. FYI someone’s commented on the band wanting to be Phish. I’ve seen Twiddle live and can honestly say that these guys are nothing like Phish. Mihali is an amazing guitarist and lyrically has some of the most honest, uplifting lyrics out in the scene right now. As for the band setting up the same way as Phish, perhaps the writer of that comment should do a little research before using that as ammunition. That set up for a band with keys is very common. It has more to do with convince and ease for sound. I’ve personally been in three bands with keys and we always set up with the keys on stage right (the audiences left) and none of us were trying to be like Phish.

    I’m always on the fence with Umphreys and I have been bitterly disappointed with Moe. every time I’ve seen them live.

    Jam band fans are very passionate about their music and equally as passionate about the music they don’t like.

    But ultimately, hating on a group of musicians that help ensure that the scene you love so much continues to thrive is a pretty silly way to maintain the scene in the end. We should be spending our time focused on positve pursuits rather than spewing hate towards any person.

    The bands that are the most successful are generally the most hated by other fans as well. Phish and the dead, you either love them or you don’t. To have not included them in this list would have been omissive of two of the most debated bands in the scene. And just the massive amount of comments about Twiddle, which appears to be the third most mentioned/bashed band in the comment section, proves that the writer was at least right in his opinion.



  19. Loved that Umphrey’s clip! I’ve heard of them for years, but as someone not too invested in the festie scene, this is the first time I can remember hearing them. Way more up my alley than a band like Phish. Actually kinda proggy. 😎


    1. This is really just a list of popular jam bands. So who are some jam bands that people don’t love to hate? Weird article topic, weird choices, and weird comments. This article is a head scratcher.


      1. Those are his opinion. You thinking they’re weird is yours. Blogs are free to start and anyone is welcome to share their opinion here or on their blog that they start. We will not hate on anyone simply for sharing their opinion, even if it is strange or weird.


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