Southern Harmony & Jam Music for the Soul

Yeah...what's that though?

Anthem-like instrumental arrangements fused with defining moments of improvisation, seamless transitions, storytelling, and the persistent notion of combining genres—it's been described along those lines. The band, on the other hand, says it's a sound that comes from not getting out too much. It's a sound, by their best estimates, that must have come from staying around the house, listening to records, and learning to sing songs and play an instrument with the same people that you grew up with. That's how The Peach Truck came into its own. And so it thrives to this day, be that in the studio or on the stage.

Jazz, blues, folk, country, bluegrass and rock all woven together—call it the result of artistic indulgence if you will, but you'll still find yourself compelled to listen (even if it's for no other reason than to try to categorize them). Hear them once, and you'll know them. Try to explain them to a friend, and you'll run into some problems. In the end, it's often easier to say what they are not than it is to say what they are.

They're not blues or country proper. They're not rock with a front man. They are definitely not pop, not pretty, but not ugly nor altogether atonal. They are not effects laden, not overdriven. They are not too hard and not too soft, not too experimental and not too traditional, but still not in the middle either. There are no substitutions, excuses or apologists of any kind that might be attributed to a lack of musicianship, but that doesn't mean that they require a trained ear nor that the listener be especially cerebral. Their motives are arguable, questionable, perhaps even nonsensical to most people. It is their obvious intention to listen and to play, to be true to what moves them as musicians. And that in itself might help to smooth and satisfy some, but once you take into consideration the band's ever-changing notion of community, their belief that there is something other than themselves in the center and that they, along with all of their other concerns, are orbiting in a mutually beneficial way—around that center—things can get sticky if not controversial. They are their families. They are their friends. They are their wives, their children. They are their music, their work, their play, their homes—everything they do or say. And all of these things are inseparable, and for many in the music world, a bit too real.

All of this would seem to be readily acceptable in certain circles, but there are still some folks that don't know what to make of it. After all, it's southern, and there's a content and character that reflects this, but it's not redneck; it's blues and rock, but neither generic nor juvenile; it's country and folk, but not necessarily cry in your beer or remember the Trail of Tears; it'll go jazz on you, step out on a mammoth instrumental full of architecture and collective improvisation, sometimes even wreaking of psychedelia, but it's seldom inaccessible; it's a bit of this and a bit of that, and while most folks are okay to settle down with any combination of the before mentioned descriptions, there's still this one term out there that tends to raise some suspicion: What's all that talk about a jamband? Good question...

The Peach Truck Republic has been mistaken, misplaced, misrepresented and misfit in every way known to man, and, as a result of that,  they have often thought themselves a band without a home. More often than not, they've resolved to go it alone, remaining true to some distant tune of some other drummer. For a long time it was just square pegs and round holes for them, a square peg and round hole for nearly every label that was ever extended to them, that is, all but one—Jamband. And though it was a term that took them unaware, it was still an identifier that offered inclusion for them. But there was a catch.

Most jambands are defined by their ability to improvise in the live music setting  (...okay, check). Most jambands are defined by their penchant for the fusion of genres and the incorporation of covers (check). Most jambands can lay down a danceable groove (check...especially if you can boot-scoot). And, what's better, most are further identified by their fans—by the nimble ears of their listeners (check). Most do. Most are. But there is a problem, one that's inherent in the unofficial definition; it seems that most jambands are known by the fact that they don't make good studio records. Bang. Not good.

And so here we are again, back where we began with a definition that just doesn't quite fit, that is, unless you allow for one minor adjustment (which we are about to make). When it comes to The Peach Truck, you see, there is one very large, very real, fundamental and unavoidable difference between them and what the rule is. The great fact is just this:  most jambands simply aren't from Texas.


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ted with Permission, 2004-2007


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