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Re-banding

Jamantics get down again

Being in Jamantics is like riding a bicycle; however long its five members are apart, the moment they plug in and play, their reliable groove reappears. As rehearsals began for a Nov. 19 reunion show at Bank of NH Stage in Concord, the synergy “was immediate,” guitarist Lucas Gallo said. “Beyond Jamantics, we all have experience musically with each other. … Now the whole band’s back together and it’s sounding great, in my opinion.”

“It’s like putting on a well-oiled glove,” fellow guitar player Freeland Hubbard added.

The group officially existed only from 2009 to 2011 but didn’t break up; it disbanded. Drummer Masceo headed west, and the rest — Gallo, Hubbard, bass player Eric Reingold and fiddler Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki — carried on with other projects.

Reingold worked with several bands, including NEMA winners Cold Engines, while Tirrell-Wysocki appeared on recording sessions and played solo, as did Hubbard and Gallo, who also helped promote local shows. Masceo worked for Napa, California-based Enchanted Hills Camp and served as Jamantics’ archivist.

In October 2015, Jamantics “re-banded” for a show at Concord’s Capitol Center.

When Masceo moved back to Concord in 2019, a 10th anniversary reunion show happened at the newly opened Bank of NH Stage. A planned event the following year was scrapped due to pandemic concerns, but they’re back on Nov. 19 at the same venue for what’s hoped to be a yearly JamAnnual GetDown.

In advance of the show, a new single dropped; “Immortal” began in Masceo’s home studio.

“I was bored like everybody else during the pandemic, and what happened was a ball rolling situation,” he said. “Freeland, Reingold and I had been playing together as a trio; [then] I just kind of sprung it on everybody when it was done…. I wanted everybody to be happy; when there’s five people in a band, that can be a little stressful. I guess it was taking it one person at a time.”

Called InstaJam, the trio had a live debut planned in April 2020 that didn’t happen, but later in the year they began playing around the area as The Special Guests. Masceo remembers walking on stage for the first time after months of lockdown as emotional and unexpected.

“It certainly was a reflection of nostalgia about all the times we’d felt that way… in the pocket of the crowd’s energy, feeling good about the music we’re playing,” he said.

Reingold was philosophical about the experience.

“It’s very rare that we basically as a species all experience the same thing as one people,” he said. “We all experienced lockdown, and I think it goes without saying that nobody was unhappy to get back to the world. Not only musicians, but just everybody in general. It was a breath of fresh air … enhanced by the fact that we’re the ones that get to play for the people coming out.”

When Jamantics formed, their two-part mission was making music and fostering the local music scene. Even as they hit milestones like opening for Little Feat at Casino Ballroom in Hampton, they worked to bring regional bands to Concord for shows at Penuche’s, the Barley House and other venues. Ten years on, they’re pleased with the city’s commitment to local arts, particularly the Capitol Center and its satellite 600-seat room that Reingold calls “the perfect venue.”

Beginning with transforming the Spotlight Room lobby space early in the decade, the nonprofit has long boosted area acts, Reingold observed.

“You’d be talking to the same people who just got off the phone with Willie Nelson’s booking agent, and they’re still making time in their schedule,” he said, adding the new space “fills a gap that I think has existed in Concord for quite some time. So we’re pretty excited to be able to be part of it.”

Jamantics Reunion w/ Teeba

When: Friday, Nov. 19, 8 p.m.
Where: Bank of NH Stage, 16 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: $15 and up at ccanh.com

Featured photo: Jamantics. Courtesy photo

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