Beauty of My Dreams
Music/Lyrics: Del McCoury
Vocals: Trey (lead); Mike, Page (backing)
Original Artist: The Del McCoury Band
Original Album: Blue Side of Town (1992)
Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update: 2013-06-20
The upbeat bluegrass tune “Beauty of My Dreams” is an original composition of the influential bluegrass musician Del McCoury. Debuted during the winter ’97 European tour, “Beauty of My Dreams” was in regular rotation in the Phish repertoire from its debut until the hiatus.
Del McCoury Band, "Beauty of My Dreams"
Phish versions of the tune are straightforward and do not vary, and with only a handful of exceptions it has served a utility role in first sets. Two notable exceptions involved very special guests: on 7/1/99 in Antioch, TN the song was performed with Jerry Douglas on dobro, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Tim O’Brien on fiddle, and a few weeks later on 7/18/99 Phish performed this tune with the original artist as they welcomed the full Del McCoury Band on stage during the festival gig at Oswego, NY, at which they had also performed on a side stage.
Fourteen years later on 5/24/13, Trey Anastasio Band returned the favor by performing at Del McCoury’s DelFest, when “Beauty of My Dreams” was played with guests Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury, Jason Carter and Rob McCoury. Trey noted during this sit-in that McCoury’s Blue Side of Town was a fixture in Phish’s band bus rotation in the 90s. TAB’s gig at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on 2/25/10 also featured an appearance by the entire Del McCoury Band, performing “Beauty of My Dreams” acoustic. For a solo acoustic interpretation of the song by Trey, visit his 5/15/99 gig from The Palace in Albany.
“Beauty of My Dreams” was a setlist workhorse from its debut in 1997 through the hiatus in 2000, with forty-eight appearances in four years. Subsequently the song has become a genuine rarity, appearing on the Phish stage only twice in the last decade: on 7/22/03 at Deer Creek, and then rather unexpectedly after a 133-show absence on 12/31/10 at Madison Square Garden.
Phish, "Beauty of My Dreams" – 12/31/10, New York, NY