What’s this? Hash what now? Are these guys referring to a hash made out of cabbage or profits made off of selling hash? No matter. These exceedingly mellow jambanders have the atmosphere down pat: a stew of reggae (an option for too few jam bands), smooth soul and funk, and cool jazz.
Most of the explorations here take place between Kyle Bonasso’s guitar (treated with underwater wah and other gently psychedelic effects), Nathan Ruhl’s sparkling Fender Rhodes runs, and the surprisingly regional patois of singer Kenny “Jeff” Jefferson, who even sings one of the tracks in Cajun French. The rhythm section’s no slouch either, giving the reggae tracks a decidedly Meters-like snap. And both the double-time quick step of “Kimiko” and the chicken-scratch funk of “Honeysuckle” bring to mind the breezy sound of vintage Dead mixed with ’70s R&B.
Better still, Jefferson’s natural vocal twang diverts some of these noodlings into progressive country territory, like the road ballad “Rings of Silver,” and the most up-tempo song here, “Ouachita Mountains,” a song-story so buoyant that Kyle starts to sound like Dickey Betts instead of Jerry Garcia. As for the lyrics, they’re the kind of upbeat paeans to love and nature you usually find with festival bands. But they take a backseat to the atmosphere anyway, which is the kind of gently groovy, ever-shifting palette that’s perfect if you’re smoking, uh, cabbage.