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Monday, October 28, 2019

Trey Anastasio Tells Neil Young & Willie Nelson Stories

Last night (Oct 27), Trey Anastasio told an epic tale of playing with Willie Nelson and Neil Young at Farm Aid's 1998 concert.   (Thanks Jambase!)

Playing at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Trey relates -- in rather humorous fashion -- suggesting to Willie Nelson they play "Moonlight In Vermont" and to Neil Young they play “Powderfinger”. Neil warns Trey that he is not much of a planner ends up joining Phish’s set for a 26 minute jam on “Down By The River.” (See below only 1st 19 minutes.)

On October 3, 1998, Phish performed at the Farm Aid Benefit, near Chicago, IL, with Young. Setlist notes from Andy's Phish Page indicate that Young joined Phish onstage for "Runaway Jim". Next came an electric instrumental that is best described as "Arc"-like. This was followed by a monster 26 minute jam on "Down By the River".

Judge for your self, but this version of "Down By the River" is considered to be of the top 10 performances of the song. Certainly the best ever non Ol-Black version. Neil uses a hollow body Gretsch guitar (Trey Anastasio's older Languedoc guitars, hand-made by Phish soundman Paul Languedoc) and delivers some heavy hand blows to the body at various jam points. Massive shredding ensues.

The Trey and Neil duel (@ 12:45 above) is epic. We can't honestly we've ever seen another guitarist ever push Neil so far to the dark side. Unfortunately, the YouTube version is *only* 19 minutes long.

Phish and Neil Young - Farm Aid 1998 
 Photo by Barry Brechsian
Back in 2011, here's what Phish's Trey Anastasio has to say about Neil Young:
If I was ever going to teach a master class to young guitarists, the first thing I would play them is the first minute of Neil Young's original "Down by the River" solo. It's one note, but it's so melodic, and it just snarls with attitude and anger.

It's like he desperately wants to connect.
Neil's playing is like an open tube from his heart right to the audience. In the Nineties, we played a festival with Crazy Horse. At the end of "Like a Hurricane," Neil went into this feedback solo that was more like a sonic impressionist painting. He was about six feet back from the microphone, singing so you could just hear him over the colorful waves of hurricane-like sound.
I think about that moment a lot when I'm playing. Traditional concepts of rhythm and keys are great, but music is like a giant ocean. It's a big, furious place, and there are a lot of trenches that haven't been explored.
Neil is still blazing a trail for people who are younger than him, reminding us you can break artistic ground.
More on Phish and Neil Young.

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At 10/28/2019 12:20:00 PM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

Paul Barrere Rest in Peace. Little Feat is another reason why the Rock n Roll HOF doesn't matter.

At 10/28/2019 03:14:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I saw Little Feet on the Waiting for Columbus tour and they were fantastic. Paul was an extraordinary player and I’m sure he and Lowell George are jamming out in heaven.


At 10/29/2019 06:37:00 AM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

I wish I had seen that Tour Dan. Unfortunately, that was 5 1/2 years before I saw my first Neil show & was still a dumb 15 year old. Heaven's making some great music these days & Paul will certainly make it better.

At 10/31/2019 02:33:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Seeing this I think it's time to donate to Thrasher's Wheat again,which I gladly do.Fans for fans...Cees Mostert,the Netherlands.

At 10/31/2019 10:49:00 AM, Blogger windsaloft said...

I was at farm aid '98 (how's that for a fuckin' shill, THRASHER???). imo the phish "dbtr" was not that great. neil never really took off on trey's goofy little guitar. neil's solo set that night was much better. he came out with a grizzly old man beard and played heartfelt versions of old man, powderfinger, throw your hatred down, and others.

At 11/01/2019 04:25:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Peacelover Doc & Dan - Paul Barrere passing is definitely a big loss for Little Feat fans. And another egregious oversight in the Rock n Roll HOF similar to Crazy Horse's omission.

We were very luck to have caught Lowell George back in the day on Waiting for Columbus tour. One of the great live albums of all time, for sure.

@ Cees - Thanks for the donation. Much appreciated to help defray TW expenses, such as bandwidth, storage, etc.

Frankly, we'd rather have your comments here than a donation. Listen, your thoughts are infinitely better than silver & gold. sincerely.

take care, thanks for readin' & keep on rockin'!


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