The String Cheese Incident
Carnival '99

review = A

History will smile upon the String Cheese Incident. It has to. More so than any other band since the Grateful Dead, the SCI has seduced the roots of American music into a mind bending strip tease of audio pleasure. That's not say the SCI sound like the Dead. They don't. But they do approach the jam with a similar sense of improvisational adventure. They also blaze the trail for the red eyed and smiling traveling circus faithfully following the band's well traveled tour bus wherever it goes. Listening to their music feels good. Dancing to it is even better.

Carnival '99 is the 'Ultimate Incident'- a double live album snipped from a dozen killer performances. But the production quality is seamless - damned if this doesn't sound like one show that just keeps flowing. And that's exactly what SCI is all about, -the flow-. Not only are these guys masterful musicians individually - keyboards, mandolin, bass, guitar and drums - together they are a ten legged barn dance that hasn't come across a musical genre it can't saddle up and ride like the wind. Sure, SCI is strong on the traditional elements of new-grass with plenty of Cajun rhythms, blues and 'string swing,' but they also rock out with signal processed psychedelia ala Phish, and their distinctive interpretations of jazz standards ("Take Five," "Birdland") are a delight. Why wait for history? Carnival '99 is in town today.