While the jam community may never have been a large target for the recording industry or popular music at large, Spotify has taken a step toward acknowledging the overlooked scene with the launch of “The Lot”. This new playlist, which went active earlier this month, seeks to create an all-encompassing mecca for live music fans.
Much like the slang from which its name is derived, “The Lot” aims to be a one-stop shop for all things “jam”. From legends as well as developing artists, showcasing live talent as well as diligent studio work, “The Lot” pledges to have it all.
With the tagline “hand-picked kind, tasty jams” and a picture of the late-1970s/early-80s Grateful Dead (judging by Brent Mydland‘s luscious locks), “The Lot” appears to have all the trimmings of a jam playlist. Leading off with a live cut of “Bertha” from the Dead’s recently-released Workingman’s Dead (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition), followed by “Chalk Dust Torture” from Phish‘s Baker’s Dozen box set, things are off to a good start. The old guard of Grateful Dead and Phish are well represented with other founders like The Allman Brothers Band and torch carriers like Widespread Panic and The String Cheese Incident.
Where “The Lot” earns its bones, however, is with less-conventional choices. Sure, some intern (or, more likely, some algorithm) could have loaded hours upon hours of live cuts from Grateful Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic, The Allman Brothers Band, etc. and called it a day. But “The Lot” takes chances with fringe characters that the jam community, never one to hold its tongue, will no doubt criticize like My Morning Jacket, The Black Crowes, Vulfpeck, and just about any Dead cover the Spotify team could find. Yet there is also a certain depth shown with choices of more up-and-coming and below-the-radar (at least to the general public) bands like Goose, Spafford, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Twiddle, and more.
While “The Lot” may not be your hand-picked playlist compiled from decades of listening to the same bands on a constant basis, it presents an important first step from a major platform like Spotify in recognizing “this thing of ours.” Stream “The Lot”, the new jam playlist from Spotify, below.
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