Summer Additions?

7.3.11 (G.Lucas)

When Phish splashes into an open jam, the adventure is on, regardless of what song the jam stemmed from. But in 2011, a tighter rotation of regular jam vehicles caused a tad of predictability to ooze into shows. Though the music could obviously go any which way, we all knew when jams were coming based on song selection—except in of a handful of surprise instances. With such a wide array of untapped material this era, the diversification of jam vehicles could instantly bolster the excitement of summer tour. In no way longing for the past, I believe the following five jams could be reinvented as platforms into the future.


“A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing”

With only two improvisational versions in this era—Deer Creek ’09 and Super Ball IX—it’s a wonder Phish hasn’t further tapped the vast potential of this sinister jam. Like many great Phish jams, this one starts out with structured improv centered on a monster guitar solo, but once this sequence ends, the flood gates of possibilities open. Not prone to one style of playing or another, “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” could easily mold to whatever direction the band chooses this summer. At Super Ball, the band quickly integrated an ambient-storage style jam into the piece, and back at  SPAC ’04, they launched into a refined excursion in psych-rock. Thus, every time the opening of this song growls through the stacks, there is inherent mystery as to where it will go. Check out Super Ball’s version below.



“Halley’s Comet”

Nothing screams summer Phish like “Halley’s Comet” jams. Making its improvisational name for itself from 1997 onward, “Halley’s” is always a welcome addition to any show in summer months. And when the band used it to craft one 2011’s defining jams out of the piece in Bethel, many fans thought its improvisational prowess had finally been resurrected. But it wasn’t to be, as the song returned to its compact form after its New York state adventure. Though doubtful, it would be invigorating to hear “Halley’s” grooves grace the summer air once again in 2012. Here’s Bethel’s version.



“Scents and Subtle Sounds”

This song has been an enigma in this era after emerging as one of the band’s compelling vehicles the last time around. Played only three times in 3.0—primarily for bust-out purposes—Trey launched into a soaring and emotional solo in Denver that seemed to awaken the spirit of the song. If “Scents and Subtle Sounds” returns to regular rotation—whether used as an open or contained jam—a certain majesty will come right along with it, perfectly meshing with any summer evening. And if this ever does transpire, let’s hope the band brings the intro with it! The following is Super Ball’s version—with intro.



“AC/DC Bag”

“AC/DC Bag” turned a corner in 1997, with so many other songs, and became a legitimate platform for improv. Though never a guaranteed jam, for the next four years, the band took the song in countless directions, from UIC ‘98s drone/ambient psychedelia to Virginia Beach ‘98’s summer funk to Boise ‘99’s all-time spiritual excursion. The Gamehendge favorite hasn’t broken form in this era, which isn’t all that surprising, but if the band ever decided to toss a few “Bag” jams into the second set, things could get spicy quickly! Check out Virginia Beach ’98 below.



“Round Room”

Here’s a dark horse pick. Appearing only a handful of times in the post-hiatus era, the title track from Round Room could make an intriguing launch pad with the band members’ now-polished skill sets. Taken in layered, ambient directions back in ’03, this jam could benefit from the sound-sculpting acumen of Phish these days. I wonder, however, if “Round Room” is even still on their radar. Here’s the Gorge version from 2003.



What song’s would you like to be seen focused on this summer? Respond via Twitter with the hashtag #minertalk, or on the Facebook page! Or just post in comments below, but let’s hear what you think!

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800 Responses to “Summer Additions?”

  1. MiA Says:

    Caspian is 11 minutes plus in that Fillmore show, Roggae is 9 minutes, and Birds is 8+

    Which all of them are longer than the Tweezer at Telluride or the Ghost at UIC


  2. roberto luongo Says:

    NTM I’ll need a pair eventually.

  3. [Not Tom] Says:

    Just listened to the 11 min Caspain – pretty much sounds like a 5 minute version

  4. [Not Tom] Says:

    They ship from PTBM in late May, Roberto

  5. Multibeast Says:

    yep, PNC’s version was a pleasant surprise that is for sure. I bought the live phish treatment of that show because of the after midnight.

    Would the boys have to throw an all night concert in order to even get to the patience of the big cypress after midnight jam in 3.0? Probably.

  6. thedayman Says:

    IT. Waves. boom.

  7. [Not Tom] Says:

    roberto – hit me up at the email addy below if you want to keep in touch

    m a r s h a l l dot c r u t c h e r at g m a i l dot c o m

  8. [Not Tom] Says:

    @ thedayman – I hope you aren’t at work as listening to Waves in the workplace can cause disorientation, trance-like states, and odd stares from co-workers who wonder WTF happened to you.

  9. Leo Weaver Says:

    The new Lee Fields album is, in fact, a keeper! Good call poopyG, thanks for the heads-up!

  10. kayatosh Says:

    Nice piece, miner. jammed round room FTW.

    9.2.89 JBG has been treating em right. great recording

  11. thedayman Says:

    @Not tom – haha, fortunately not. library’d. people just assume you’re losing your mind, and they wouldn’t be half wrong.

  12. [Not Tom] Says:

    @ leo – looks like AC is up in the air for me – work is pressing and with 3 dates in August so close that can be done in a weekend I’m finding it harder and harder to justify the 5 days in June for the trip. Allison’s birthday is early June as well, complicating things (Honey, I can’t take off for your birthday because I’m going to AC to see Phish the next weekend ???). Not out yet, but might be. Just giving you the heads up.

    How’s the family at home? I need to get up there and see the new addition real soon.

  13. Leo Weaver Says:

    Doing really well, thanks for asking @NTM. I’ll shoot you an email with more. You def need to visit. One of the partners in Mac’s is a client of mine…he said they’re getting close to opening the G’ville shop. I told him to stop in your shop to pick up some yogurt…he’s familiar with your store.

  14. [Not Tom] Says:

    I am literally champing at the bit for Mac’s to open. It’s right across the street from Flour Field downtown. Fantastic location and a great addition to the West End.

  15. [Not Tom] Says:

    Send a family picture in the email if you have one handy.

  16. SillyWilly Says:

    Lose your mind. You don’t need it.

  17. DryIceFactory Says:

    omg can people stop talking about mike’s jams already? we arent getting one. they (reads: Trey) obviously like Mike’s the way it is. in fact we will probably NEVER get another jammed out Mike’s Song.

  18. [Not Tom] Says:

    @ Silly – you are about to graduate right? Seems like just yesterday we were talking about your first semester’s exams.

  19. alf Says:

    thanks for the heads up sumo!

    also saw an alabama shakes show on etree also for those getting into them. believe it had a link to the archive so there’s probly more live shows on there

  20. alf Says:

    see, this is why all you non-TTers are missing out, been spinning lee fields to death for weeks up in there!

  21. SillyWilly Says:


    Yeah, man. A mere 31 days away.

    And you’re right the time has passed quickly. Thanks for all your advice, man.

    Just workin the job search right now. Its exciting because I could literally be anywhere in the country this fall

  22. thedayman Says:

    yeah, fuck my mind.

    PSA to phish.

  23. Mr.Miner Says:

    i gotta get some orders in for BGC

  24. roberto luongo Says:

    Alf is the only one I know that has probably spun that lee fields to death as much as I have

    probably spun it a dozen times which is insane for me and a new record. rarely ever get to 2.

  25. dorn76 Says: dl’er not working. Here’s those 8.8.98 links again..


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