A new poll conducted by Gallup for the Jam Act Association (JAA) has just been released. The survey, which asked 36 questions to over 8,000 individuals on lot from May 2016 through September 2016, provides a detailed look at the jam scene and various bands’ approval ratings. Unsurprisingly, Vermont-based jam quartet Twiddle topped the list for highest approval ratings across the board, narrowly beating out older ensembles, The Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers, who locked down the second and third spots for highest approval ratings.
The results of the study definitively showing Twiddle as the least controversial jam band should not come as too much of a shock, particularly when considering the generally pleasant, if not impartial, reaction the band receives from jam band aficionados on a number of online forums. Survey participants cited a number of reasons as to why the band was able to lock down such a high approval rating, with Twiddle’s consistently positive lyrics, feel-good melodies, and skilled musicianship topping the list of why the band consistently receives appreciation, even from those less familiar with their catalog.
In follow-up questioning regarding the survey, one anonymous participant reaffirmed Gallup’s findings: “That makes sense. Whenever Twiddle is mentioned, I don’t think I’ve ever felt a really strong compulsion to make sure everyone knows exactly how I feel about them.”
One response by a survey participant in Colorado summed up many people’s thoughts nicely: “I mean, it is rare to see any form of Twiddle hate, either in-person or online. When I do, it’s always coming from people who haven’t actually listened to the band or who just want to hate on something just to be different.”
Twiddle’s low controversy rating comes in stark contrast to fellow Vermonters, Phish. The full study discussed this phenomenon at length, though Principal Investigator of the study, Dr. Frank N. Foote, had this to say: “One thing that I found remarkable while analyzing the survey results is how Phish’s approval rating ended up taking a direct hit based on their geographic closeness to Twiddle. It’s an anomaly that the two are so regularly compared, particularly when looking at the rate of comparison to bands of dissimilar geographical origin. While further research is in order, it’s almost as if because Twiddle is generally well liked and from Vermont that Phish can’t be appreciated for their own musical merit.”
The full results of the survey as well as the survey report are available both on the Gallup website and on the Jam Act Association’s website. Stay tuned, as JAA is sure to be publishing increasingly more research-based studies about the music we love in future months following the 45th president’s expansion of the National Endowment for the Arts.