The Incredible Sandwich
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The Incredible Sandwich

Athens, Georgia, United States | INDIE

Athens, Georgia, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Jam


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"Album Review: The Incredible Sandwich - Self-titled"

I like the metaphor of a band as a sandwich. When you think about it, what is a sandwich? Much like a song, or most definitely like a record, it’s a blank canvas of creative possibilities. Combine all the bread, core and topping possibilities, and you don’t have to eat the same sandwich twice for a very long time. Specifically, the metaphor works for this quartet of Athens youngsters, releasing their self-titled debut on Mule Train Records. Like our endless sandwich combinations, the band runs the musical gamut in the confines of this 34-minute release, smoothly mixing styles on a winding road of peaks and valleys that never fails to entertain. The virus that tends to kill “jam” bands is the noodling effect – jams that become four musicians doing four things on top of each other, akin to multiple conversations crammed in close confines, turning clear speech into little more than an unintelligible drone. The antibody for such an affliction is subtlety and placement, and The Incredible Sandwich is a shining example. They can play, no doubt. That’s evident within the first minutes of any track on the EP. What’s more impressive is the band’s collective knowledge of what not to play or, at the very least, knowing when not to overplay. Much like a Miles Davis jazz record, or (if you like local examples), a Davis Causey guitar solo for Randall Bramblett’s band, The Sandwich attacks with a subtle dynamic that showcases musicianship and intelligence, separating them from a seemingly endless line of Teva-wearing, river-side Frisbee tossing jam rock.

- Alec Wooden, Executive Editor

Issue 8: June 2009
Athens Blur Magazine
- Athens Blur Magazine

"The Incredible Sandwich: more than ham and cheese"

Jam Bands produce a style of music that is simple and relaxing, music that anyone can just chill out to when they listen. Jam Bands were popularized by such artist as the Grateful Dead or the Allman Brothers during the late 1960’s.

They are known for their improvisation to their music as well as the liberal cultural scene that is typically associated with them. Artists today like The String Cheese Incident, Disco Biscuits and Widespread Panic are currently some of the most notarized Jam Bands. The Incredible Sandwich is one of those bands that continue to bring that free spirited sound to a new generation of listeners.

Formed in the fall of 2007, The Incredible Sandwich is a Jam Band based out of Athens, G.A. “It’s a psychedelic, spacey, progressive rock jam sound,” said Matt McKinney, lead guitarist and a vocalist for the group.

The incredible Sandwich also consists of Kevin Juneau on bass guitar, Damian Kapcala on the keyboard, and Rackley Davis on drums as well as vocals. Each of the members began playing music in their young teens, and Kapcala is even a classically trained on the piano.

The band has a wide range of influences ranging from Radiohead, The Grateful Dead and even European progressive rock.

“The fact that we share the same influences helps a lot with how we feed off each other. I think a lot of that goes into improvisation. We have a fine-tuned ear for each other’s instrument and style,” said Davis on the Band’s Myspace Account.

On April 25, 2009, their debut self titled EP was released. The five song EP even reached number 11 on Relix/ The Incredible Sandwich are currently in the process of recording their new full length album. “(Were) a few weeks away from finishing . . . (currently) figuring out the art work,” said McKinney. “Recording the stuff is almost over.”

Being based out of Athen’s G.A. has helped them greatly to the road of success. The band was even the winners of the “Upstart of the Year” award at the Athens Flagpole awards. The University of Georgia based out of Athens helps creates a town full of creative, artistic individuals.

The artistic community of Athens gives the opportunity for local musicians as well as any type artist a supportive environment to showcase their talent. Acts such as R.E.M., Widespread Panic and Of Montréal are also based out Athens, G.A. Their small independent record label, Mule Train Records, is based out of Athens as well.

The Incredible Sandwich are continuing to bring that easy going sound that help defined the late 1960’s to aged hippies, college kids and general music fans today. If you wish to check out The Incredible Sandwich live, they will be coming to the Carolina’s via Charleston, playing at Halligan’s on Jan. 20.

- Devin Phillips, The Niner Online
The University Times/ The University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Student Newspaper since 1949

Originally published 02/11/10 - Niner Online/ The University Times

"Sandwich dreams turn out incredible"

Many is the night Matt McKinney watched some of his favorite musicians perform their sets at the Georgia Theatre, with only a dream he and his colleagues in The Incredible Sandwich might one day be on that same stage.

That dream soon transitions into reality as "the Sandwich," as it's known by friends and fans, will play its first date at the august Theatre on Saturday to celebrate the release of its self-titled debut EP on Mule Train Records.

"It's kind of surreal that we'll actually be playing there," says guitarist-vocalist McKinney, who will be joined by bandmates Rackley Davis (drums), Kevin Juneau (bass) and Damien Kapcala (keyboards) at the post-Twilight Criterium concert. "The Georgia Theatre is such a great venue, and we're overwhelmed to be playing there."

Together for approximately a year, The Incredible Sandwich has made quick progress with its friendly and familiar blend of rock, funk, jazz, Latin and jam-band sensibilities.

"A friend once described our sound as 'genre-bending jam-based boogie,' and we like that," says McKinney, a Cordele native who earned a degree in music composition at Georgia Southern University before moving to Athens 18 months ago. "Sometimes I'll write a pop song, or a rock song, or even a classical piece - I just try to keep myself out of the way of the music. People have been really responsive to what we're doing, which says to me that they're open-minded and willing to listen."

The Incredible Sandwich began life as a trio, but McKinney says that the addition several months ago of Kapcala (a Maryland native who previously has played with Lost Cat, Sonic Boom, Lionz, Soul Patch, Betsy Franck and the Bareknuckle Band, Theolonius and Fiasco) helped the group move into a different realm.

The Incredible Sandwich has a packed schedule for the spring, with visits throughout the state and region.

"It's like a dream - playing music on a constant basis," McKinney says. And in days, the dream of the Georgia Theatre manifests itself, too.

"I don't know that I ever thought I'd get the opportunity to play where so many great people have played. It's kind of surreal to think you'll be on the same stage,"McKinney says.

"I'm a Georgia boy, and so are Rackley and Kevin, so Athens is like a big city to us, and the Georgia Theatre is the place to play. I love Widespread Panic and Michael Houser, and I'm excited we'll be playing in a place that has been so important to them. Once we get all set up, I'm going to take about an hour to let it all soak in so I can grasp what's really happening."

- Chris Starrs/ Correspondent

Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Wednesday, April 22, 2009
- Athens Banner-Herald

"JamBase AthFest 2009 Review"

AthFest 2009 :: 06.26.09 – 06.28.09 :: Athens, GA

...I also made a short stop at Tasty World to check out local jam band Incredible Sandwich, winners of this year's Athens Flagpole Music Award for "Best New Band" (given out on the eve of AthFest). This funky quartet takes strides towards the musical eclecticism of The String Cheese Incident, featuring a wizard-like command of the guitar by lead player Matt McKinney. A fun show always, "The Sandwich" simply needs a little more time to completely come into their own and find their sound.

Words by: Wesley Hodges

JamBase | Georgia Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 7/7/09] -

"The Incredible Sandwich serves up tasty sonic treats"

I’m not normally a fan of “jam bands,” as it seems most articles classify Athens-based band The Incredible Sandwich, but this one seems to have a different flavor.

They do maintain the main ingredients that most jam bands require: jazzy piano flowing in and out, upbeat drums, and high-spirited guitar riffs with the complexity to pull off a mostly independent instrumental throughout their songs. But the group’s singer, songwriter and guitarist Matt McKinney said he doesn’t care for the comparison.

“People call us a jam band, but I don’t think we are,” he said. “One of the things about improvisation these days is it’s so minimal. Jam bands are pretty much the only ones that are improvisational. The way I write…there’s a lot of improvisation.”

McKinney said even though “The Sandwich,” as it’s referred to by its fans, uses improvisation during it’s shows, he puts a lot of thought into the writing and feels classifying the group as a jam band isn’t their true style.

“I’m a writer more than a guitarist or a vocalist,” McKinney said. “I write a lot of stuff [but] where I think of ‘jam band,’ I think of a lot of endless jamming.”

He said one of the aspects of his writing is trying to write lyrics that are reflections of realistic, bittersweet emotions.

“I like to get to the point and say what I’m thinking,” he said. “I’m obsessed with Thom Yorke and how he says all of the things we’re afraid to say.”

It seems also that a lot of the band’s music is influenced by groups like the Allman Brothers, who The Sandwich members listened to during their childhood.

McKinney said the band will be returning to the studio the week of Sept. 7 to record its first full-length album.

He said even with the success the band has seen so far, he would be satisfied just making enough money to continue playing shows.

“All I want to do is tour and play music live. I love to play live in a new town with new people. A good day for me is waking up at 2, writing songs all day and playing that night,” he said.

The Sandwich will be sharing its music with Birmingham at the Oasis on Thursday, Sept.3 at 10 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 4 at 3 p.m.

- Elizabeth Higgins
Senior Staff Writer, Inside UAB

Originally published 8/30/09 - Inside UAB

"Breezy, Jazzy Rock with an Experimental Streak"

Emerging onto the Athens music scene in 2008, the Incredible Sandwich have already met an overwhelming surge of popularity thanks to a prominent spot at Athens’ annual summer event, AthFest, and contagious word-of-mouth hype.

Much of this stems from their shows, where the quartet has already honed a tight performance with a stunning display of musical chemistry and chops.

Their highly melodic, unhurried approach to songwriting rightfully appeals to jam band fans, but unlike most neo-jam acts that seem to just meander, the Incredible Sandwich fuses bursts of funk and jazz, played with convincing dexterity and inflection, with straightforward, organic progressions and textures.

The result is jams that actually have drive – and what’s more, they show a band clearly educated in music theory.

Much of the Incredible Sandwich’s initial appeal rests upon guitarist/singer Matt McKinney, who snakes in and out of lithe, cascading solos and suave, syncopated rhythms. True, the prog/jazz-laced jam sound Phish pioneered rears its head all over the Incredible Sandwich’s EP –but, again, the band plays with such skill it’s hard not to enjoy it. The two-part “Bluebird”’s ambling, fluid arpeggios worm their way into your head with ease, even if the song doesn’t traverse much new ground. “Duck!” – while repetitive– sports a supple whiteboy-funk melody (this is a good thing) and closing ballad “Pleasant Depression” is simplistic yet undeniably touching.

But on “It’s Gone,” the album’s centerpiece, the Sandwich offers its clearest glimpse of new musical possibilities. Taking its time to open the floodgates, the 10-plus-minute epic cycles through everything from turbulent chromatic passages, to ambient drones, to heavy, gut-pummeling breakdowns to wide open, sunlit solos.

The only real weakness on display is McKinney’s vocals: his tone (think a Southern version of Umphrey’s McGee) is earnest but somehow flat, which belies the invigorating musical textures that course underneath.
—John Barrett

Originally Published: December 2009 Issue —Southeast Edition
- Performer Magazine

"The Incredible Sandwich returns home from tour"

For such an incredulous moniker, The Incredible Sandwich has a casual take on music.

"I never wanted to be a rock star ... I just wanted to write music," lead vocalist Matt McKinney said.

While most bands spend many years trying to get signed, or at least get taken seriously in a music scene, The Incredible Sandwich has accomplished both in just a few. The band has found a way to connect with its fans through playing music for the experience, not the appearance, McKinney said.

"We're not trying to impress you by wearing fancy clothes because we like to think that our music is good enough to keep you interested," he said.

The Incredible Sandwich's modest attitude has proven fruitful, resulting in a contract with Mule Train Records and a fall tour. After touring, Athens has become harder to play in as the band really wants to make a name for themselves at home, among a plethora of other bands doing the same.

"It's definitely added pressure to really show up and put on a good show when we're at home because [in Athens] there are so many eclectic bands, and just to distinguish yourself from them is painful enough." McKinney said.

Around Athens, some people have come to know The Incredible Sandwich as a jam band - a category that most musicians see as a disguised insult, translated to mean lacking in structure.

"When somebody says 'Oh, you're a jam band,' they're pretty much just saying 'Oh, you sound like Phish,' or 'Oh, you sound like Grateful Dead.' And that is completely unfounded," McKinney said. "We sound like the Incredible Sandwich - that's what we sound like."

Most likely, The Incredible Sandwich is stereotyped as a jam band because its music frequently features improvisation.

"If we play one song in our show where everybody improvises, all of the sudden we're a hippie-jam-band, and we're assumed to smoke pot and only play random stuff," McKinney said. "It's a sad stereotype because improvising with your instrument is one of the reasons you should play music as a band."

The Incredible Sandwich has been on tour since mid-August and will be returning to Athens tonight. Rather than giving audiences a standard rock show, McKinney thinks that the live act is more an exhibition of his passion.

"I've always thought that people really weren't ever coming to watch a show, but that they were coming to watch us express ourselves," he said. "[Because] I'm selfish - I enjoy people being there, but I'm there for myself, using it as therapy."

- Matt Evans
The Red and Black
Issue date: 9/18/09 - The Red and Black


The Incredible Sandwich released its first EP in April 2009 (recorded by Nathan Sheppard at Green Room Studios, Athens, GA). This self-titled debut has received radio play on more than 60 stations across the country. The album has also appeared as high as #11 on the Relix/ radio charts and 28 consecutive weeks on the HomeGrown Music Network's radio charts!

"Bluebird 1," the opening track of their debut EP, has appeared in Relix Magazine on the June 2009 CD sampler as well as on the July 2009 LimeWire Store sampler "Ear to the Ground: Athens."

"Where You Are," a previously unreleased recording, has been selected to appear on the 2010 AthFest compilation CD. The AthFest CD features a sampling of local music from Athens, GA, and is released every spring in anticipation of the festival the following June.

Currently, The Incredible Sandwich is in the studio with John Keane (Widespread Panic, REM, Uncle Tupelo) working on their first full length album to be released in 2010.



Formed in the fall of 2007, the Incredible Sandwich is a jammed out amalgamation of funky progressive rock forged in that Valhalla of music south of the Mason-Dixon, Athens, Georgia.

“The Sandwich,” as they are known to their fans, features Matt McKinney on lead guitar and vocals, Kevin Juneau on bass guitar, Damian Kapcala on keyboards, and Rackley Davis on drums and vocals.

Of the four members of The Incredible Sandwich, three hail from the heart of South Georgia and received educations from some of the South’s finest music institutions, McKinney studying music composition, Davis studying music business. Bringing a background in classical piano studies, Kapcala completed the quartet after moving from Maryland to Athens. With such diverse backgrounds and a mixture of styles from Progressive and Experimental to Psychedelic with unexpected, educated improvisations, the Sandwich has etched a very respected facet in the music community.

The energy generated during live shows through McKinney’s powerful command of the guitar, coupled with the solid rhythm section of Juneau and Davis, accentuated by Kapcala on keyboards, captivates new fans with each performance. Davis comments, “The fact that we share the same influences helps a lot with how we feed off each other. I think a lot of that goes into [our] improvisation. We have a fine-tuned ear for each other’s instruments and style.”

May 2009 brought the release of their self-titled debut EP, which was followed soon after by the win of “Upstart of the Year” at the annual Flagpole Music Awards in June. The band was also featured on two sampler CDs, one from Relix Magazine in June, and another from LimeWire Store in July (Ear to the Ground: Athens). After receiving considerable radio play, the band reached #11 on the Relix/ radio charts for October 2009 while appearing on the Homegrown Music Network’s radio charts for 28 consecutive weeks.

Already a favorite at local festivals, the Sandwich won the Athens leg of the 2010 Waka Winter Classic, earning a spot at the Wakarusa Festival in June of that year, and catapulting the band onto the major festival scene. Summer 2010 saw the annual Flagpole Music Awards where the band was voted Best Jam Band in Athens, GA by the music community at large.

The Incredible Sandwich’s first full-length album recorded and produced by John Keane in Athens, GA will be their second release on Mule Train Records and is due in fall 2010.