Of all the ingredients the fertile, all-encompassing jam-band scene tosses into the cauldron, reggae seems to be the most dominant. Sure, John Brown's Body surfs the world-beat side of things with its polyrhythmic display, but it's that wily one-drop that digs the deepest groove. "Future roots," as the band calls it. Based in Boston and the Northeast's hippy hotbed, Ithaca, JBB has been rockin' steady since 1995.
Bad-ass Brooklyn threesome Dub Trio plays with savage dynamics and deadly precision. Think Return To Forever with no looking back, or Fishbone after a copious bong hit. It's dexterous and mucho intense but doesn't come off too cerebral. You won't need a slide rule, just your feet.
The Big Upstate Reggae Festival with John Brown's Body, Dub Trio, Nevergreen, Axis Armada, and Among Criminals takes place Friday, April 26, 8 p.m. at Water Street Music Hall, 204 N. Water St. $14-$20. waterstreetmusic.com.