In the two years since Phish formally announced their breakup, former bandmates Trey Anastasio (guitar) and Mike Gordon (bass) have busied themselves with uniquely different projects, occasionally crossing paths for unexpected live collaborations. This summer, the two will officially reunite for a month-long outing, backed by the Benevento/Russo Duo. The trek will include ten amphitheater dates with Phil Lesh and Friends, beginning June 28th in Raleigh, North Carolina, with additional dates to be announced shortly.
Benevento/Russo, an unusual keyboard and drums combo that combines rock and jazz, have previously collaborated with Gordon for short jaunts, the most recent of which Gordon claims was one of his "favorite tours ever."
In the light of Anastasio and Gordon's pairing up, fans of the ultimate jam band are wondering if a full-fledged reunion might be on the horizon. Rumors were only further fuelled by Anastasio's recent statement, in an interview with Sirius Satellite Radio, that such an event is "definitely not 100 percent out of the question."
Beyond the June and July tour, Anastasio has continued to fine-tune the line-up for his solo rock band, 70 Volt Parade, which he first unveiled last spring, and completed work on a new album. He's also set to open select dates for Tom Petty in June and August. And on June 16th, at this year's Bonnaroo festival, Anastasio will resurrect Oysterhead -- his power-trio with bassist extraordinaire Les Claypool and Police drummer Stewart Copeland -- for a one-off performance.
Gordon is also slated to appear at Bonnaroo, on June 16th, with his new honky-tonk project, Ramble Dove. "My passion for country music goes back decades -- even being a kid growing up in the country," says Gordon, who formed the group out of a weekly jam session with other like-minded musicians. "It's a very bouncy, danceable groove -- but it's also about heartbreaking old songs." Gordon, who was just awarded Album of the Year at this year's Jammys for his 2005 collaboration with Leo Kottke, Sixty-Six Steps, will take Ramble Dove on a brief inaugural tour later this month.
Gordon notes that he and Anastasio are not the only members of Phish with current projects. "Page [McConnell] hasn't been as much in the public eye, but he's been working on an album for awhile now. I really like the way it sounds, and he invited me to play a track on it," Gordon reveals.
As for a Phish reunion, Gordon agrees with Anastasio on one point: "Everybody's getting along really well. There's no reason it couldn't happen." But, he adds, "it would probably be a long time away . . . I can never be sure, because I've never been able to predict the future."