Happy Birthday Mike Gordon: Jamming With Other Bassists

By Team JamBase Jun 3, 2019 1:22 pm PDT

Phish bassist Mike Gordon was born on this date in 1965, making today the masterful musician’s 54th birthday. Gordon, known for holding down the low end with his groove-forward style has been involved with several projects outside of Phish during his career.

His solo project opened for moe. at Red Rocks Amphitheatre this past Saturday, and Gordon sat-in with the headliners adding double bass alongside Rob Derhark. To honor the man known as Cactus on his birthday, below is a collection of five times he’s performed live with fellow bassists.

Mike with Rob Derhak of moe. – In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed – June 1, 2019

The first entry on the list is the aforementioned performance with moe. and Rob at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Gordon and the band performed a cover of The Allman Brothers Band’s “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.” Guitarist Al Schnier opens the song with an anecdote about playing with Gov’t Mule fourteen years prior, a show for which Gordon was also present. Watch Mike and moe. perform “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed” via spaceodyssee2000 here:

Mike with Les Claypool of The Claypool Lennon Delirium – Tomorrow Never Knows – May 2, 2019

Mike Gordon sat in with The Claypool Lennon Delirium during Jazz Fest at NOLA’s Civic Theatre for a cover of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Gordon doubled up with Les Claypool while guitarist Sean Lennon worked teases of Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone From The Sun” into one of his solos. Watch Mike and The Claypool Lennon Delirium perform “Tomorrow Never Knows” via jackel7777 here:

Mike with Phil Lesh – He’s Gone – August 1, 2013

Mike and Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh have shared the live stage many times over the past 20 years. This clip comes from Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads venue in San Rafael, California. The two basses and The Terrapin Family Band can be seen performing the Dead’s classic “He’s Gone” in the video shared by LazyLightning55a below:

Mike with Oteil Burbridge – Walls Of Time – April 16, 2011

At one point it appeared Mike would perhaps hold down the low end for Dead & Company, but that role was filled by Oteil Burbridge. Oteil sat-in with Mike’s solo band back in 2011 at the Wanee Music Festival in Live Oak, Florida. Burbridge’s bass joined Gordon’s on a sequence that strung together “The Walls of Time” > “Black Tambourine” > “Down to the Nightclub” > “Susskind Hotel” > “Black Tambourine.” A portion of the sit-in posted by Cory Rase can be seen here:

Mike with Victor Wooten – Jam

Another frequent bassist that Mike has played with numerous times over the years is Victor Wooten of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. The pair of talented bassists jam together at Wooten’s Bass/Nature Camp in the video below provided by The Musician Network. According to the video’s caption, the footage is of “a practice jam, where a young ‘un (Tony Trishka’s son = Sean on drums) is learning to improvise and feel the music.” Watch Victor and Mike below:

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