‘Cluster Flies’: Brendan Bayliss Covers ‘Twist’
JamBase presents Cluster Flies, a covers compilation reimagining Phish’s album Farmhouse, complete with bonus songs and revamped tracklist. The limited-edition 3LP release was mastered by engineer Joe Lambert and includes custom artwork and a poster created by longtime Phish collaborator Jim Pollock. A pre-order is underway now through May 3 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Visit www.clusterflies.com for purchasing information as well as full album credits and tracklist details.
Each of the songs on Cluster Flies will be featured via daily episodes of The JamBase Podcast with interviews with the musician that recorded the cover. Today’s episode features Umphrey’s McGee guitarist Brendan Bayliss’ cover of “Twist,” which premieres today on SiriusXM Phish Radio. Explore additional Cluster Flies podcast episodes here.
Phish’s song, “Twist,” is the second track on their album, Farmhouse. Trey Anastasio wrote the song with lyricist Tom Marshall.
The quartet unofficially debuted the tune at Sandstock, a show held for some friends at crew members Brad Sands and Pete Carini’s house in Charlotte, Vermont on June 6, 1997 before the band headed to Europe for the first leg of a summer tour. “Twist” was premiered publicly on the second night of the tour at The SFX Center in Dublin, Ireland on June 14, 1997.
More Cluster Flies on JamBase
“Twist” was part of a huge batch of originals Phish debuted during the two-night stand in Dublin that began the tour. A total of 13 songs were premiered as part of the run including fellow Cluster Flies tracks “Dogs Stole Things,” “Vultures,” “Dirt,” “Bye Bye Foot” and “Piper.”
Phish didn’t wait long to use “Twist” as a jam vehicle with a 13-minute version played in Prague on June 20, 1997 followed by an 18-minute workout at the Hurricane Festival the next night. “Twist” was played a total of 11 times in 1997. However, the song appeared live just twice in 1998. The first came on opening night of the Island Tour and helped set the tone for the run.
Once Phish’s 1999 got underway “Twist” went into heavy rotation and has been a staple of the live repertoire ever since. The four-piece has yet to go more than 20 shows between plays over the past 21 years. A total of 148 versions of “Twist” have been performed by Phish between 1997 – 2020. Anastasio adapted the song for the Trey Anastasio Trio in April 2018 and performed “Twist” most recently on October 23, 2020 at The Beacon Theatre in New York City to close out his third of eight “The Beacon Jams” livestream concerts.
“Twist” was covered for Cluster Flies by Umphrey’s McGee guitarist Brendan Bayliss, who was joined on the recording by pedal steel guitarist Mike Racky. The Cluster Flies “Twist” cover premieres today on SiriusXM Phish Radio on an episode of host Ari Fink’s Headbands featuring Brendan Bayliss. Along with debuting his Cluster Flies cover of “Twist,” BB will showcase his DJ skills by playing a set of hand-selected tracks by other musicians. Tune in to SiriusXM Phish Radio today, Thursday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET to listen to Brendan’s Headbands episode.
Bayliss recently spoke to JamBase’s Scott Bernstein for today’s episode of The JamBase Podcast. Brendan discussed Phish, recording “Twist” and more.