Pre-reunion songs on Joy and Party Time

Much like Farmhouse, Joy/Party Time features a lot of material first played by TAB the previous year. (It’s really ironic that a TAB reunion would come right before a Phish reunion, and both would draw from the same arsenal of songs.) Last year saw the debut of “Backwards Down The Number Line”, “Light”, and “Alaska” before Hampton was even announced. On top of that, Trey was working on “Time Turns Elastic” late in 2008.

Trey isn’t the only one to have debuted Phish material on solo tour; last year, Mike played “Only A Dream”.

Some material, namely some on “Party Time!”, is much older. “Let Me Lie” is a really weird case of having already being on an album - from three years earlier, at that! I guess it does seem acceptable for already-released solo material to be considered for release; “Nothing” was on Tom Marshall’s “Amfibian Tales” four years prior to “Undermind”, and the “Round Room Sessions” bootleg features a run at “Gatekeeper” (although Round Room is culled from rehearsals, it is possible they were just going to play it on tour).

At least “Let Me Lie” was played live, though. The three biggest shocks were “Shrine”, “In A Misty Glade”, and “Birdwatcher”. I’m going to assume these are the songs I think they are, since the runtimes are similar.

“Shrine” and “In A Misty Glade” are both Fishman-sung tracks recorded during the “Story Of The Ghost” sessions, circulating on the Bearsville Studios bootlegs. This means they were at least eleven years old when “Joy” was recorded. I’d say something about how weird that is, but then I remembered that “Grind” was already fourteen years old when it showed up on “Undermind”.

“Birdwatcher”, if I’m right, dates back to the “Undermind” era. A bootleg circulates of “demos” (although they sound more like alternate mixes), featuring the whole album (out of sequence) with this song present instead of “Grind”. It’s another a capella song, and a weird one at that. If I had to guess, I’d say Fishman wrote it.

So that’s pretty neat.