Watch Daniel Donato Cover Phish’s ‘Back On The Train’ Live In Florida

The Cosmic Country artist nearly doubled the length of the "Back On The Train" he recorded for JamBase's 'Cluster Flies' compilation.

By Scott Bernstein Jun 16, 2021 8:39 am PDT

Nashville-based guitarist Daniel Donato shared pro-shot video featuring a performance of the Phish cover “Back On The Train” from a May concert in Gainesville, Florida. The seven-minute rendition was filmed at Gainesville’s High Dive on May 16 during the final night of Donato’s “Freaky Florida” spring tour.

Donato previously recorded a studio version of “Back On The Train” for JamBase’s Cluster Flies, a covers compilation reimagining Phish’s Farmhouse album. The talented guitarist was joined by his band — guitarist Nick Fry, bassist Will McGee and drummer Kirby Bland — for the sizzling version in Gainesville featuring a nicely extended solo from Daniel.

Daniel Donato discussed his decision to cover “Back On The Train” for Cluster Flies during his appearance on The JamBase Podcast. Read the start of his explanation below:

The thing that is the most American of the Grateful Dead and Phish for me is the songwriting. The songwriting is relying on a lot of characters and a lot of stories and motifs that can be traced back to older days of America. If you get into Robert Hunter’s way of approaching lyricism with Fennario and using imagery like that, it kind of harkens to a place that almost is a cosmic Americana place that never really was. I feel like ‘Back On The Train’ borrows from that same well of imagination. ‘See my face in the town that’s flashing by,’ it’s like what town? I listen to this song and I’m trying to paint this place every time I play it.

Check out Donato and company’s “Back On The Train” from Gainesville via the JamBase Live Video Archive (JBLVA):


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