In 2001, during Phish's hiatus, Page McConnell recruited a Hall of Fame-caliber rhythm section - Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit) and drummer Russell Batiste (the Meters) - for this atmospheric jazz - and funk-flavored project. On their self-titled debut album, Vida Blue explores both textures and grooves.
The seeds for Vida Blue were sewn when McConnell attended shows by the Allman Brothers Band and the Meters in April 2001. McConnell honed in on the playing of Burbridge and Batiste, and the wheels began turning. When both enthusiastically assented, McConnell took the reins and made the arrangements, booking time for the trio at a New Orleans studio.
The trio cut tracks and jammed for a week at Piety Street Recording, a brand-new studio in New Orleans' Ninth Ward. McConnell subsequently added instrumental overdubs and vocals back home in Vermont.
The uniqueness of Vida Blue lies in the indefinable chemistry that emerged during their recording sessions. "Vida Blue has brought out something new and different in our playing," he enthuses. "We developed a personality and character as a band. It really does have its own sound and chemistry and energy.