Best Jam Band - 2006
The jam-band scene may have substantial amounts of hippie DNA, but it nevertheless rewards good old-fashioned hard work. While today's pop stars are born overnight in a manner akin to lottery winners, a successful jam band must evolve over time and prove its mettle onstage night after night, while attempting to build enduring relationships with fans instead of going for the quick score. Ten years ago the members of Madahoochi were just starting out, four nice kids gingerly charting a musical course through a somewhat murky post-Garcia universe. Since then they've released a handful of CDs, spent countless hours refining their craft at weekly gigs like their Monday-night residency at Cicero's (6691 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-862-0009) and logged thousands of miles on the road to festivals and clubs across the nation. Guitarist Scott Rockwood, keyboardist Shawn Hartung, bassist Beto Moreno and drummer Joe Winze have all grown individually as players, even as the band's collective writing and arranging skills have deepened and matured. And as their sound becomes more distinctive and their fan base spreads beyond St. Louis, Madahoochi seem well situated for continued success. It's a Horatio Alger story, clad in tie-dye.