X-Mas Jam and Pre-Jam
Asheville Civic Center
12.15.06 and 12.16.06
Christmas came early and lasted 2 days for the city of Asheville and those in attendance at The 18th Annual Christmas Jam. Having come from 42 states and as far away as the Czech Republic, the ticket holders to this year's event were about to be overwhelmed with a torrent of talent and list of legends.
The weekend began Friday night at The Orange Peel for the Pre-Jam. Devil Likes It Slow with Branford Marsalis was truly a musical treat to behold. Dave Schools and Randall Bramlett took their turn to the delight of all for Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys and stayed on to welcome Marty Stuart, Taj Mahal, Branford Marsalis, George Porter, Mickey Raphael and a host of others as they closed with Dylan's I Shall Be Released.
Saturday morning saw the Mule crew putting together the final touches for what would be an epic evening of music. As Dave Matthews’ set wrapped up, he and Warren started into Cortez The Killer and as the intensity rose, Matt, Andy and Danny assumed their positions and a full tilt, hard rockin' Cortez made itself known as it roared throughout the arena. Branford Marsalis came to lay his gift at the tree next to Dave Matthews' for a stunning All Along The Watchtower. "Legend" underestimates the talent of Taj Mahal who came to the stage with his Leaving Trunk; a bluesy song that was a first timer for the Mule. Sco-Mule featured the musical stylings of Brendan Bayliss and Dave Schools who remained for Mule with Randall Bramlett.
Sugaree came first as the encore and the band was joined by Marty Stuart, Brendan Bayliss and Taylor Hicks on the harmonica and vocals. For the send off to Christmas Jam 2006, I Shall Be Released was performed with Kevn Kinney, Marty Stuart, Tal Mahal, Randall Bramlett, Ivan Neville and many more. With so many gifts in one weekend, it's almost like having Christmas in December.