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Jam Camp
Black Hills Jam-Preserves
Volume 2

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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Jam Camp Black Hills Jam-Preserves Volume 2

CD Number: Flying Spot Records


  Sweet Jesus what a great album this is! Jam Camp could not have selected a better name for their band. Its like saying-welcome to camp, pick your instrument and get ready to play for long periods with a mindset of improvisation from start to finish, then if you make it through one session you are officially initiated and can come back again to do it all over again. Sounds like fun if you are a musician and if you dig music like this. I am sure you will want to invite yourself to several sessions of this CD before fully ingesting everything they have to offer. This is a home cooked musical meal, just as the old-fashioned preserves CD cover implies-since 1989 from the great Northwest with quality assured.

They live up to their advertisement as Black Hills Jam-Preserves Volume 2 is some of the best rock fusion I have had the pleasure to enjoy since I was first turned onto fusion with the Al Di Meola classic Electric Rendezvous in 1982. The bluesy country like workout "Swamp Gas & Moonshine" reminded me one of one my favorite instrumental bands The Hellecasters. Believe me, these are compliments of the highest order, and those of you that know your music will surely agree without hesitation. Attention all Allman Brothers fans, this one is for you, "Black Hills Jam/Mountain Jam," listen well and soak up the southern rock vibes.

Equal parts rock, jam, jazz, fusion and blues, Jam Camp takes you on a non-stop drive through seven striking and dissimilar tracks ranging from four to fifteen minutes in length. The best part about listening to this kind of music is that it seems to all flow together. It is like listening to one long song that constantly changes. I love music that features every genre or style you could possibly imagine played at varying speeds and decibel levels... that creates a myriad of atmospheres and moods for those that demand complex and challenging music.

David Broyles and Michael Smith take their six-strings through the paces and then some while Jess White (bass) and Joel Veatch (drums) are able to provide the odd time signatures and somehow get everyone else in sync, then Steve Munger adds his smooth sax vibe to complete their sound, and what a complete sound it is. This is a magnificent combination of styles and textures all wrapped into one savory lip smackin' treat, just like grandma’s homemade jelly, yes sir, it doesn't get any more original and purer than this. Kind of sounds like a commercial Andy Griffith would do for Ritz Crackers or something doesn't it? Well, trust me I am not talking about food here, I am talking about some of the best music you will ever give your ears the opportunity to hear. No words are necessary to complete the musical circle for this band, when you have a bunch of outstanding musicians in the same room anything can happen, and this CD is proof.

An interesting note for you techies out there, this music was recorded live directly to DAT. I would think live in the studio music is one of the more difficult recordings to capture and Jam Camp does it as if it’s a walk in the park. This is an amazing band and one that I want to hear more of soon.




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