‘Cluster Flies’: William Tyler Covers Phish’s ‘The Inlaw Josie Wales’

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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 guitarist William Tyler’s cover of “The Inlaw Josie Wales.” Explore additional Cluster Flies podcast episodes here.

Phish’s song, “The Inlaw Josie Wales,” appears as the 10th track on Farmhouse. Written by guitarist Trey Anastasio, the rarely played instrumental has only been performed by the band 15 times in concert and not at all since October 6, 2000.

Eventually taking its title from the 1976 feature film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Anastasio went through several name changes after debuting the song on his May 1999 solo tour before landing on its current “Inlaw” moniker. The version recorded for Farmhouse featured guest contributions from banjo player Béla Fleck and dobro player Jerry Douglas.

While a Phish rarity, “The Inlaw Josie Wales” is the most played solo acoustic song performed by Trey, with Phish.net’s Scott Marks tallying 71 renditions through last year’s gorgeous arrangement with pianist Jeff Tanski at “The Beacon Jams.”

The episode of The JamBase Podcast below takes a deep dive into the history of “The Inlaw Josie Wales.” Also featured is an interview with guitarist William Tyler who recorded an beautiful cover of “The Inlaw Josie Wales” for Cluster Flies.

Stream William Tyler’s cover of Phish’s “The Inlaw Josie Wales” for JamBase’s Cluster Flies compilation here:

When the members of Team JamBase kicked around ideas for who we’d like to have cover each of the songs on Cluster Flies, perhaps the only unanimous choice on everyone’s tracklist was William for “The Inlaw Josie Wales.” No stranger to instrumental acoustic guitar, William executed a spot-on rendition of “Inlaw,” which he told JamBase’s Andy Kahn about when they spoke about the project recently. William also talked about naming his high school band after a Phish song, his recollections of seeing them live, figuring out how to play “The Inlaw Josie Wales” and more.

Listen to the “The Inlaw Josie Wales” Cluster Flies episode of The JamBase Podcast below or via all major podcast services including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Google Podcast: