Spafford took part in an in-studio performance dubbed the Echo Sessions hosted by I Am AVL (Independent Arts and Music Asheville) to support Asheville, North Carolina’s local music scene. I Am AVL’s Echo Sessions are particularly special as they offer artists the option to do whatever they want with their time, with past performances ranging from 45 minutes to a couple of hours. For Spafford’s segment, fans were also invited to tune into a live multi-cam stream of the open-ended performance, which took place in an old church that’s been transformed into a world-class recording facility.

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The “Echo Sessions” set proved to be the perfect environment for Spafford to launch into an improvisational musical journey. In recent months, Spafford has become known for these improvisation-oriented explorations, having released the hourlong studio improv album Abaculus this past August. The Echo Sessions also came on the heels of Spafford’s fiery and improv-heavy show in Columbia, Missouri, this past Thursday, during which the band unleashed a massive, 57-minute “Bee Jam” as a part of their three-song first set.

To open the performance, Spafford came straight out the gates with a 55-minute improvisational first set that is already earning legendary status. In this near-hourlong jam, the band was truly limitless and without boundaries, proving that they were truly in their element. Across the hour, the band explored many themes, often landing in bliss-filled major key progressions, swampy funk-filled low-end jams, electronic grooves reminiscent of 90’s warehouse parties, and blistering guitar peaks.

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With the stream also providing live video, it was clear that the individual band members were enjoying themselves just as much as listeners. After the first segment wrapped up, listeners could hear Brian Moss (guitar/vox) asking the engineer just how long the group’s non-stop first set had gone on for, clearly having been lost in the jam with the rest of the audience.

After a quick set break, Spafford returned with a number of the band’s heavy hitters and a new Andrew “Red” Johnson (keys/vox) original, “My Road (My Road)”, which was debuted for the first time just last week. In true Spafford form, all of the second set’s songs were heavily laced with additional improvisation, showing just how connected the band’s members are to one another in a synchronized musical conversation.

Spafford’s “Echo Session”, which was hosted by I Am AVL (Independent Arts and Music Asheville), can be viewed in all of its glory below. See for yourself why this is being hyped as a truly special moment in the band’s history.

Setlist: Spafford | Echo Sessions with I Am AVL | Asheville, NC | 10/23/2017

Set One: Jam [1]

Set Two: Eternity, My Road (My Road), Electric Taco Stand, Backdoor Funk, Weasel, Beautiful Day

[1] 55 minutes

Echo Sessions, Asheville, NC, 10/23/2017 — Set One (Jam)


Echo Sessions, Asheville, NC, 10/23/2017 — My Road


Echo Sessions, Asheville, NC, 10/23/2017 — Electric Taco Stand

[Photo: Patrick Hughes]