Following their epic millennium concert at Big Cypress, Phish took some time off in Vermont as each of the members pursued other projects. Fish stayed busy throughout the month by joining Jamie Masefield’s Jazz Mandolin Project for sixteen dates beginning February 1st and continuing through his Birthday on February 19th. That tour, in support of JMP’s new album Tour de Flux (on which Fishman appears), began in Worcester and wound its way throughout the Midwest, finishing up in Geneva, NY. The band consisted of Fish on drums, Danton Boller on bass and Jamie on mandolins.
On February 5th, Trey performed solo at Carnegie Hall in New York at the annual Tibetan House Benefit. During the course of his performance there, he played acoustic versions of Farmhouse and The Inlaw Josie Wales as well as playing a Tom Waits song with David Byrne accompanying on a squeezebox. Trey then performed number of songs accompanied by Nawang Khechog on his Mayan Ocarina (see TMIPH July 1999) and R. Carlos Nakai on Native American flute. Later in the event, Trey, Patti Smith and other musicians joined Rufus Wainwright for the first song of his set, When Will I Be Loved. Trey also played a new original song called Third Street with Phillip Glass on piano. Trey had arranged the song with Phillip Glass in the preceding weeks. Trey was also included in the evening’s finale, a Patti Smith song called People Have The Power during which Trey played his electric guitar for the first time that night, joining Patti as well as Nawang, R. Carlos, David Byrne and others wrap up the benefit.
On February 17th, Trey joined The Dude of Life in a hometown guest appearance at Higher Ground in Winooski. Trey added guitar during the first set to the Dude’s rendition of Fluffhead as well as Dude of Life songs Francella, Self, Pete Rose and Dahlia. During Trey’s soaring guitar solos in Dahlia, the Dude shouted maniacally about their plan to take over the world.
On February 20th, the first Oysterhead practice sessions took place at Trey’s Barn in Vermont. It was the first time the then-unnamed group got together in preparation for their upcoming performance at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival later that spring. The next night, Primus played a concert at UVM’s Patrick Gymnasium in Burlington. During Blue Collared Tweekers, Trey took over for Larry on guitar and Stewart Copeland slid into Brain’s position on drums. Les introduced Trey as Edward Van Halen and Stewart as John Bonham. Once the transition of players was complete, the newly formed super group jammed on Blue Collared Tweekers followed by Communication Breakdown and Toys Go Winding Down back into Blue Collared Tweekers. After Trey and Stewart relinquished their seats, Les explained to the audience that they had just been “sodomized by music.”
On the afternoon of February 24th, Trey played with B.B. King and The Roots at Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. Their performance was filmed in front of a live audience of a few hundred people for the IMAX film All Access, which debuted at IMAX theaters worldwide in April 2001. They played B.B.’s classic Rock Me Baby, with Trey and B.B. trading verses. They performed three takes and some additional shots for the film.
Fish made a guest appearance on percussion with Col. Bruce Hampton and the Fiji Mariners on February 26th at the Brandy House in Atlanta, Georgia. Introduced by the Colonel as “Jackie Collins”, Fish played with the Mariners for much of their second set including Jack The Rabbit and an extended Lovelight segued into Time is Free.
The members of Phish were kept busy through March and April completing work on their latest album Farmhouse, and preparing to tour in support of it.