Burlap Sack and Pumps
Original Artist: Trey Anastasio
Original Album: The Horseshoe Curve (2007)
Albums: The Horseshoe Curve
Last Update: 2011-09-25
“Burlap Sack and Pumps” debuted – along with the three-piece horn section of Dave Grippo, Jennifer Hartswick and Andy Moroz – on 2/21/01 at the Orpheum Theater in Boston. “BS&P” is really more of a theme or riff than a song – part of which bears a striking similarity to Linda Lyndell’s “What a Man” – whose only lyrics are “Burlap Sack and Pumps.” It also gives each of the horn players a chance to show off their chops and often features solos or other segments featuring various combinations of band members. As a result, as Trey’s band grew, so too did the length of the average “BS&P.”
After its debut, it was played in each of the next 21 shows (with far fewer songs in the TAB repertoire, there were several songs that were played with similar frequency) and remained in heavy rotation through 2003. Trey’s 70 Volt Parade band continued to play the song in 2005, albeit in a very slowed-down fashion. However, as Trey’s 70VP band began to evolve, the song apparently fell out of favor and was largely ignored from fall 2005 through fall 2008 (4/27/06 being the lone appearance). Fortunately, the return of Classic TAB has brought with it the return of “Burlap Sack and Pumps.”
As with most Trey songs, fans should seek out versions from each of the many band configurations Trey has employed over the years. Start with the 2/21/01 debut or 3/4/01 with Joey Sommerville on trumpet. Work your way up to 7/21/01 (with John Medeski and included on the Lucius Beebe bonus EP) or 8/4/01. Then try out some of the extended 2002 versions: 6/3/02 (20 min!) or 6/15/02. Next, slow things down with 5/8/05 and 8/5/05 (Medeski again!). Finish up with some Classic TAB versions from 10/17/08 (without horns) and 2/26/10 (with horns).
Still you may ask, “What does it all mean?” Surely, Trey is attempting to convey some cosmic message with those four little words. Well, as Trey explained before dedicating the 10/25/08 “Burlap Sack” encore to all the women in the audience, “we don’t care what you’re wearing, as long as you have nice shoes.”
TAB, “Burlap Sack and Pumps” – 3/4/11, Hollywood, CA
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