Local Musician's Spotlight

Check their MySpace page, www.myspace.com/jatobamusic, for other shows.

This past weekend, I asked the band a few questions about their music,

What are your influences?

All of us have different musical backgrounds, so our influences vary heavily. We are all huge fans of rock bands like Ween, Phish, Radiohead, and Led Zeppelin, but we also pull inspiration from Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, John Hartford, David Grisman, Martin Sexton, Michael Hedges, and a host of other acoustic artists.

Who did you grow up liking and listening to, and who are your favorite musicians now?

We are all products of the 90's, so bands like Nirvana, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots,The Doors, The Grateful Dead, and Pearl Jam were a big part of our childhood musical experiences. Now our music preferences have switched gears, and we tend to listen much more to jazz greats like Miles Davis and Charles Mingus, as well as hip-hop and electronic music, such as Air, Theivery Coporation, and Buck 65.

Where did you first meet?

Jason and John both grew up in Roanoke, VA. They met at a party one night in high school and jammed out there, and have been playing music ever since. Jason moved to Brattleboro in 2004, met Jeff in 2005 through a mutual friend, and started a rock band called Phil And The Fuzz. John eventually moved out from Colorado to join that band, and when we discontinued that project, Jatoba was spawned.

How did you come to create the band? I mean, did you proceed with the idea of creating this type of sound, or did you start playing together and develop it organically?

John and Jason actually started Jatoba with the goal of doing a progressive acoustic rock type of style. When Jeff joined them playing the double bass, the bluegrass aspect of our music really started to develop. Over the past year or so, we have come to hone in our sound, and create the type of music that we play.

Who plays what?

John Jamison plays the acoustic guitar, mandolin, and sitar. Jason Scaggs plays several acoustic guitars in various tunings, the baritone acoustic guitar, and the banjo. Jeff Richardson plays the double bass, and on occasion the spoons. We all sing in harmony, and on a few tunes beat-box and do other sorts of vocal improvisation.

How did you learn to play?

Listening, practice, and constant experimentation.

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