Thanks very much to Jesse Feitel who contibuted this week's video of the week.
On the heels of a legendary and momentous summer tour ending at the Sugarbush Resort in Vermont, Phish entered into its elaborate Fall 1994 tour with a full head of steam. The tour, which has given us countless "best-of" versions of songs, the first costume set Halloween show in Glen Falls, NY, and jolted the band into national prominence and its first visit to Madison Square Garden on December 30th, was unique in every sense of the word. For a select few shows throughout the November Midwest portion of the tour, legendary bluegrass musician Reverend Jeff Mosier, who had previously played with Bluegrass Underground and the Aquarium Rescue Unit, joined Phish on the road to educate the band on its hunger to play more Bluegrass tunes throughout its live performances.
Fans curious to see and hear this incredible week of music should be grateful to Mosier, who did a wonderful job of documenting his time with the band. In his video collection, we see Phish learning the intricacies of playing classic Bluegrass tunes from the Reverend, as well as an unbelievably candid view into the band off the stage. Musically, Mosier teaches the band Bluegrass classics, and plays along onstage, with such tunes as "My Long Journey Home", "To France", "Fixin' To Die", and many others. Many of these tunes were performed in Bloomington, IN on November 19th, in the parking lot outside of the venue after the show. Tapes circulate of this incredible Phish experience, where the band sits in with Mosier and local musicians to the delight of the fans who decided to stick around after the show. This week's incredible video shows the band practicing "I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome", a tune which would find its way into the rotation in Fall 1995, much to the delight of those who love hearing Page hit those beautiful high notes. The video is from the afternoon of November 16th, just hours before the band would officially debut the tune at the Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan. The clip includes several points where the Reverend helps the band develop the pace of the classic song, and shows just how talented each of the members of the band are to learn a song in such a short period of time. Fish is absent from the clip.
Please enjoy this video of the week, and we hope that this small look into Fall 1994 either leads you to discover, or even re-discover some of the incredible moments from those legendary months in Phish history.
[Note: Jeff Mosier was a very early member of ARU. Interestingly, a recent interview with Jimmy Herring of ARU, about his influences was published in Guitar World:
"The Aquarium Rescue Unit and Phish used to play together quite a bit back in the old days. We were coming up at the same time and you knew those guys were going to be huge. They were really cool to us. We would go up to the Northeast and open for Phish and then they would come down South and open for us in places like Atlanta and Tuscaloosa. And we would be laughing like, “Phish is opening for us, what a joke!” because we knew they were going to take over the world. You could see it coming and eventually they did."
Every Friday, we highlight a video with a brief recap of the show it is from and what makes it interesting, noteworthy or simply fun. With the help of Dan Saewitz from Phishvids.com, we hope to keep the stream of videos coming at you entertaining and interesting. Have a cool video you’d like to suggest? Interested in contributing a review yourself? Please feel free to PM me and we’d be more than happy to get your input. Thanks for reading and watching.