Consider the Homecoming Jam on Nov. 2 at the Millennium Center as an appetizer to the annual Thanksgathering.
Though the lineups for the shows will be different, they will feature one key ingredient — lots of jam.
Sam Robinson, Marvelous Funkshun’s ace guitarist, is pulling the shows together, reaching out to the tight jam-band network to compile two groovy lineups with the capacity to bend minds.
The Homecoming Jam is sort of a convenient way to tap into Wake Forest University’s homecoming weekend, Robinson said. The Deacons play Syracuse on Nov. 3.
“These shows come together when the Millennium Center comes open,” Robinson said. “A lot of the people in the lineup are people we’ve played with and that we like to bring back to Winston.”
The Homecoming Jam will be at the Millennium Center, 101 W. Fifth St., and begins with pre-party patio show with BadCameo at 6 p.m. Others on the lineup include Winston-Salem acts Marvelous Funkshun (rock and funk) and RKIII (experimental jazz); and the Joe Marcinek Band featuring Alan Evans (Soulive) Shaun Martin (Snarky Puppy) and Tony Hall (Dumpstaphunk), all of whom are superstars on the jam-band circuit.
The headliner is the Roosevelt Collier Trio, featuring Collier, a lap steel player who is a disciple of Robert Randolph. Randolph introduced “sacred steel” to the mainstream. It’s a style of music with roots in the black Pentecostal church that is soulful, bluesy and rocking, genres that jam-band fans gobble up like a certain kind of brownie.
Collier’s family, the Lee family, has also helped bring the music out of the church, with its band, the Lee Boys. The Lee Boys count Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Warren Haynes, formerly of the Allman Brothers Band and Los Lobos among their fans.
Collier grew up in a House of God church in Miami, Fla., where sacred steel music raised the rafters each Sunday.
“It’s definitely a style of music that is designed to touch and heal somebody,” said Collier, talking on the road between shows.
He said he isn’t surprised that music steeped in the gospel has found a home in the jam-band scene, which celebrates transcendence through improvisation.
“Our music is so jam-my,” Collier said. “It’s feel-good music. The jam-band scene gravitated to us quickly as soon as we hit the scene.”
Collier is touring behind his solo album, “Exit 16,” a reference to the exit that leads to his home. Relix, the jam-band bible, raved: “Exit 16 , the debut release from the Floridian, is some nasty, mean-ass funky business.”
It was produced by Michael League of the Brooklyn jazz collective, Snarky Puppy.
Collier’s soulful chops have landed him some guest spots with some of the scene’s biggest names including the Allman Brothers Band, who invited him to join them for “One Way Out” during their final run of shows in 2014.
A few weeks later, the jam scene returns to The Millennium Center for the third annual Thanksgathering on Nov. 21, 23 and 24. Bands on the bill include Dr. Bacon, Fat Cheek Kat, The Lee Boys, Big Daddy Love, Heather Gillis, Daniel Seriff and Marvelous Funkshun. George Porter Jr., the bass player for the original Meters is the headliner.