Mike Gordon Debuts Inventive Cover Of ’60s Hit In Atlanta

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On Saturday night Phish bassist Mike Gordon ended the main leg of his Fall Tour 2016 with a visit to Variety Playhouse in Atlanta ahead of a tour-closing, three-night stand at The Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts this weekend. Mike and his five-piece have kept the rotation fairly small in order to really dig in to the songs, but there have been a number of treats along the way. One such surprise took place on Saturday in Atlanta, when Gordon and his group debuted a take on the ’60s classic “Everybody’s Talkin’.”

The history of “Everybody’s Talkin'” is long as the song has been covered by over 100 artists following Fred Neil originally writing the tune in the Fall of 1966. While Neil’s version didn’t make much noise, a cover by Harry Nilsson went all the way to #6 on the Billboard singles chart in 1969. “Everybody’s Talkin'” was used within the film Midnight Cowboy, which certainly helped its chart position.

After Saturday’s performance Mike Gordon’s quintet joins a long and varied list of acts that have covered “Everybody’s Talkin'” that includes Stevie Wonder, Luna, Madeleine Peyroux, Liza Minnelli, Seasick Steve, Crowded House, the Meat Puppets and Bill Withers. The list also features a pair of the bassist’s other projects as he played “Everybody’s Talkin'” with Col. Bruce Hampton & The Code Talkers in 2001 and with Grappa Boom in 2003. Gordon’s band sets a cool, percussion-heavy base as they start the song thanks to a loop keyboardist Robert Walter created and triggered from his rig. Mike’s vocals fit “Everybody’s Talkin'” perfectly and he nails the particularly high note at the end.

An audience recording of Saturday’s show has surfaced on eTree thanks to Tim “Flip” Ruberg and Jacob Patton. Listen to “Everybody’s Talkin'”:

Mike had shared video from the soundcheck in Atlanta, which included a take on “Everybody’s Talkin'” featuring John Kimock bashing away on drums (21:00 mark):

[Correction: The article originally credited Kimock and Craig Myers with the percussive base of “Everybody’s Talkin’.” It was Robert Walter who created the loop used.]