Watch Phish Jam On Jeff Beck’s Freeway Jam

See the quartet work elements of the Blow By Blow classic into “Kill Devil Falls” and “A Wave Of Hope.”

By Scott Bernstein Jan 12, 2023 8:19 am PST

The music world is still reeling from the loss of innovative guitarist Jeff Beck, who died on Tuesday at age 78 from bacterial meningitis. Beck’s music influenced many guitarists who followed in his footsteps including Trey Anastasio of Phish. Trey worked riffs from the Jeff Beck-recorded “Freeway Jam” into a handful of the band’s improvisations last year with the most recent instance taking place on December 28, 2022 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The instrumental “Freeway Jam” was written by Jeff Beck’s keyboard player, Max Middleton. A studio version appears on Jeff Beck’s iconic 1975 album Blow By Blow, while a live rendition opens 1977’s Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer Group Live. “Freeway Jam” was the eighth most played song in Beck’s live repertoire as per stats on Setlist.FM.

Phish hinted at “Freeway Jam” during the expansive “Wolfman's Brother” at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama on May 29, 2022. A more pronounced foray into the song was led by Anastasio around the nine-minute mark of a jam developed out of “Kill Devil Falls” at Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan on August 3, 2022. The band posted pro-shot video of the 15-minute “KDF.” Watch below and note the “Freeway Jam” riffs starting at the 9:21 mark:

Phish (See 234 videos)
Phish (See 3,920 videos)

It was on the first night of Phish’s 2022 New Year’s Eve Run at MSG where the longest iteration of improv based on the “Freeway Jam” went down. The riffage from Anastasio begins around the 4:09 mark of the “A Wave Of Hope” video featured below and Trey comes back to the theme a few times during the high-octane jam. Check it out here:

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