A YEAR IN MUSIC: 2014
Review by: Roland Bruynesteyn
Phish started in the late 80’s but only got to be somewhat famous after 1995, when Jerry Garcia (of Grateful Dead fame) died, and Phish more or less became the new leaders of the jam band scene. They tour a lot and, not unlike the Grateful Dead, concerts and live cd’s are ‘where it’s at’. Although they never formally broke up, there are some hiatuses in their career and Fuego is their latest studio album (from a year, 2014, about which we’ll have to wait some time before we can pass a final judgment as to its musical quality).
Things I like about the album are the absolute virtuosity by all members on their respective instruments (Trey Anastasio, on guitar, lead vocals and main composer, gets most credits but they’re all masters of their instruments), the way they ooze musicianship, the variety in the songs, the non-sensical lyrics and even, sometimes the emotions they convey in their songs.
On this album, “The Line” and “Wombat” are the silly songs (to my ears) but all others rule, especially the title track, “Devotion To A Dream”, “Winterqueen”, “Sing Monica” and “Waiting All Night”. Be warned though, these versions are nowhere near their definitive renditions; you’ll have to download or buy one of their concerts. Check it out and discover how musicians can make a living and have fun at the same time!