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Phish's McConnell Regroups With Vida Blue
As tipped here earlier this year, Phish keyboardist Page McConnell will release the self-titled solo debut of his new band, Vida Blue, on June 25 via Elektra. The band is named after the '70s-era baseAs tipped here earlier this year, Phish keyboardist Page McConnell will release the self-titled solo debut of his new band, Vida Blue, on June 25 via Elektra. The band is named after the '70s-era baseball star and also features bassist Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers) and drummer Russell Batiste (Funky Meters).
The bulk of the set was recorded last fall in New Orleans, with McConnell producing and longtime Phish collaborator Jon Siket mixing and engineering. Four tracks feature vocals and three are instrumental. Turntablist DJ Logic guests on one cut, while horn players Dave Grippo, Jen Hartswick, and James Harvey appear on another. Grippo and Hartswick will be out this summer with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio's touring band.
In advance of the album, Vida Blue will set off on an eight-date U.S. tour beginning April 18 in Northampton, Mass. The trek includes a previously announced April 27 show in New Orleans as part of the Superfly During Jazzfest series. Vida Blue's lone prior live dates came last December in Phish's Burlington, Vt., hometown and on New Year's Eve at New York's Roseland Ballroom. At the latter, Anastasio and Phish bassist Mike Gordon joined the band for a cover of Traffic's "Light Up or Leave Me Alone."
The band's official Web site at Vidablue.net is expected to launch within the next few weeks, and will host sound samples and other multimedia clips. A more extensive summer tour is likely to kick off in July. In the meantime, look for Phish guesting on Sunday's (April 7) episode of "The Simpsons," the second batch of authorized live Phish releases on April 16, and Anastasio's self-titled Elektra solo debut on April 30.
Here are Vida Blue's tour dates:
April 18: Northampton, Mass. (Calvin Theatre)
April 19: Providence, R.I. (Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel)
April 21: Ithaca, N.Y. (State Theatre)
April 23: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
April 24: Norfolk, Va. (NorVa)
April 25: Myrtle Beach, S.C. (House of Blues)
April 26: Atlanta (Variety Playhouse)
April 27: New Orleans (Orpheum Theatre)