September 29, 2015

Holly Bowling: Distillation of a Dream: The Music of Phish Reimagined For Solo Piano

BEST OF 2015

Classically trained piano player Holly Bowling loves Phish. She attended more than 300 shows, always hoping for a major extended jam or at least hearing something new, be it a change of key, tempo, the insertion of a snippet of another song. When she witnessed the Vermont jam band deliver a monster Tweezer at Lake Tahoe on July 31, 2013 she decided to transcribe the whole thing for solo piano, all 37 minutes of it. She put it up a video of her performing it. After getting a lot or positive feedback it turned into the recording of a double album - a crowdfunding campaign took care of the studio bills.

Distillation of a Dream: The Music of Phish Reimagined For Solo Piano is a tour de force and a labor of love. The second disc is dedicated to three major jam vehicles from the band 2013 and 2014 tour: the Tahoe Tweezer obviously, The Wedge and Twist. Bowling had to bottle the on stage spontaneity. The first one is more straightforward filled with concise reinventions of studio tracks for which she choose to capture the vocals with her right hand mostly. The instrumentals The Horse and The Inlaw Josie Wales were fairly easy by comparison, but she didn't shun the challenge of A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing and The Squirming Coil.

There have been other Phish tribute albums, including three bluegrass ones, but none of them are so meticulously performed as this one. Will adopt Phish chairman of the boards Page McConnell some of her stuff during the band's 4-night NYE stand at MSG in NYC? If so, Holly Bowling comes full circle as a fan and as a musician. The sheet music, should she decide to release it, will inspire and frustrate budding piano players for years to come.

Distillation of a Dream: The Music of Phish Reimagined For Solo Piano is released thru The Royal Potato Family. Release date: October 2nd.

Disc 1:
  1. My Friend, My Friend
  2. The Horse > Silent In The Morning
  3. The Inlaw Josie Wales
  4. A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing
  5. Sleep
  6. Fly Famous Mockingbird
  7. Wingsuit
  8. Talk
  9. The Squirming Coil
  10. Waste
  11. Harry Hood
Disc 2:
  1. Tweezer
    (7/31/13 – Stateline, NV)
  2. The Wedge
    (7/20/14 – Chicago, IL)
  3. Twist
    (10/23/13 – Glens Falls, NY)

Live dates:
  • 10/16 Denver, CO @ Quixotes True Blue
  • 10/17 Denver, CO @ Quixotes True Blue
  • 10/18 Boulder, CO @ Owsley's Golden Road
  • 10/29 South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
  • 11/05 Baltimore, MD @ 8x10 Club
  • 11/06 Washington, DC @ Gypsy Sally's
  • 11/07 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
  • 11/08 New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3
  • 11/11 Pittsburgh, PA @ Pittsburgh Winery
  • 01/06 Miami, FL @ Jam Cruise 14


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