Teach a Band to Phish
While you can quibble about the quality of Phishs songwriting, its hard to deny that Trey Anastasio is the undisputed heir to Jerry Garcias jam-god throne, taking Garcias improvisatory approach (mined from equal parts rock, bluegrass and jazz) and transforming it into a unique, compelling voice. Though there are plenty of other, uh, buzz-worthy jam-band ax-wielders, only Widespread Panic latecomer Jimmy Herring gives Anastasio a run when it comes to creativity and musicianship. (And dude, it aint about competition. Were all beautiful in our own way, right?) Anastasios flirtations with symphonic music have met with mixed reactions Phish-heads were noticeably impatient during his first-set collaboration with Nashville Chamber Orchestra at Bonnaroo 2004 so most fans will be glad to know hes left the strings at home. Hes doing this tour with Classic TAB, featuring his original solo-band rhythm section along with keys and horns. And for you road dogs coming to the Ryman for the first time, get your head right before entry this is the Mother Church of Country Music, not some Manchester cow pasture, and the powers that be arent nearly as forgiving.