JamBase will release Cluster Flies, a covers compilation reimagining Phish’s album Farmhouse, on Friday, April 30. The limited-edition 3LP release was mastered by engineer Joe Lambert and features custom artwork and a poster created by longtime Phish collaborator Jim Pollock. Available today is the single “Sand” covered by Club d’Elf.
Pre-orders for Cluster Flies begin today, Tuesday, April 13 at 12 p.m. ET. The Cluster Flies Pollock poster will be available to bundle with the triple gatefold, 180-gram vinyl edition. A standalone triple gatefold, 180-gram vinyl edition without the poster can also be purchased. The Timed Edition release of Cluster Flies available to order through May 3 at 11:59 p.m. ET. A high-res digital version can be downloaded as well.
An allotment of the same Cluster Flies Pollock posters available in the vinyl bundle will be for sale via www.clusterflies.com beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, April 14 at 12 p.m. ET.
Phish issued Farmhouse on Elektra Records in May 2000. The album was the first recorded by the band at guitarist Trey Anastasio’s The Barn recording studio outside Burlington, Vermont, where nearly all of their subsequent albums were recorded, including 2020’s Sigma Oasis.
Also in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced musicians off the road as concerts and festivals were canceled around the world. After over 20 years of encouraging fans to Go See Live Music, JamBase’s message was put on hold. In response, the Cluster Flies concept was conceived late last year, both in recognition of the 20th anniversary of Farmhouse and as a way for JamBase to connect fans with the musicians they love.
For the cost of an average ticket to a show, you can support JamBase and musicians who haven’t toured in over a year by ordering your copy of Cluster Flies today.
“In July of last year, as it became clear the COVID-19 pandemic would have a devastating impact on the live music industry,” JamBase CEO David Onigman said, “I tasked the team to come up with an idea that we could rally around in place of live music and to raise lost revenues for JamBase. Rather than a standard fundraiser, the Cluster Flies project was conceived, and we soon reached out to an incredible group of musicians who graciously jumped at the opportunity to support JamBase. What happened over the last nine months outperformed even my wildest of expectations. I’m elated with how the performances, the artwork, the packaging, the mastering and the podcasts we are going to be launching daily came together. It’s a collection of work I am extremely proud of and honored to share with the world.”
For Cluster Flies, JamBase recruited many of its favorite artists to record new versions of each of the 12 songs on Farmhouse, as well as the pair of bonus tracks included with the original Japanese edition. In an effort to truly create something new, Cluster Flies presents three additional covers of Phish songs written during the Farmhouse era but not recorded for that — or any other — album. Fans of Farmhouse will also recognize an entirely different tracklist order when listening to Cluster Flies.
“Sand” by Club d’Elf
Side A begins with guitarist William Tyler’s gorgeous arrangement of the instrumental “The Inlaw Josie Wales.” Genre-bending duo Sylvan Esso follow with a welcoming version of the title track. Trumpeter/vocalist Jennifer Hartswick, who is a member of the Trey Anastasio Band and contributed to Farmhouse, was joined by bassist Christian McBride and others on “Dirt.” Closing out Side A is the first non-Farmhouse track, “Vultures,” recorded by guitarists Tim Palmieri and Amar Sastry with members of Goose, Twiddle, Tea Leaf Green and Strangefolk.
Up-and-coming singer-songwriter Daniel Donato kicks off Side B with “Back On The Train.” Then it’s the non-Farmhouse song, “Bye Bye Foot,” recorded by multi-instrumentalist Reed Mathis and drummer Jay Lane. Bay Area-based singer-songwriter Vetiver (Andy Cabic) delivers a beautiful performance of “Driver.” Completing Side B is White Denim’s James Petralli leading a wild dub “Gotta Jibboo” while supported by Sam Cohen, Eric Slick, Mike St. Clair and Zero Percent APR.
Guitarist Chris Forsyth takes up all of Side C with his expansive take on “Piper.” Side D opens with Club d’Elf infusing their signature psychedelic Moroccan vibe on “Sand.” Next, bluegrass singer-songwriter Lindsay Lou gives her interpretation of the Japanese bonus track “Mountains In The Mist.” Guitarist Sadler Vaden of Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit then puts a Nashville stamp on the original album’s single, “Heavy Things.” Americana makes an appearance with Amy Helm’s intriguing arrangement of “Sleep.”
Side E drops the needle on Neal Francis’ neo-soul-funk rendering of the final non-Farmhouse song, “Dogs Stole Things.” Then comes Umphrey’s McGee guitarist Brendan Bayliss with a truly twisted-around adaptation of “Twist.” The side concludes with Strand Of Oaks (Timothy Showalter) stretching out “Bug” beyond its normal confines. Guitarist Ryley Walker takes over from there, digging into a nearly 20-minute, free-form, improvised rendering of “First Tube,” closing out Cluster Flies and taking up all of Side F.
Each song on Cluster Flies will premiere through a daily rollout on JamBase and a corresponding episode of The JamBase Podcast that will also feature interviews with each of the participating artists. The first episode launches today with Mike Rivard of Club d’Elf and will continue each day through the album’s release on April 30. Keep an ear out for select tracks from Cluster Flies premiering on SiriusXM’s Phish Radio during upcoming episodes of Crowd Control and Headbands.
Visit www.clusterflies.com to pre-order.
William Tyler – The Inlaw Josie Wales (3:40)
Sylvan Esso – Farmhouse (3:02)
Jennifer Hartswick – Dirt (3:54)
Tim Palmieri, Reid Genauer, Amar Sastry, Eric DiBerardino, Ben Atkind, and Ryan Dempsey – Vultures (8:17)
Daniel Donato – Back on the Train (4:09)
Reed Mathis – Bye Bye Foot (5:09)
Vetiver – Driver (3:22)
James Petralli, Sam Cohen, Eric Slick, Mike St. Clair, and Zero Percent APR – Gotta Jibboo (4:40)
Chris Forsyth – Piper (18:34)
Club d’Elf – Sand (7:10)
Lindsay Lou – Mountains In The Mist (4:05)
Sadler Vaden – Heavy Things (4:04)
Amy Helm – Sleep (4:32)
Neal Francis – Dogs Stole Things (4:13)
Brendan Bayliss – Twist (4:07)
Strand of Oaks – Bug (8:15)
Ryley Walker – First Tube (18:57)