Phish & Alison Krauss Perform ‘If I Could’ In Nashville On This Date In 1994
Grammy-winning vocalist Alison Krauss joined Phish for the first and only time to sing “If I Could” on May 3, 1994 — 27 years ago today — at Starwood Amphitheatre in the Nashville suburb of Antioch. Krauss had contributed to the studio version of “If I Could” found on the quartet’s new album at the time, Hoist.
Phish was slated to play at the intimate The Veranda At Starwood, a venue where they performed the previous summer, but the show was moved to the much larger amphitheater due to rain. The four-piece utilized Hank Williams Jr.’s P.A. and lighting since the country music legend had been rehearsing for tour on the main stage. Guitarist Trey Anastasio thanked Hank after “Stash” for use of the equipment and told the crowd Phish would perform Williams Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here On Monday Night,” the Monday Night Football theme song but after singing one line instead started “The Squirming Coil.”
Krauss emerged after the “David Bowie” that opened the second set. “We’re going to get a special guest out here to sing this next song. We’re very excited about this,” Anastasio said. “Could you please give a warm welcome for Alison Krauss.” Trey and Alison then dueted on the tender Hoist ballad. The bluegrass singer received a huge ovation when she stepped to the mic.
Listen to audio of the guest spot shared by Shane McFarland via Live Music Blog:
On February 12, 2018 in Pittsburgh during a solo acoustic show, Trey Anastasio told the story of how Phish convinced Krauss to contribute to Hoist. He explained how he and Phish bassist Mike Gordon saw Alison perform at the Flynn Theater in Burlington and they became obsessed with her. The band attended Alison Krauss & Union Station’s concert at the Troubadour in Hollywood during the recording of the album. After the show, Phish talked Krauss into heading into the studio with them and she nailed “If I Could” in two takes. Here’s video of Trey telling the tale and performing “If I Could” captured by NorthPittsburgh:
[Originally Published: May 3, 2019]