This past weekend, while witnessing the sheer brilliance of The String Cheese Incident putting on a clinic at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (they were inducted into the Red Rocks Hall of Fame on Friday night, just to note), I took a second to think about the various major events in the jam scene that were happening all over the country. Phish at The Gorge, Dead & Company at Fenway Park, Widespread Panic in Oakland, Umphrey’s McGee headlining the Great South Bay Music Festival and the Stone Pony, Bob Weir sitting in with Paul McCartney in Boston, Mike Gordon playing with Phil Lesh, The Disco Biscuits hosting their annual Camp Bisco with STS9, Lotus, Lettuce and the New Deal all performing… Putting this all into perspective, I came to the realization that we are truly in the midst of a full-on “Jam Renaissance,” if you will.While most of these acts, outside of the fairly recent formation of Dead & Company, have been touring on a somewhat consistent basis, it can be argued that the level of play hasn’t been at such a high level collectively in years. And that doesn’t just go for the bigger name acts that we so often relate to the jam world. Bands like Twiddle, TAUK, Greensky Bluegrass, Dopapod, Turkuaz, Papadosio, The Werks, Tom Hamilton’s American Babies, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and the likes, are carving out names and solid fan bases for themselves, and deservedly so. They are not only bringing new, stylistically original music to the table, but they are also playing at high levels of musicianship.And this certainly isn’t about any one show, in particular, but more so about the overall technical consistency and musical originality that each band is currently displaying at this time. But for the sake of the argument, let’s just take a look at the “major” bands of the jam scene.Phish. By all accounts, this past weekend’s run at The Gorge was a front-to-back success. The jams were tight and cohesive, with plenty of interplay and teases (especially on Friday night) to keep fans on their toes. But, for all intents and purposes, you could date that sentiment back to last summer, when everything between Trey, Gordo, Page, and Fish seemingly clicked once again. It was a moment that many of us had been waiting for since “3.0” began, and as far as consistency, it was mid-way through last summer’s tour, though some would argue that the actual moment that everything coalesced was during that epic “Tahoe Tweezer” back in 2013 where “The Boys Are Back!” moment happened. Add that to the fact that all members of the Vermont Quartet are happy, hanging out, and constantly smiling on stage, any doubts of Phish keeping things going in the near future should easily be dispelled.Phish “Makisupa Policeman, Wilson, Good Times Bad Times” Encore – Gorge Ampitheatre, George, WA 7/15/16, courtesy of Tom Rowles:Dead & Company. The formation of this group, with the official announcement coming on the heels of the historic Fare Thee Well shows at Soldier Field, many fans didn’t know what to expect with the naming of John Mayer taking the lead. It’s not easy to step into Jerry’s spot on stage, with his ever-looming shadow (which is more fan created than anything else) hovering over every minute detail that Mayer’s deft playing can clearly handle. But to do so in such convincing fashion, with relative ease, and making a legion of new fans of the Deadhead faithful, is beyond anyone’s initial expectations. Add the brilliant Oteil Burbridge on bass, Jeff Chimenti on keys, to the trifecta of Bob Weir, Billy Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart, and Dead & Company have been nothing short of a phenomenon. The only question, at this point, is in how long this lineup will actually continue. Dead & Company “China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider” at Folsom Field – Boulder, CO 7/3/16, courtesy of Dear Marie BR:The String Cheese Incident. What cannot be said of SCI? Not only is the band locked in at the moment, with this past weekend’s Red Rocks run as clear evidence with three mind-bending shows, but they are still writing new music that is actually really good and translates seamlessly into the live setting. With their new formula of releasing singles as they are written and recorded from their recently built Sound Lab, as opposed to sitting on the tunes or playing them out in the live setting before ever being released in the standard album format, this is some serious sharp Cheese. And with hosting events such as Electric Forest and Suwannee Hulaween, creating those all-inclusive environments that SCI has been known for over the years, has been another essential element to their continued success since their return from hiatus. Arguably the most stylistically diverse of all the jam acts, SCI is still building momentum as they near their 25th year of existence.The String Cheese Incident – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO 7/16/16 – courtesy of taper Cheese Cadet Audio:The Disco Biscuits. Like the above acts, The Disco Biscuits have certainly had their ups and downs over the years; but after truly cementing a balanced strategy on touring, multi-night runs, and festival appearances, to say the group is invigorated would be a gross understatement. The last two years for the Philly-based act has seen some of the most consistent playing from all four members in their entire career, especially guitarist Jon “The Barber” Gutwillig. When he is on, you can count on the music transcending. The jamming that has been witnessed as of late is out of this world. There really isn’t a group in the scene that takes the improvisational chances that the Biscuits do, playing entire sets with absolutely no stops. Their unique ability to invert songs is often overlooked by those outside of the Bisco faithful. While they coined the term ‘trance-fusion’, they are a pure jamband at heart.The Disco Biscuits – The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY 3/26/16 (taped by Jesse Hurlburt):Umphrey’s McGee. Probably the most legitimately consistent band in the jam scene in the last decade. With their prog-rock heavy style and innate ability to communicate through the music, the gentlemen of Umphrey’s easily deserve a place on this list amongst the top tier in the jam scene. Playing 100+ shows a year, and playing at the high level that they have, day in and day out, is a commendable feat. From the outside perspective, it certainly doesn’t look like there has been much of a change in attitude with the band, considering the expanding families of each member, yet their ability to still hit the road at the level in which they do can only be seen as increasingly positive.Umphrey’s McGee – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO 7/2/16 – courtesy of TheSoberGoat: Widespread Panic. Currently celebrating their 30th Anniversary, the Athens, GA-based rockers have decided to scale things back starting next year, but are still hitting it out of the ballpark in the live setting. You would think that after losing founding member and lead guitarist Michael Houser back in 2002, it would have spelled disaster for Panic. But fast-forward to 2016, after some bumps and bruises along the way, and you’ll see John Bell and company have been on a recent tear. And who doesn’t like to rock out to Jimmy Herring shredding a guitar solo? And with the youthful drive and presence of drummer Duane Trucks on stage, there’s truly something to be said about the state of Panic in 2016. If you haven’t recently, go see them live — before they pump the breaks in 2017.Widespread Panic “Conrad” – The Wiltern – Los Angleles, CA 7/16/16, courtesy of MrTopdogger:STS9. It’s nothing new….band members come and go, with new one’s having to fill the void of past. STS9 is no different. After the departure of founding bassist David Murphy, Alana Rocklin stepped in to the role, and the group quickly found a synergy with the super talented bass player (who had performed with the band on several occasions over the years). The instrumental livetronica act has once again found their groove and are taking no prisoners, serving up some serious dance-driven beats to go along with a consistent approach towards activism and change. Whether it is the full live set, or their special “Axe The Cables” stripped down version, STS9 is still a force to be reckoned with.Lotus. Similar to Umphrey’s McGee, Lotus has also been one of the most consistent bands in the jam scene, playing upwards of 100+ shows a year for well over ten years, while building a grassroots fan base through constant touring and the release of new music. And when drummer Mike Greenfield joined the group several years back, it seemed the progressive and post-rock tendencies of Lotus were amplified and the band has witnessed a distinct upwards trajectory ever since.Lotus – Catskill Chill Music Festival 2013 – Full Set:Lettuce. The new-age masters of funk have truly changed the game over the last twenty years. They are literally writing their own chapter in the Book of Funk and have been one of those crossover bands that have led the EDM scene to embrace those soulful and funky beats, while bringing a strong incorporation of horns into their own music. Members of Lettuce play in Soulive, Pretty Lights Live Band, and Break Science, amongst others, while the group has collaborated with guitarist Derek Trucks, producer GRiZ, virtually every funk musician in the collective scene of New Orleans, and many other legendary musicians of our time. Whatever style Lettuce brings to the table, you can bet that they can fit into any situation and there will be some serious jamming going on.Lettuce – Jam Cruise 2016 – Pantheon Theater – courtesy of FunkItBlog:Fifteen years ago, outside of the Grateful Dead (and related Dead acts) and Phish, these were all the emerging bands in the jam scene. With these acts now heading into their third decade of existence, and plenty of up-and-comers on their heels, the real question remains what band/s will emerge as the successor to the throne held by the Dead and Phish? With so much saturation in the jam scene, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering the level of play that all of the aforementioned bands display, will we ever see a jam band achieve the heights of popularity that both legendary acts have enjoyed? My leaning is towards no, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it can’t happen. And it also doesn’t discount the sheer amount of incredible music that the jam scene is producing these days. And whether or not that changing of the guard ever occurs, we should take solace in the fact that we are truly witnessing a “Jam Renaissance” right at this very moment, and have a plethora of brilliant artists to choose from and enjoy for a long time to come.[cover photo courtesy of Jordan Inglee – Visual Suplex – @visualsuplex]
London, Sep 9: Spain and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has revealed that his family received “death threats” in the aftermath of the Champions League final against Liverpool where he fouled Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.Ramos, 32, was jeered throughout Spain’s 2-1 victory over England at Wembley in a UEFA Nations League game.In the Champions League final, which Real won 3-1 in May to claim their third successive crown, Salah was forced off with a shoulder injury midway through the first half following a challenge by Ramos.”One tries to evade (the boos). In the end you feel it, but I stay out of everything. It doesn’t affect my game,” Ramos was quoted as saying by ESPNFC on Saturday.”I would have liked another reception because people only remember the action of the final, and nobody remembers the death threats that my family and my children received.”It is a very sensitive issue that people maybe take as a joke about and (that’s why they) whistle in a great stadium like this. My conscience is very clear. I already explained (what happened), and I do not have to give more explanations.”Ramos has time and again denied trying to intentionally hurt Salah.”You never expect a reception that is not good because, as I said the other day if these [English] fans have something good, it is that they have always been with the great players. It has not been like that, but I am very calm, with my conscience very clear in that aspect.”As I said before, I have never tried to hurt a colleague. There are people who may have misunderstood it, but these are football things. It will not change anything in my game or in me.”Meanwhile, he was effusive in his praise for Spain and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea who made a string of saves to keep England and especially Marcus Rashford at bay.”He is a great goalkeeper. We have always said it,” Ramos said. “The big games are those that mark the great players. After a World Cup with many doubts, he deserved (a performance such as this).”He is a great goalkeeper, and today he has (had) a great game, he has made some interventions that have marked the result of the game. Hopefully, it is also a beginning, and that will help him to gain confidence because he is a key player for us,” Ramos added. IANS
— The Southeastern Conference will require football players and others in direct contact with the program to be tested at least twice weekly during the season. The league on Friday released its initial COVID-19 requirements for fall sports, including football. In football, the testing will typically come six days and three days before competition. Coaches, staff and other personnel will be required to wear face coverings on the sidelines at sporting events this fall.— Maryland senior quarterback Josh Jackson has opted out of the upcoming football season, leaving the Terrapins with very little depth and experience at the pivotal position. Jackson is the most prominent of six Maryland players who have decided not to play in 2020 for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. — North Carolina defensive backs D.J. Ford, Javon Terry and Bryce Watts have opted out of playing this season due to concerns about the coronavirus. The team had previously announced that offensive lineman Triston Miller would not play due to “family reasons.”— Duke coach David Cutcliffe says long snapper Ben Wyatt and offensive tackle Jacob Rimmer have opted out of playing this season because of concerns about the virus. Last week the school announced that 25 athletes had tested positive over the previous three weeks as they began returning to campus for voluntary workouts, with nine in mandatory isolation. The school said all cases involved no or mild symptoms. PGA CHAMPIONSHIP In other NFL news:—The Washington Football Team has released running back Derrius Guice (GYS) after he was charged in multiple domestic violence incidents. The Loudoun (LOW’-don) County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Department said Guice was arrested on one count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery and one count of destruction of property. The Sheriff’s Department said it became aware in July of incidents in February, March and April. The 23-year-old Guice turned himself in and was released on $10,000 bond. — Coaches will have their own category for being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at least for the next four years. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees has approved a change in the selection process. Effective with the class of 2021, there will be 15 modern-era players as finalists with a maximum of five ultimately elected. There also will be one coach finalist, one senior finalist and one contributor finalist through the selection of the class of 2024. Coaches were previously considered along with players and that lessened their chances of being elected to the Canton, Ohio, shrine. — New York Giants long snapper and Pro Bowler Zak DeOssie has retired. DeOssie, who spent all 13 of his seasons with the Giants, announced his retirement Friday. A 2007 fourth-round draft pick out of Brown, he won Super Bowls with the Giants in his rookie year and again in the 2011 season. He earned Pro Bowl berths in 2008 and ’10.— New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker has been formally charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm in connection with a fight at a cookout in May in Florida. Authorities say Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar, who also was arrested, won’t be prosecuted because of insufficient evidence. Baker is accused of stealing cash and watches from four men. The punishment in event of a conviction is a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in state prison. Baker surrendered to jail on May 16 and was released on bond. His next court date hasn’t been announced. White, Poeltl lead Spurs past short-handed Jazz 119-111LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Derrick White scored 24 points, Jakob Poeltl added 19 points and 10 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs got a much-needed win over the short-handed Utah Jazz 119-111. Lonnie Walker and Rudy Gay each added 14 points for the Spurs. San Antonio moved into 10th place in the Western Conference and is a half-game ahead of the surging Phoenix Suns. The Suns are 4-0 since the NBA restart but were idle Friday. Gay scored 10 points during one stretch in the third quarter to help open a 16-point lead. In other Friday NBA action:Dillon Brooks scored 22 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies claimed their first win since the restart with a 121-92 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jonas Valanciunas had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Ja Morant had 19 points and nine assists for the Grizzlies. Memphis shot 55% and avoided falling into a tie with Portland for eight place in the Western Conference standings. Chris Paul scored 17 points and Luguentz Dort added 16 for the Thunder. Li at his best and holds club housey lead at PGA ChampionshipSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — There’s no telling what to expect from Li Haotong. The 25-year-old from China was at his best in the PGA Championship with a bogey-free round of 65. That gave Li an early two-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood among the morning starters Friday at Harding Park. Li was at 8-under 132. Li is one of only six players with a 63 in the final round of a major. He also had a tough debut in the Presidents Cup. Mike Hoffman scored his Florida-leading third goal and fifth point of the series but the 10th-seeded Panthers wound up one-and-done for their fifth consecutive postseason appearance.In other NHL action:Brad Richardson scored on a rebound in overtime, Darcy Kuemper stopped 49 shots and the Arizona Coyotes advanced in the postseason for the first time in eight years with a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. The Western Conference’s No. 11 seed took a 2-0 lead early in the second period but allowed Nashville to tie it and went ahead 3-2 on Jordan Oesterle’s goal early in the third. Nashville pulled goalie Juuse Saros late in the third period and Filip Forsberg tied it with 32 seconds left on a one-timer after Roman Josi kept the puck in Arizona’s zone. Richardson won it after he redirected Vinnie Hinostroza’s shot and punched the rebound in past Saros.—Artturi Lehkonen flipped a shot past Tristan Jarry with 4:11 remaining to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a stunning 2-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins that clinched their first playoff berth in three years. Paul Byron took advantage of a Pittsburgh turnover, darted behind the Penguins net and slipped a pass to Lehkonen in front. The 25-year-old Lehkonen found enough space between four Pittsburgh players to slip the puck into the open net. The12th-seeded Canadiens captured the best-of-five qualifying round over fifth-seeded Pittsburgh in four games.NBA-SCHEDULE — The San Francisco 49ers have signed defensive lineman Dion Jordan to a one-year contract. The deal adds another former first-round pick to San Francisco’s talented line. Jordan was the No. 3 overall pick by Miami in 2013 but has never lived up to his billing because of injuries and substance abuse problems. He has been suspended 32 games over his career for violating NFL rules on substance abuse and performance-enhancing drugs and has also had two operations on his knee. — Linebacker Vic Beasley reported to the Tennessee Titans on Friday, and he has been activated off the Reserve/DidNot Report list. The Titans also put defensive lineman Jack Crawford on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning he had either tested positive for COVID-19 or has been quarantined after coming in close contact with someone who’s infected. — The Detroit Lions are preparing to host fans at all eight regular-season home games, although it’s uncertain how many will be allowed to attend. The NFL club said Friday that season-ticket holders can opt out of purchasing tickets for the 2020 season if they want. The team also is offering various incentives for fans who defer payments to the 2021 season instead of asking for refunds. VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTSBig Sky joins Pioneer League in dropping fall football Associated Press August 7, 2020 Major League Baseball said the game was called off to allow more time for additional testing and to complete the contact tracing process. The Cardinals have been off since last Friday, when two players returned positive coronavirus tests. Eight players in total have tested positive, including star catcher Yadier Molina.The Cardinals spent five days in quarantine in a Milwaukee hotel before finally being cleared to travel back to St. Louis late Tuesday, when they returned negative tests for the second straight day. They got workouts in at home and had been prepared to return to the field Friday. In other MLB news:— Major League Baseball has announced changes to the regular-season schedule to account for 21 games postponed in the first two weeks by coronavirus issues, and a few clubs are looking at unusual finishes. The Phillies and Marlins are set to play seven times in five days next month. Miami will finish the season playing 27 games in 23 days, a stretch featuring no days off and four doubleheaders in a 10-day span. Philadelphia is slated for six doubleheaders in 60 games, meaning 20% of their games this season will be just seven innings long. Miami was already scheduled to host Philadelphia for four games Sept. 10-13. The series has been extended to include a game on Monday, Sept. 14, and doubleheaders have been scheduled for that Friday and Sunday. The St. Louis Cardinals, who have been out of action since July 31 because of an outbreak, have added three doubleheaders against the Brewers to a previously scheduled series to make up their three games postponed last weekend. — World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his season debut for the Washington Nationals on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles. He has been sidelined in 2020 by a nerve issue in his pitching hand. Nationals manager Dave Martinez says the tingling in Strasburg’s right thumb is gone and nothing in the pitcher’s mechanics has changed. Williamson has averaged nearly 17 points and about 19 minutes in the Pelicans’ four games in the Disney complex. He has averaged 22.4 points in 23 total games this season after missing the first 44 games of his rookie campaign while recovering from right knee surgery.The Pelicans’ playoff hopes have faded with three losses in their past four games. They might need to win all of their final four regular-season games to have a chance to qualify.MLB-NEWSAnother positive test, another postponement for CardinalsUNDATED (AP) — Friday night’s game in St. Louis between the Cardinals and the Cubs has been postponed after another St. Louis player tested positive for COVID-19. UNDATED (AP) — The Big Sky Conference has postponed its football season until spring and called for the FCS playoffs to be moved to the second semester as well. The Big Sky’s decision Friday all but officially ends any chance of the FCS playoffs being held in the fall. The FCS playoffs are an NCAA-sponsored event unlike the College Football Playoff which crowns a champion at the highest level of Division I. The Big Sky, traditionally one of the strongest FCS conferences with Montana, Eastern Washington and Montana State, said it will attempt to play an eight-game conference schedule in the spring.In other pandemic-related developments:— The Pioneer League says it won’t play a fall football schedule but would consider playing a football season at another point in the school year if feasible. The 11-team Pioneer League spans from the Midwest to the West Coast. — The NCAA Division II South Atlantic Conference is postponing its fall sports schedule until the spring of 2021. The league said its impacted sports are men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey and volleyball. The league is made up of 13 schools in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. — Federal prosecutors say a former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Prosecutors in Texas say Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court. Kay was communications director for the Angels. Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. Prosecutors are accusing Kay of giving the fentanyl to Skaggs.NFL-NEWSNewton says he’s ready to go in New EnglandUNDATED (AP) — New Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is a week into the latest step in his career. He says he isn’t as much concerned with replacing Tom Brady or silencing his doubters as with proving to himself that he’s still capable of performing at his highest level. The 2011 No. 1 overall draft pick says he’s full go after back-to-back injury-plagued seasons in Carolina. He also says there’s no ill will toward the Panthers after they released him in March with one year remaining on a five-year, $103.8 million contract. NBA-WILLIAMSON OUTPelicans resting Zion Williamson against WizardsLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans have scratched rookie Zion Williamson from the lineup for Friday night’s game against the Washington Wizards.The team designated Friday a rest day for the NBA’s top overall draft choice after he scored 24 points in 22 minutes in the Pelicans’ 140-125 loss to Sacramento on Thursday.The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Williamson has seen his playing time limited after missing nearly two weeks of practice in July to attend to a family medical matter. The former Duke star has played as few as 14 minutes and not more than 25 minutes in a game since the Pelicans resumed their season July 30. Update on the latest sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNHL PLAYOFFSIslanders advance with 5-1 win over PanthersTORONTO (AP) — Anthony Beauvillier scored twice and the New York Islanders beat the Florida Panthers 5-1 to clinch an NHL best-of-five preliminary round playoff series in four games. Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal had a goal and assist each in a game the Islanders never trailed. Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 shots, Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored an empty-netter and the Eastern Conference’s seventh-seeded Islanders bounced back from a 3-2 loss in Game 3 on Wednesday.