The Great I Am
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The Great I Am

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Chicago, Illinois, United States
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Close to home Friday J Campbell Events presents the Cabin Fever Jam Off at Shifters Pub featuring The Great I Am from Chicago…I’ve been hearing a lot about this band and I hope to be in attendance Friday for this one. - WWCTFM 99.9


This band from Peoria, Illinois, is one I found on StoryAmp (an invaluable resource for bands, writers, and publicists). This band advertised itself as funk, rock, blues, and jam band. Now, I know that the phrase jam band can send some people running away for fear of songs that go on for so long you forget what the band was playing. Fear not, loyal reader. Up in the Air doesn’t have any marathon songs that make you wonder when the end is coming.

This album begins with a funky bass line (always a solid opener) that immediately gets the head moving. Then the lead vocals came in and I was immediately reminded of funk band Big Pimp Jones.

From there the band does some jams (“Orange” and “She Got Me”) that bring 70s southern rock bands to mind as well as some that lean more toward the psychedelic (“Laughin”). OK, that needs a qualifier. The guitar solo in “Laughin” leans more toward the psychedelic, but the rest of it is somewhere between the 70s rock jams and the good vibes of bands like Rebelution. Yeah, I know on the face of it that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I stand by it.

This is an excellent album for takin’ ‘er easy (say, this would have been a great selection for Take ‘er Easy Thursday too). No, loyal reader, I’m not going to feature the same band two days in a row. Still any time is a good time to take ‘er easy. So do yourself a favor. Put on this album, pour your favorite beverage and just enjoy the vibe. I know that you will. - Incognito Music Magazine





As a person that has wandered the halls of the live music business for quite some time, I have always been surrounded by friends and acquaintances that are either directly involved in the music business or know somebody that is. That being said, I always get demos handed to me or always hear people saying “Dude, you should totally check my buddy’s band out! They’re really good”. Shortly afterwards, I’m either handed a demo and/or web-site. I proceed to listen with as much of an open mind as possible. I always try to listen to these demos and EPKs all the way through and for the most part, there will be one or two tracks that I find decent but don’t bother listening to again and other times, I don’t listen to that particular artist ever again. On rare occasion, I will find two or three tracks that will stick with me but don’t really stand out in my music library. In extremely rare incidents, I will find a band that makes me stop whatever the hell it is that I’m doing and my reaction is “THESE GUYS ARE F*@KING AMAZING!!!”. Then I tell myself “Well, this is just one track, I’m pretty sure the whole album can’t be this good…” and for the first time in a long time, I was proven wrong by a new band out of Chicago that calls themselves “The Great I Am”.

From the very first measure on the first track to their video montage with the band covering Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold as Love” in the background, all of the music on their sonicbids EPK was exhilarating! This hard-to-find combination of precise, professional grade musical talent combined with some of the best songwriting that I have ever encountered have won me over as a life-long fan. So much so that I was willing to write this in-depth review of their first album “Up In The Air”.

The first track “Funky Dame” opens up with a Chilli Peppers type feel where the lead singer sings about a trouble making girl who knows she’s got it going on and can pretty much get away with murder if she wants to. It’s complimented with a Trey Anastasio style guitar part toward the end making this track both catchy and to some extents, hypnotizing. The rhythm section on this song is phenomenal and holds a tight groove. The second track “Orange” starts out with a Tom Petty/Blind Melon like feel. The lyrics tell the story of a dope addict that is trying to find his way and even though death is knocking, it’s not his time and hope is still at hand. After a bridge that features an Abraham Laboriel style bass solo it breaks into a bluesy Skinnard/Satriani style guitar solo that brings the song together nicely. Track three: “Mr. Midnight” holds a very special part in my heart. Other than “Bold As Love”, it is the only other song that I have heard plenty of times before when some of the band members were in a band known as Liquor Boxx. Considering that I personally cover this song quite a bit, I didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary but once again, this band’s great talent has made this version, my favorite version of the song. They have brought it to life in a way that actually makes you want to dance to the song, something I never considered before when I listened to this song in other versions.

“Laughing” is a southern/Dixie rock style song that has an all-around good feel to it. The song seems to be written as a reflection of living the party life and including all of the pain that comes with it and that it’s not an easy road to take. Though in public there is a lot of laughter, behind closed doors, there are moments of difficulty and strife. It’s definitely a song to cruise to on a good ride through the country. Speaking of country, I’m a huge country music fan and one of the songs that really appealed to my ear was “Porch”. It has that Jason Aldean/Tim McGraw/Eric Church feel that makes you wanna kick back, and have a relaxed good old time. Great Skynrd/Allman Brothers style guitar work towards the end. “Little Emily” is another song that appeals to my country/rock roots. The beginning has an awesome Brad Paisley/Alan Jackson style intro. It’s a playful tune that tells the story of a wandering girl that charms her way into men’s hearts by telling them what they want to hear and then leaves without a trace after she’s gotten what she’s wanted from them. Musically, the song has an all-around good southern feel to it flowing into an Allman influenced jam. I will go as far as to say that this is one of my favorite songs of the year.


If I had to pick one track on this band’s sonicbids’ EPK that captures the true essence of their phenomenal talent and ability to makes you feel like you’re at a live show then their “3 Song Medley” is exactly that! This song could definitely be called a jam band fan’s wet dream. From the first measure, all the way to the last note, this track is nothing short of legendary musicianship. I will go as far as to say this song is what would happen if, in an ideal world, Phish and Frank Zappa combined forces. T - Vic "Vegas" Valdez. Silver Creek LLC, The Side Street Drivers.


The Great I Am, moving south to the launching pad



Chicago/ Peoria, IL October 17, 2012 - brothers from another mother, the great I am, are taking the gloves off and heading south to live, sleep, eat, and breathe music. The great I am just finished their amazing 13 track album at red brick studios on the west side of Chicago on Madison and Racine and everyone is super excited about it.

"were super excited to be heading down to Peoria, IL to live in a band house where all we have to do is write great music", said drummer Jeremy Johnson. "it's right in the heart of so many college towns where the people are great and the music and beverages flow"

The great I am, who began all their careers as separate individuals came together just recently. Many of the members have been on the road with much success. Now they have banded together with an all star cast.

Currently the band is owned by flea circus entertainment and will be playing the college market and doing the grind before festival season next year. The great I am is currently being looked at by rogue barrister and they will be playing Summercamp next year sharing the stage with some big names. There album release party is at the famous Castle theatre in Bloomington IL November, 9th, 2012 "It holds 800 ppl and were expecting a packed house!" says bass player Sean Calloway. Check out the great I am and their first album "Up in The Air"

"From the Allman Brothers to Jimi, to the Black Crowes and Keys, to the sound of wind, war, and the girl next door, funk, country, rock, and jam we are The Great I Am".

For further information please go to Sonicbids.com/thegreatiam2 - TGIA


I heard the music and was blown away. what i didn't know was how blown away I'd be when I saw them live! - JKMP ent


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

The Great I Am is touring band from Chicago, IL.

The Great I Am have topped the charts globally in the Jam category on the Reverbnation charts and are currently ranked #1 in Chicago.

THE TRIO

Not Only Does The Great I Am play with a Chicago crew of more than 8 members but they also have a successful Acoustic trio Comprised Of Kevin, Patrick, and Greg (the 3 guitars of the band). They mainly PLAY COVERS and have a Library of over 300 songs. Please take a look @ the set list to see a variety of what they play.

FULL BAND

Following the successful reception of The Great I Am’s debut LP Up in the Air, the band has performed at the Cabin Fever Indoor Camping and Music Festival and are excited to play this year’s Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL. They have played other select venues in Illinois such as The Castle Theater, Apollo Theater, and The Abbey Pub in preparation for their first tour beginning in the Spring of 2013. They are also booked to play clubs during Jazzfest in New Orleans, LA.

Up in the Air was recorded live at Red Brick Recording in Chicago, IL. It was completed in 3 days with very few overdubs. The Great I Am’s mission was to capture their live performance energy on this recording. The band also wanted to showcase their ability to blend different musical stylings into one coherent album. The result was an album that is pleasing to the ears of many music fans. Up in the Air was written as an entire album, not just an album with songs randomly thrown together. There are elements of funk, rock, country, blues, and jam.

The wheels of this road ready band are in motion. Please stay tuned as they will be coming to a town near you!



The Great I Am:

Darnell Hunter - MC
Kevin Mace - VOX, Acoustic Guitar
Jeremy Calloway - Drums
Shaun Calloway - Bass
Patrick Creedon - Lead Guitar
Greg Vazquez - Lead Guitar
Ben - Keys
Brice - Bass #2

PR & Booking Contact:
Tom Lohmiller
Flea Circus Entertainment
Phone: 708.435.9999
Email: thegreatiamtheband@gmail.com