Fuego by Phish is the Pick of the Week

#NewMusicTuesday releases, June 24
  |   Comments

When Jerry Garcia died in 1995 there was a big, giant hole left in the lives of thousands upon thousands of people.  The Grateful Dead had legions of fans, many who followed the band around the country from tour to tour, show to show.  It was only natural then that those people began looking for another band to fill that void.  

For many Phish was a perfect fit.  The Vermont based jam band is made up of a bunch of Deadheads who love playing live as much as the Dead ever did.  They know how to play and to jam and much like the Dead, each concert is far different than the last one.

Of course lots of Deadheads hated Phish for a variety of reasons and looked to Widespread Panic or moe. or The String Cheese Incident and countless others for their musical needs.  There was an endless debate on message boards on just which of these bands was best and should take the crown from the Grateful Dead's ashes.

At the time I was just becoming a Deadhead and thus was still plunging into the depths of their catalog (and just begining to discover the millions of hours of bootlegs available) and so the debate was more of a fun read than anything I was actually invested in. And the bands were names I committed to memory, and added to my mental lists of things to eventually listen to, but at the time I was wholly committed to loving the Dead.

At some point a big box of Phish showed up on some trading site and I grabbed it up.  Trouble was having never listened to any of their studio work I didn't have a solid base of songs that I knew that could allowe me to enjoy this collection of live shows.  Phish jams so much in their concerts that their songs sound nothing like they do in the studio, but at least knowing those basic building blocks would have helped me enjoy the bootlegs.  As it was it all just sounded like endless jams, and while I'm not opposed to that it was difficult finding a connecting point.

Over the years I've been able to listen to some of their albums, and heard them jam with guys like Phil Lesh and learned to respect their chops.  Yet I still have never been able to really love them like I think I should. There are some bands that just seem like they should be right up my alley, but that for whatever reason I can't get into.

Still, I like to try.  Yesterday I heard Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell interviewed on NPR and they played some track from their newest album Fuego and I liked it.  Maybe this will finally be the album to make me a phan.  I'm willing to take that chance.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

Live in the 70's - Albert King:  King is considered one of the all time great blues guitarists.  These 13 tracks are culled from a couple of live shows in 1970.  

Carter Barron Amphitheater Washington, DC, July 17 1976 - The Band:  I've had a bootleg of this show for years and it really rather smokes.  Recorded just a few weeks before their legendary Last Waltz concert this one shows the boys at their very best.  I'm anxious to see how this official release compares to my boot.

Why - Ginger Baker:  Legendary Cream drummer creates his first album in 16 years.