I’ll freely admit that I don’t get the whole jam band thing—too many frat-dudes, the dancing is too weird, and, frankly, sandals hurt my feet. But when I popped the Disco Biscuits’ new two-disc live album, the band’s sixth, into my CD player, something dawned on me—damn, these guys are playing. And as we all know, real, kick-ass playing is at somewhat of a premium these days. The Biscuits’ Jon Gutwillig is a facile, inventive guitarist who jumps from John McLaughlin’s Jack Johnson-era dissonance to more playful wah-wah workouts. But when the time comes to really throw down, Gutwillig is ready, armed with chops that suggest he’s spent some quality time with records from the Allman Brothers, Jeff Beck, and a who’s-who of ’70s fusion. Gutwillig and keyboardist Aron Magner spar back and forth enough to give the band’s improvisations some teeth, and overall, the Biscuits’ have an amazing sense of group dynamics, as they realize that just because everyone in the band has an instrument, it doesn’t mean they have to play all the time.(Diamond Riggs Records). —Darrin Fox
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