The Phunion Ranked Jambands by Tiers, You Won’t Believe Where The McLovins Ended Up

October 15, 2014 by TreyAntipasta

The debate is over. All this talk of what tier some jambands are on is now settled. We used 3 scientific calculators, an abacus, two slide rules and a map of the stars to come up with this list. The result: a definitive list of jambands, ranked by tier


1st Tier – Phish
There is no other band in this tier for a reason.

2nd Tier – Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, Bassnectar, Umphrey’s McGee
The Dead would be higher, but they couldn’t handle their shit.

3rd Tier – Mike Gordon Band, Allman Brothers Band, Disco Biscuits, Gov’t Mule
Allmans would be higher but too many cancelled shows and we cant make the Beacon shows now.

4th Tier – moe., Trey Anastasio Band, Dave Matthews Band, The Black Crowes, Hot Tuna, Tom Petty
AKA, the Dad Rock tier.

5th Tier – String Cheese Incident, The Motet, EOTO, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Big Head Todd and the Monsters
Colorado gets its own tier because Colorado is super fucking heady.


6th Tier – The Big Wu, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Keller Williams
Remember this tier? Nostalgia at its finest.

Tier 6.9 – Grace Potter

7th Tier – The Nocturnals

8th Tier – Galactic, Pat McGee Band, Conspirator, Lettuce, Soulive, Max Creek
Respectable company if you like good music.

9th Tier – Dopapod, Papadosio, Twiddle, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Spafford, Aqueous, Turkuaz
Hop on the bandwagon fast before these bands explode

10th Tier – RAQ, The New Mastersounds, Zach Deputy, Everyone Orchestra, STS9, Perpetual Groove

We didn’t know what tier to put these in so they go here.

Southern-Tier-LOGO11th Tier – The Mars Volta, Clutch, Moss, Between The Buried and Me, Deafheaven, Meshugah, Mastodon
Metal Progrock bands are the original Jamband you hippies

12th Tier –  Kung Fu, Particle
The ‘Late night bands for when you are peaking’ tier.

13th Tier – no one
Bad vibes on this tier brah.

14th Tier – Digital Tape Machine, Ha Ha the Moose, Addison Groove Project, Deep Banana Blackout, Ekoostik Hookah, G Love and Special Sauce, Pork Tornado, Zero, Vida Blue
Remember them?

15th Tier – Lawn Boys, Phix, Cubensis, Chum and any other Phish cover bands/wannabes
Stop trying to be Phish. Just stop.


  1. No love for Pardon Me, Doug out of Maine? Pffffttt….guys are tearing up up there.

  2. Ryan says:

    I thought this was going to a be a tasteful list. To the person(s) that wrote this. F u

  3. Lori Jane says:

    Where is JimkatA?????? What a fumble!

  4. Greg says:

    kinda hilarious…. was waiting to see where the Jauntee ended up, because those kids are fucking incredible. Honestly…. they’re the only band that holds any jamming candle to Phish, IMO. Morphing, oozing… arcs of dynamic response flourishing and deflating, coalescing into found-themes and concepts pulled out of thin air. Improvised composition. Its fucking crazy what they can do.

  5. John says:

    I realize this is supposed to be a joke, but Cubensis isn’t a Phish cover band. Do your homework!

  6. Dave says:

    Twiddle may play a few Phish tunes, but the are original and unique and are not trying to be Phish

  7. Should have put The Werks in with Dopapod/Papadosio…

    “And it shall be called WERKADOSIOPOD… and it will be good for dancing !”

  8. Hookahhead says:

    Ekoostik hookah brings it harder then any band on here! And phish over grateful dead! U must be high!

  9. Mark says:

    Where are The Mantras ??????

  10. Harpua says:

    I can’t believe that no one is talking about the fact that not only is Bassnectar in tier 2, but why the hell are they even on a list of jambands?

  11. Condog says:

    How in the fuck do you even place Bassnectar as a jam BAND? Bassnectar is just a bunch of screeches and wobbles for 2 hours and it’s all pre-recorded.

  12. Shane says:

    All looks about right to me… This is hilarious!

  13. basshead says:

    switch Phish and Bassnectar. That is all.

  14. Dan says:

    The Grateful Dead are the only 1st tier band. SCI should be 2nd tier and whoever came up with this list sucks, both musically and literally. Papadosio should also be higher on pure originality.

  15. Bassnectar is not a band, let alone a jamband, let alone a heady jamband. The Colorado bands, should be up several tiers.

  16. DerpSauce says:

    Why are there so many teirs?? Half these bands sound exactly the same. I get it, it’s a joke; but i’m not laughing at all.

  17. Carson says:

    Yea, this is a terrible list. Sorry, but it is. First off, as others have mentioned, Bassnectar? Lorin himself would laugh at you if you called him a jamband. Also, The Dead and the Allman Brothers (more so the Dead) practically started/ invented the jamband. I could go on, but I disagree with pretty much everything on this list. The author very clearly misunderstands what a jamband is.

  18. Jon says:

    What an idiot

  19. Steve says:

    Realistically, Between the Buried and Me, Meshuggah, and Mastodon shouldn’t be on this list as they aren’t jam bands, period. Plus, on a musical technicality standard, Meshuggah are way better musicians than the vast majority of these bands which is why they wouldn’t waste their time being a jam band.

  20. Kevin says:

    whoever made this just had way too much fun at his only Phish show- while on bath salts.

    Phish’ best year was 2008- Trey in drug Court

  21. LookOutBelow says:

    This list MUST be a joke. Not a chance this is serious or you are serousily so shot out I feel horrible for you. Phish above the The Grateful Dead? The Dead should be 1st tier. Second…Bassnectar? Are you fucking kidding me? And SCI so low? Why? Also, if this is based off JAM BANDS ala IMPROV, Bisco should be 2nd tier, no other band goes as far out improv wire than them. Phish doesn’t even jam anymore. This list blows, you suck, the scene is hot and its going down, DIAF, Good day sir, I said good day.

  22. Hip E says:

    A middle aged man whose musical relevancy has past wrote this. It wasn’t an old man because The Grateful Dead would have been first. It wasn’t a young man or a well traveled man because so many are missing. Probably (north) east coast. But not too north. Anyone true to the scene would not be so ridiculous. The scene is fragile enough. I suppose this person feels it is better to be divisive and let auto tuned crap with no real instruments involved take over. Boo to you. Scene wrecker. I hope your kids make you listen to clear channel.

  23. kyle says:

    Any one putting the Dead on the same tier as bassnectar should be flogged in public. Your shit taking on the jauntee didn’t phase me because I was still rattled from the mind garbage you managed to form into words earlier. You are the worst.

  24. Phish? Above the grateful dead. Oh its a joke? I dont get it? The fact that they have Mike “the child molester” Gordon listen on tier three goes to show that who ever came up with this list is a dirty Phish lot K Hole loving no tast in music havin loser. Steve fucking Sweeny is a guitar god that deserves a better tier with ekoostik hookah. But opinions are like ass holes and I am one.

  25. Michael says:

    When did Tom Petty become a jam band? Where is Railroad Earth? And Phish should never rise above the Grateful Dead. Any member of Phish would agree.

  26. MattyIPA says:

    Dispatch, Tea Leaf Green, Assembly of Dust, etc.

  27. Drew says:

    I need Windex for my eyes because this is awful drivel. I’d like that minute of my life back please.

  28. Relackson says:

    Learn to take an internet joke, people.

  29. Matt Domser says:

    First and Foremost: Music is not a sport. there is no value in ranking bands like this. especially the jam scene where “measuring” the emotional response of the listener is largely intangible.
    Its just a poor way to have ranked things up. and everything was pretty much invalid after the dead were 2nd behind phish. there is no jam scene without the dead in general. and don’t get me wrong I love phish. then Kung Fu below Dopapod? Again I love dopapod and they have exploded but you’re not taking into account the history and lineage of some of these guys ie the Breakfast and what they did to build the jam scene since the late 90’s….I could go one but its not worth the time.

  30. THAT GUY says:

    Um, where is Toubab Krewe? They should be in a superior ‘world music’ tier.

  31. Tweedle says:

    Twiddle is awesome not only do they have there own really unique funky jams but they respect all bands especially phish. have some respect guys

  32. John says:

    psh.. Typical Phish fans thinking their shit don’t stink.. Putting Phish above the Dead is humorous in and of its self. But to say that Twiddle is a phish cover band is straight up hubris

  33. jim says:

    Putting the Grateful Dead in second tier negates the credibility of your list. There is no other way to see it sorry. GD and Phish should be first tier, Allmans and WSP second tier. You’re obviously a biased phish fan since you put Mike Gordon Band in 3rd tier (among some of your other rankings). Nothing against them but I think even Mike would laugh at that.

  34. AC says:

    LOL. Moral of this stupid post: “Phish is the greatest band on the planet.”

    Listen, DUDE, Phish is not multiple tiers above Galactic. Where is Soulive on this list? You bring in some other random bands like Mastodon… What??

    No mention of Soundgarden. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Incubus. Jamiroquai.

    There are hundreds of amazing bands who are infinitely better than most of these bands.

    Basically, though, it’s just evident that you were super high when you made this list, and it made you feel really good. Yup. That’s your ego talking.

  35. Bender says:

    “9th Tier – Dopapod, Papadosio, Twiddle, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Spafford, Aqueous, Turkuaz

    Hop on the bandwagon fast before these bands explode”

    Nailed it on this tier. Not so much with Dopapod being on hiatus and Papa just being dosio, but Pigeons, Spafford and Turkuaz are blowing up like crazy, and Aqueous is my favorite band in the scene right now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.