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The Ringers At BB Kings, Friday, February 22nd, 2013 Reviewed

Alyson wrote about how we can learn to love music we hate, and I will listen to music I don't like at least until I know why I dislike it. This has lead me to appreciate a type of music, jam bands, I truly loathed for years and years and years. I took the long way round, moving from a true improvisational music, free form jazz, and moving in sideways through the Allman Brothers.

I got here eventually but I still need a song form to hold on to and I don't get it from the Ringers. In theory, watching the five piece jam supergroup, I completely see why the audience is in awe of them. Jimmy Herring is from the Grateful Dead instrumental cover band not to mention Widespread Panic's guitarist, Bass player, Etienne Mbappe, has a terrific album with  the Zawinul Syndicate, Wayne Krantz wrote the book on improv…  really, three front rank guitarist who start with no more lack and trade off solos for fifteen minute and then stop and start again and the audience is really awed.

But I can not hear it. It is long and enervated and a bit self satisfied. Herring plays jazzy improvisations, Michael Laundau (a major major session guitarist) has a taste for hard rock if anything and Keith Herring is bluesier but that is just the broadest of strokes. Really, I am not sure if they are doing anything, , since the songs never circle back they aren't like jazz and since they have no melodies they aren't like rock and since they certainly are not 12 bar anything, they aren't blues. They are all function no form and I found very difficult to really appreciate it. The music includes elements of rock, jazz, African, but they fit like an awkward puzzle of sound. 

There is nothing recorded (though might bet is they are taping it for an album) and if you love it I won't argue with you but I don't. I admired it from a distance and I think if the lines of the sounds were clearly  delineated I would enjoy it more. Would I see them again? Yes, absolutely. I love things I don't much understand and for once I would really appreciate a fan putting me in my place. 

Grade: B

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