Music » Critics' Picks

Eli Jones

10 p.m. Saturday, December 13. The Gramophone, 4243 Manchester Avenue.



Recent (if underdeveloped) trends indicate a realignment of the jam band fraternal order, a shift from Grateful Dead necrophilia and Dave Matthews devotionalism to a more song-centered fusion of funk, blues and soul. Case in point is the Chicago big band Eli Jones, which gains distance from collegiate neo-hippie boogie through smartly charted horns, a gritty, Rufus-esque rhythm section, and a singer, Stefanie Berecz, who sounds uncannily like a de-glammed and de-glossed Joss Stone. Founder and guitarist Brendan O'Connell can still push the interstellar envelope when the 'shrooms kick in, but the band is mostly content to play the rhythm and the blues, without excessive deference to past masters and without overthinking a good, soulful thing.

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