(Platetectonic) In 2011 Frank Orral’s longtime, long-loved Poi Dog Pondering project did a grand multi-day 25th anninversary concert, re-assembling the old time Austin, TX lineup to recall the music of those days, and then dynamically surveying the band’s better-known Chicago lineup/catalogue. Releasing all of it all multi CDs and DVDs may seem excess, but this was a project about excess, and even PDP’s biggest critics would have a hard time arguing against their pleasantness and good personalities – they are simply too endearing to wear out their welcome. That said, a lot of folks don’t like jam bands, and listening to hours of them, even with the distinct personalities of the Texas and Chicago versions (the rootsier Austin lineup and the more ambitious, soul orchestra that congealed in Chi-town) brings to mind easy listening jam music, which ain’t exactly cutting edge. But the band, especially the gigantic Chicago lineup, drawing upon soulful Chicago sources and gospel vibes, is so skilled and joyful that even if it isn’t your cup of poi (the DVD includes some bonus material addressing the band’s earliest Hawaiian days) it’s hard to hate on even the corniest moments (“Sweet Caroline!”). I will make no Orral arguments against this, and fans of the band are very lucky to have this extravagant gift.