Around the Fire with Phish
In October 2012, a few weeks after completing their summer tour, Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon and Page McConnell convened in The Barn, Anastasio’s Green Mountain, Vt., recording studio, for a collaborative songwriting session that was unlike anything they had attempted in their career. The material they developed is at the heart of Fuego, their first studio album in five years, produced by the legendary Bob Erzin (Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel). Phish debuted most of these songs this past Halloween, breaking with their tradition of covering another group’s record to perform this material, which they introduced as Wingsuit. Editor-in-Chief Dean Budnick discusses this course of events with the band, looks back on the group’s 30th anniversary and tracks the evolution of Wingsuit into Fuego.

The Black Keys: Chart-Topping Blues
The Black Keys overcame a year filled with personal turmoil to produce Turn Blue, their first No. 1 album. However, despite a hit record, headlining festival appearances and a mammoth arena tour, Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach still have mixed feelings about their fame and success. Once blog darlings, they are also facing the inevitable backlash that comes with success—a backlash that includes both a media spat with neighbor Jack White and unfair negative reviews from early supporters like Pitchfork. Editor-at-Large Jaan Uhelszki spoke with the Nashville, Tenn.-adopted musicians as their album hit the top of the charts and figured out how the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band and Led Zeppelin play into the duo’s most expansive and psychedelic album to date.

Jenny Lewis: Travels with Insomnia
When she announced the forthcoming release of The Voyager, her first album since 2008’s Acid Tongue, Jenny Lewis also revealed that during the making of the record she had suffered from insomnia due, in part, to the breakup of Rilo Kiley and the death of her father. Emily Zemler sits with Lewis and discusses these issues as well as the roles that Ryan Adams and Beck played in the creation of her third solo effort.

John Butler: Flesh, Blood and Brothers
John Butler blossomed into one of Australia’s defining musical exports through years of muscular tours and equally energetic records. However, after 2010’s well-received April Uprising brought him to his biggest crowds yet, the dreadlocked singer/guitarist surprised fans and critics alike by veering off the road for an uncharacteristically long period of time. During his break, Butler spent time with his family, painted in his shed and enjoyed a life away from the festival circuit that had helped turn him into an international star. He also reconfigured his longtime trio and slowly crafted a follow-up record, Flesh & Blood. As Justin Jacobs learns, by stepping away from the spotlight, Butler also managed to create his most personal record to date.

Plus: Bassnectar, Rich Robinson, Nicole Atkins, Chromeo, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, George Wein, The Barr Brothers, Spanish Gold, Cherub, Leon Russell and much more!

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