Sep 292007

Last night we decided we weren’t going to attend the Big Spring Jam this year.

It was a tough call. The Big Spring Jam is a sentimental event for us. Lea and I started becoming a couple at the Jam in 1994. I had met her two months earlier at my girlfriend-at-the-time Jennifer’s birthday party, and was smitten with her then, and Jennifer had decided to move to Nashville in the meantime. By the time the Jam came around, Jennifer and I had removed the feeding tube from our relationship, even if it hadn’t quite expired yet.

So, fueled by liquid courage and a warm feeling at seeing her again, I opened a flirtation with Lea about 15 rows back from the one and only Webb Wilder, she reciprocated, and here we are 13 years later.

Plus, I’ve never missed one. This is Big Spring Jam XV, and I hate to end my streak.

Our original plan was to go tonight. But objectively, what it added up to was $80 out-of-pocket for walk-around dinner while we see and listen to Cracker and Seether. That’s at least twice what I’d spend for that opportunity under other circumstances, and the veneer of the Jam shouldn’t, and doesn’t, close so large a gap.

It’s an anemically weak ticket this year. A usual Jam lineup includes a first-tier star act or two, a second-tier star act or three, a few up-and-comers, a few local acts, a few old-timers, and a few old-timers using a storied name with an often only tenuous connection to the personnel who made the name storied in the first place. It’s generally not difficult to come up with four or five folks you wouldn’t mind seeing, with one or two for whom you make some effort.

Uh, not this year. Check out the lineup here and see if you see anybody who makes you say “oh man, I gotta see them.”

Also, I hear from a friend who is a prominent local musician that the Jam doesn’t have any local acts this year because they didn’t want to pay them, which is just sorry. This may be part of why they’ve compressed the hours, as well. The Jam has always been Friday evening through Sunday night, with the gates opening around noon on Saturday and Sunday. This year they’re opening at 4:00.

Big Spring Jam XV sucks, organizers. Please glean the necessary message from what I’m sure will be significantly depressed attendance this year and make Big Spring Jam XVI better.

Thank you in advance.

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 Posted by at 4:53 pm

  4 Responses to “Maybe next year, Big Spring Jam”

  1. Dr. John!!! Hmmm. Now I want to go tomorrow night. I liked Big Spring Jam when it was more of a “sleeper” – the first few years had light, but serious crowds. Dr. John played at the Jam when I was heavy with my first child. Now said child has the makings of a piano prodigy. Coincidence? Maybe I should bring him down to see old Mac tickle the ivories. It is a little too late for the girl. Wanna go? Ha ha ha.

  2. The Jam hasn’t paid local performers since year 2 (the last time I played there). I’m glad the organizers finally, publicly admitted this, after denying it for years.

    Donn Jennings stated this week in The Times that local bands were axed from this year’s lineup for ‘lack of interest.’ The ‘lack of interest’ isn’t among the community or audience, but rather from the local musicians themselves.

    Play for free in exchange for ‘exposure’ at the Jam? No thanks… I can make a couple hundred bucks across town at the same time and not have to haul my own gear.

  3. Have to (respectfully) disagree on the lineup this year. I think it’s much stronger than the last couple. Keller Williams, though he had an off night Friday, is incredible. If you have never heard/seen him, you need to check him out next time you get a chance. Hopefully he will be in better form w/o the technical issues. Last night’s Seether/Breaking Benjamin/Three Days Grace lineup on the WZYP stage drew as big a crowd as I think I have ever seen at the Jam, I definitely think they made up for the last couple of year’s losses. I am a huge BB fan and they were great. My nine year old is a big Three Days Grace fan and he had a blast (yes, I know I am going to He** on the express lane as a mother for letting my child listen to such….I won’t mention the RATM…LOL!) Tonight…Whiskey Falls (my ONE country act…and only because I went to college with one of the guys in the band – they ARE good btw) Puddle of Mudd, and DR JOHN!!! A Legend….Hsv needs to turn out for him…you are missing a treat. And if you have not seen the North Mississippi Allstars you should check them out tonight b/f Dr John – they are an interesting bunch. Saw them at Bonnaroo. Hard to classify but a lot of fun – funk, blues, roots, soul, and rock all mixed together.

  4. Still have not attended. Even though I ‘ve been here for going on 5 years! I have to keep up my record…
    I had planned on going the very first year – Everclear was playing – but they broke up just before the JAM and cancelled. So I didn’t go.

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