An avant-garde jazz group based in Athens, Georgia, SS Puft (a number of whimsical definitions of the acronym are in circulation) formed in December 2000. Guitarist Colin Bragg, trumpeter Jeff Crouch, h'arpeggionist Erik Hinds (the h'arpeggione is an 18-string guitar/cello/bass hybrid), and drummer Blake Helton all knew each other previously from other ensembles in and around Athens. Bragg and Hinds perform together in Julia Powell's rock group Riveter. They also play in the Georgian Contemporary Unit with Helton who in turn forms with Hinds and Kyle Dawkins the trio Thicken the Plot.
The group performs avant-garde jazz compositions and improvisations with a likeness to the Chicago style developed in the 1990s by Ken Vandermark and his circle. Vandermark 5 saxophonist Dave Rempis guests on SS Puft's debut album, the 2-CD set Live at Earthshaking Music (released on Hinds's imprint Solponticello). For its second opus Seems Sometimes People Undergo Full Transformation the group expanded to a quintet, adding saxophonist Mike Hough (also in Riveter). The group performs regularly in Georgia and appeared at the Athens festival Athfest 2002. As of fall 2002, tours in Chicago and California are in the works, along with a collaboration with the Georgia Guitar Quartet for a performance of Hinds' "Diorama Octet."