While Bonnaroo has moved a long way from their first edition in 2002 which featured top of the bill performances from Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, Trey Anastasio, and Phil Lesh, there is still plenty for fans of the jam scene to do at Bonnaroo 2014. From fan favorite regulars to bands making returns after lengthy absences to relative newcomers, here are 5 bands that are guaranteed to bring the jams to Bonnaroo 2014.
Very few things are sure in life. One of those things is that you can almost guarantee Umphrey's McGee at Bonnaroo every second year. There's a good reason for this. The Chicago based jammers consistently bring the goods with their energetic mix of progressive rock, jazz, funk, and jam. Their Late Night set in 2012 was considered by many to be one of the best of the year. We'll have to wait for the schedule to be released to find out of Umphrey's McGee will bring their impressive light show to another Late Night set or let their music doing all the talking in a mid-afternoon performance. Whenever they play, they're sure to draw a crowd.
Yonder Mountain String Band
Kanye West isn't the only one from the Bonnaroo 2008 lineup making a return. Colorado bluegrass jammers Yonder Mountain String Band will also be making their first appearance on the Farm since 2008. One of the most recognizable bands on the jam scene, Yonder Mountain String Band's music is progressive bluegrass on Red Bull. Dazzlingly fast and endearingly goofy in their audience banter, Yonder Mountain String Band has amassed an ever growing fan base through relentless touring and festival performances.
John Butler Trio
Australian group John Butler Trio are no strangers to Bonnaroo. They played the very first one in 2002 and have returned to play a few times since, the last time being at Bonnaroo 2010. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Butler really shines on slide guitar. But don't think Butler is the only only instrumental superstar in this group. Bassist Byron Luiters and percussionist Grant Gerathy hold their own ably with Butler. Impossible to pigeonhole into a musical style, John Butler Trio's sounds careen between rock, blues, bluegrass, and jam seamlessly.
Tedeschi Trucks Band
The husband and wife duo of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks certainly have the musical pedigree to bring the jams to their Bonnaroo 2014 performance. She is a critically acclaimed blues guitarist and vocalist. He is half of the blistering dual guitar threat in Southern rock giants The Allman Brothers Band. Together, they are a 6 string force of nature. Trucks' time with The Allman Brothers has given him more than a little bit of jam pedigree and Tedeschi's frequent collaborations with blues legends throughout the years makes her a perfect complement for him. If you like your jam with a deep blues vein, you won't want to miss Tedeschi Trucks Band.
While the youngest performers on this list, Greensky Bluegrass are not festival newcomers. This newgrass jam group released their first album in 2004 and has been taking the festival circuit by storm ever since. Whether laying down some dazzlingly fast bluegrass licks or doing a twangy take on a psychedelic cover like Pink Floyd's "Time/Breathe", Greensky Bluegrass knows how to bring the party to any show they perform.