Five Jam Scene Bands To Have On Your Radar This Festival Season…

You might be staring at your summer calendar and wondering where to head for live music or who you should be looking out for. Well, look no further, friend. We here at A Perfect Mess have got you covered! We are here to let you know which bands to watch out for this summer. We do the work, we listen to the music, we check the flyers, we have you in the know!

The weather has finally warmed up in this strange weather year, and that means Festival Season is upon us again! That can mean only one thing…

Three days with no shower.


Just kidding. You can buy those at Walmart now, friends! What it truly means there is music for days and good times to be had with fantastic friends, cold beverages, and smiles all around! Summer doesn’t just means festivals though. Weekends and weeknights are booked solid at our favorite local venues inside and out. There are a ton of great shows happening. Let’s take a look at the bands you should be checking out while you are out there this summer!

One Time Weekend:

Photo from Facebook – One Time Weekend

The band with the mantra, “We groove – You move.” should need little introduction. We caught these guys at a festival that shall not be named in New York a bunch of years back and they blew us away. Still very new, they opened the show so a lot of people missed them, which was a shame because they are fantastic. Their debut full length album, ‘Weekend at the Circus’, is a spinning and dancing funk rock explosion with every song giving you a different taste of what this band is capable of. Now they have a new full length called ‘Fire It Up’ bringing equally tasty “shred-funk” jams peppered with well written harmonies and killer solos. On top of that, they do a killer live show. We have delighted in watching them get bigger and bigger in the years since that first time we caught them, and this summer they are all over the place. Find them at Peach Fest in Scranton, PA (6.29 – 7.02), FarmJammaLama in Brookville, PA (7.8), Hill Country in New York City for a Phish After Party (7.29), Asbury Jams in Asbury Park, NJ (8.03), and many more! Check out their website for more dates! Get out and catch them!


Photo from Facebook – Peak

PEAK is a band I was introduced to via an assignment from The Jamwich way back in 2018! We have been keeping you all updated on the goings on with that outstanding New York City band for a few years now. Psychedelic Indie Funk with killer jams that send crowds spinning while giving thoughtful lyrics you can hang along with makes PEAK a late-night dance fuel band not to be missed when you are out and about this summer. They are a perfect blend of jamtronica and moody, illuminated indie tied together with stellar, sky high jams. The band’s debut full length Electric Bouquet gave everyone a glimpse into where guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Hilliard’s mind wanders to. Somewhere between catchy rock vibes and cool jam grooves. Followed up with the full length album, ‘Choppy Water’, and PEAK brings you into a whole other world told through storytelling and pure rock, folk, and jam vibes. The band fills out with keymaster Johnny Young, Bassist Josh Carter, and drummer Kito Bovenschulte. The band has been all over the Northeast this year and last, adding dates all the time. You can catch them at Funk N Waffles in Syracuse, NY (7.14) and the fantastic Yasgur Road Reunion in Bethel NY (8.12). Keep an eye to their website for always added live dates at They are a truly outstanding live band!

Desmond Jones

Photo from Facebook – Desmond Jones

Good golly, these guys! Another band I reviewed a bunch of years back for The Jamwich and I have had them on my radar ever since. A band that never takes themselves too seriously but absolutely could, if they chose to! I am so glad they don’t. They bill themselves as having four studio albums, viral cat videos, and being Mom and Dad approved. A five piece band from Grand Rapids, MI, these guys bring a sound that is bit of funk, a lot of rock, and “a big ol pile of saxophone” to their live shows and I am here for it. They have been out there doing their thing since their beginning back in 2012 and it’s so awesome to see them all over the dang place this summer. Their show dates are up and rolling with Summerfest in Milwaukie, WI (6.30), Smiling Acres Music Festival in Trufant, MI (7.1), Shagbark Music Festival in Alaska, MI (8.4-8.5), and a ton more. Keep up with this fantastic band over at their website, and get out to see them where you can!

Doom Flamingo

Photo by Wild Muse Media / Angela Ricciotti

This is legit a band that I was not sure if I could include here, except that it has jam scene players and I have seen them on festivals I was at and OK SO WHAT – they are freaking AMAZING. I slept on this band for too long. Referred to on their website as a “six headed synthwave beast”, this band is comprised of stellar players who were friends and decided they really liked making people dance. So they do! Their vocalist Kanica Moore has one of the most positively uplifting voices I have ever heard. Their funky, blast off energy is everything you ever wanted shooting through every inch of your body. I cannot fathom sitting still at one of their live shows. Doom Flamingo’s most recent full length album, Peaches and Bobbi, is stuck on my playlist and its not moving. Their live shows are stacked and you can catch them out at Resonance Music and Arts Festival in Garrettsville, OH (7.1), 4848 Festival in Snowshoe, VW (7.14), Cobblestone Live Music and Arts Festival in Buffalo, NY (7.15), and so many more. Head on over to their website at to keep up with the band and their dates!

Dogs in a Pile

Photo by Nick Codina @nickpicks710

“Cat on a tin roof, dogs in a pile, nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.” A nod to The Dead from their song ‘He’s Gone‘. I love these guys already. From my home state of New Jersey, but down south in the legendary Asbury Park where so much fantastic music was born, these guys have been popping up on festival lineups for a few years now and I dare say I have not gotten out to see them enough. Their sound is a funky take on rock, psychedelica, and a swirling of jazz that brings you on an exciting and eclectic adventure and really – what is better than that? Their most recent full length album, ‘Bloom‘, is that eclectic mix of reggae beats, funky bass lines, dance feels, throwback vibes, and just plain old good jam grooves. I’m a recent listener and I have to say, I might be joining that Dog Pile I keep hearing about. You can get out and check these guys at the Peach Music Festival in Scranton, PA (6.30), The Rye Bread Music and Arts Festival in Schaghticoke, NY (7.27-7.29) Catskill Mountain Jubilee in East Durham, NY (8.10), and a TON more. Head on over to their website for more dates and more on the band at!

This is HARDLY a complete list. There is a ton of great music happening right now and you just need to put your ear out there and give a listen! We are always here to take suggestions so if you know something great that is happening, give us a shout in the comments or send an email! As always, see you out there!

Groove With a Purpose: Punch Up – The Brand New Full Length Release from The PrizeFighters!

As a member of Generation X, I grew up looking backwards to the sixties with a certain level of respect that grew from the concept of protest music. People were working through so many social, civil, and environmental rights issues simultaneously and this important music was a means to gather, inform, and bridge the gaps between one another through awareness and working together. Nowadays, I look with chagrin and general disappointment at the modern music scenes and how much they are lacking in this style and purpose in their writing. Where is the music that tells a story of struggle to inform? Where is music that brings together activists for the same causes? It’s not as if we are without similar struggles. The fires are quite literally raging right now, and we need unity more than ever.

Just as I am about to give up on today’s music being truly socially aware, The Prizefighters have entered the chat.

This Minnesota ska and rocksteady band has been providing the US and abroad with a seemingly effortless throwback sound for well over a decade now. Their skillful use of traditional beats and ska groove creates a smooth and still outstandingly relevant feel that gives you hooks to sing and beats with which to shake what you were given. On top of all of that, they are writing songs with social relevance and stories of the fights we are embroiled in here in America. Their newest release, ‘Punch Up’, is no exception. The album is peppered with songs about the struggle to maintain our environment, our rights, our safety, and humanity. It’s a breath of fresh air from the stagnant music industry’s insistence on love stories and vapid, stale air. Instead, The Prizefighters have injected a sound of hope and fight – something we desperately need.

This is not new territory for the Prizefighters, but it was something they put genuine thought into for Punch Up. Sax man in the band Courtney Klos states, “While writing and recording the songs that would eventually comprise the album, we found ourselves discussing the origins of punk rock in the UK. Bands in that scene made history by calling out the Queen during her Jubilee, taking shots at corrupt institutions of power. At its core, it was a movement of punching up and it quickly spawned the resurgence and birth of many music-related subcultures: goth, mod revival, 2 Tone, skinhead revival, new wave, etc. All of it was possible because a movement dared to punch up the ruling hierarchy of society. The songs on this album were born from the same philosophy.”

The record blasts off with the track ‘Kick The Can’, a punchy and fun song with traditional ska grooves while discussing the frustrating devastation we bring on our enviroment. It was written as a call-to-arms in reaction to the hopelessness of our current climate crisis, in addition to the accompanying bureaucratic inaction that seems to have it constantly on fire. While pointing out how disappointing this all is, it brings with it a hopefully message of change. It’s an accurate depiction of the mindset of our nation as we watch reservoirs dry up, wildfires rage, and floods take lives and countless amounts of personal and property damage while our elected officials worry more about who’s bathroom someone might use and the ever present love affair with automatic weapons. Frustrated doesn’t begin to cut it, but this song brings with it an upbeat tempo of hope. We can’t make a change without raising our voices, and thankfully, The Prizefighters are on the scene to give us the blueprints with something awesome to sing along with.

“We can’t just keep our goal posts moving further down the line…

“We are pound foolish and penny wise, hoarding wealth while the earth dies…”

“It doesn’t matter what we should have done then, it only matters what we’re gonna do now…”

It’s truly a rally cry – we need to fix things before it’s too late.

The band maintains this effort throughout the entire record, visiting with other socially and politically important topics like gun violence in ‘Think and Pray’. The song gives you a body-moving beat while discussing the tragic trend of “thoughts and prayers” every time the peace is pierced with the horrors of mass shootings here in the United States. While pointing out how such trite response doesn’t do anything to cure the violence, the song also reminds us that change can come from genuine positivity. It’s a reminder that we need to put that positive out to the universe if we want that positive back in return. The song is groove heavy and layered with steady beats and crisp, clean horn work in the Prizefighter’s signature way.

This same groove carries to other songs on the record like ‘Company Time’ which tells of how we need to look to the legends before us for their lessons and inspiration. They make mention of artists like Woody Guthrie and Bob Marley who both sang of freedom and human rights, especially those for workers. The entire album is very well put together sound-wise with a fantastic blend of rocksteady charm and singable lyrics to inspire.  

On the talent end, The Prizefighters have not only put out music that keeps the traditional sounds of Jamaica alive and well, but they have also backed the legends that helped create that sound on numerous occasions. Names like Stranger Cole, Derrick Morgan, Charlie Organaire, Roy & Yvonne, just to name a few. In addition, they continue to play out on the regular with bands like Hepcat and the Slackers who are still out there keeping that scene alive. The band is maintained with a blend of outstanding songwriting and genuine talent that culminates in a solid live show to back it all up.

The new album “Punch Up” is available now on vinyl LP, CD and digital streaming platforms everywhere. You can keep up with The Prizefighters over at their website –