Phish Bluegrass Influences Spotify Playlist

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Last night Phish kicked off their 2017 Summer Tour with the first of three shows in Chicago. While only one concert into the tour, the band’s penchant for pulling from a disparate array of genres is on display each time the quartet takes the stage together. This installment of Saturday Stream presents a 40-track Spotify Playlist examining Phish’s relationship to bluegrass, the many musicians of the genre that have inspired them and more.

The playlist is presented in three parts beginning with 15 original renditions of bluegrass songs Phish as performed live throughout their career. Such legends as Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys, Del McCoury Band, The Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Martin, The Dillards and Norman Blake are part of the collection. Hot Rize’s “Nellie Kane,” which was played in last night’s first set, is also among the tracks in the first section.

The next segment begins with two Phish bluegrass originals “My Sweet One” and “Poor Heart.” Those two songs are followed by the group covering most of the songs in first section with some bonus tunes thrown in as well. This collection of tracks finds guitarist Trey Anastasio, bassist Mike Gordon, keyboardist Page McConnnell and drummer Jon Fishman in various electric and acoustic instrumental configurations. Several selections are from the November 22, 1994 concert that came after a five day crash course in bluegrass administered by tour mate and Aquarium Rescue Unit band member Rev. Jeff Mosier. Those Fall Tour ’94 recordings feature Trey on acoustic guitar, Mike on banjo, Page on upright bass and Fish keeping time on mandolin (view Mosier’s home video footage from the tour below). The version of “Ginseng Sullivan” from August 13, 1993 also features an acoustic Anastasio with Fish on his “Madonna” washboard.

The final playlist segment begins with Mike’s banjo teacher Gordon Stone leading his trio on a bluegrass arrangement of Phish’s original “Runaway Jim” from the Sharin’ In The Groove tribute album. An additional 12 Phish originals are given the bluegrass treatment on the Gone Phishin: A Blugress Tribute album from the Pickin’ On Series that features Brent Truitt and closes out the set.

Stream the Phish bluegrass playlist below:

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