Expect the unexpected: Phish's Mike Gordon at Mass MoCA


NORTH ADAMS -- Mike Gordon is one busy fellow these days.

He's been on the road for the last few weeks, promoting his fourth solo album, "Overstep." At the same time, Gordon, best known as the bassist for Phish, is working with his fellow jam bandmates on their latest album, due out, hopefully, later this year.

"Overstep" is an 11-song album that features contributions from longtime collaborator Scott Murawski from Max Creek, who takes over lead vocals on three of the 11 tracks. The album features great examples of Gordon's wide-ranging musical interests that include rock to reggae
to funk.

"So much of what I hear on the radio seems to use the same tonality and the same groove," he told Billboard magazine. "But every once in a while you hear a track, you crank it up and it feels fresh. To me, I just get so bored with the same sounds."

The other members of the touring band will be Craig Myers (percussion), Tom Cleary (keyboards) and Todd Isler (drums).

The group will be performing at Mass MoCA's Hunter Center on Saturday.

Murawski also co-wrote all 11 songs with Gordon.

And there's a local hook there. At one point, he and Murawski traveled to Mass MoCA for a day of songwriting in the museum galleries.

It was one of several musical retreats throughout New England the two men visited to spark their songwriting inspiration.
Other destinations on that odyssey were Lake Sunapee, N.H., Concord, N.H. and Boston.

"It was a ton of experimentation and wanting things to be a little bit different that they had ever been," Gordon said in an Associated Press interview. "I like to be unexpected. I spend so many of my waking hours working on that. It feels like a spaceship, a laboratory where I'm a mad scientist."

The songs on "Overstep" are not the drawn-out jams of his other band. Most are tightly constructed and lean toward more simple, direct grooves and sounds.

"As much as we're in a democracy in Phish, and I get a lot of encouragement from the guys to bring material, there's an extra opportunity with (my) band to write a lot of songs and make a lot of decisions on which direction to go," he said in the interview.

"Both bands are really special, but sometimes I like having it all rest on my shoulders."

Prior to the show, Gordon and Murawski will host a "song dissection" workshop at Club B-10.

The plan, according to Gordon, is to take fans on an intimate journey through the creation of a song. That event will take place at 3 p.m. and is a separate admission. Only those with tickets to the show that night are eligible for the 3 p.m. event. Mass MoCA officials warn that seating is extremely limited to Club B-10.

Gordon said a question-and-answer session will follow.

To reach Derek Gentile:
or (413) 496-6251.
On Twitter: @DerekGentile


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