144

Phish: Farmhouse

By

Sign in to view read count
The Grateful Dead may well have laid the foundation for the evolution of the jamband genre but the Ben & Jerry’s torch has melted the minds of a new generation as Cherry Garcia drips down the granola cone and coagulates, becoming Phish Food. Vermont’s finest export, and premiere jamband on the planet, returns to the Farmhouse and listeners everywhere can rejoice. The notion of Phish setting up in a Farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere and having 50,000 of their compadres stop by for an evening of peace, love and musical harmony resonates with the authenticity of the vibe that encompasses this elegant ray of sonic sunshine.

After one wanders through this house down on the farm, it becomes clear that these songs have fermented over time as extensions of the band’s extended jams and improvisations during their legendary live shows which range from 4 to 7 hours. The pomp and circumstance of Phish’s arrangements, at times, remind one of the best of calculated classic rock, while at others just fill the air with swirls of the band’s unpretentious freeform soaring, like that of a nightingale above a remote lake at the break of dawn.

The sparse booklet features a picture of each band member with a thumbnail of the respective musical instrument. It’s as simple as that. Trey plays guitar, Page, piano, Jon, drums and Mike, bass. Just four feel-good gents groovin’ through many sonic textures with aural seasonings provided by a slew of musicians contributing on trombone, saxophone, dobro, cello, trumpet, viola, violin and some banjo care of Bela Fleck.

A moment of universal transcendence is evident with this offering as Farmhouse is chock full of buckets of shuffles and noodles care of “Twist” and the Casey Jones-esque “Back on the Train” but songs, that dare I say, stick in your mind. “Heavy Things” recalls the best of the Grateful Dead laced with a touch of southern hospitality while “Dirt” elevates your conscience with majestic beauty as its string arrangements lift this song up to the heavens.

The one thing that really stands out is the production by Bryce Goggin and Trey as each instrument is given plenty of warm breathing room but yet the collective sound weaves in and out the way a parade of parishioners might down a narrow winding road on a long strange trip. The packaging also gives a nod to the bare bones simplicity of this band...it’s all about the music and nothing more.

The last platter served up at the Pharmhouse is a tour de force jam that begins with a juicy riff that would be at home on any recent John Scofield record and then launches into full psychedelic meandering and by the time it finishes...you are wishing there was an encore.

So, is Phish really that swimmingly good? What other band could come up with a catchy little boogie replete with horns called “Gotta Jibboo”? But as the initiated can already attest to, You gotta Jibboo! There’s no second thought...you get up off your butt and Jibboo.

Rating 4 out 5 stars.

Track listing: Farmhouse/ Twist/ Bug/ Back on the Train/ Heavy Things/ Gotta Jibboo/ Dirt / Piper/ Sleep/ The Inlaw Josey Wales/ Sand/ First Tube

Personnel:

Trey Anastasio (guitar) / Page McConnell (piano) / Jon Fishman (drums) / Mike Gordon (bass)

| Record Label: Wea/Elektra | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by John Sharpe
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "2-Man Jazz Band" CD/LP/Track Review 2-Man Jazz Band
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "First Man" CD/LP/Track Review First Man
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Afternoon In Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Afternoon In Paris
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 11, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!