Courier News 12/13/03

Winner jam band pulls into Triumph Brewery tonight

9 p.m., Triumph Brewery
138 Nassau St., Princeton. $5. (609) 924-7855

Talk about ambitious!

Sage is one of the better and more popular jam bands in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The group has proved it with a self-titled double live CD.

Unlike a lot of other jam bands that seem to just want to noodle and not concentrate on good songs, Sage takes a cue from Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter by writing great songs around which, they jam. Dead and Phish fans will love this band because of similar song structure, such as on the oh-so-funky "Word Up!."

Other live favorites include the staccato groove of "Bob Jones," the Santana-like "Dagobah," the rootsy, soulful, reggae-tinged "Find My Way" and the other-wordly, tongue-in-cheek heavy blues, "Elfin Jam."

A frequent stop for Sage -- lead guitarist Marc Gallo, vocalist-guitarist Tim Nayfield, vocalist-drummer Gabe Rohmann and bassist Dave "Tree" Ryden -- are the Triumph Breweries in Princeton and New Hope, Pa., the band's hometown. Sage will be at the Princeton location tonight and in New Hope on Dec. 20.

Other upcoming Sage gigs include:

Dec. 19, The Fire, Philadelphia, with Scarecrow Collection, Nomadic Design and Acoustic Mystic
Dec. 26, Maxwell's, Hoboken, with Addison Groove Project
Dec. 27, The Country Tavern, Pipersville, Pa.
Dec. 28, John & Peter's, New Hope
Dec. 29, Joe's Mill Hill, Trenton.

Good players, singers and writers, Sage will move your feet and your mind. The fact that the four members all write and sing makes for a surprisingly cohesive sound in spite of its improvisational nature. The results are much more rewarding than most other jam bands.

By Bob Makin

Courier News, December 13, 2003