Jam Bands were frequently pegged as Grateful Dead or Allman Brothers copyists when they first emerged in the early '90s. There was some truth to that, since jam bands were influenced by these groups, but jam bands were hardly mere revivalists. They were synthesists, borrowing elements of everything from classic rock and bluegrass to soul jazz and Sting & Paul Simon's worldbeat explorations. The first jam bands -- Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, Spin Doctors, among others -- were more rock-oriented, but as the decade rolled on and more bands were formed, the genre's diversity deepened. Of all these bands, Phish towered above the rest, due to their musical eclecticism, uncanny technical abilities, and massive popularity.