Original Artist: Ramble Dove
Historian: Julia Mordaunt
Last Update: 2011-11-22
There is a single negative aspect of this Cactus original, and that is the fact that very few people have had the opportunity to hear it. The song was recorded in 1996 at Bearsville Studios during the Billy Breathes sessions, but along with other fitting tunes (see “Glide II”) it was left on the cutting room floor. Mike confided in The Phish Book that he was bummed that it didn’t make the cut, citing “it failed when I sang it.” The version that appears on the Billy Breathes Outtakes is a totally slow-funk driven tune, with heavy wah-wah grinding by both Trey and Page throughout the song. But, I must disagree with Mike about the vocal issue. “Weekly Time” is definitely a shadowy, heavy-hearted song, and Mike is seemingly the only one in the band who could pull it off without losing that quality. You get a feeling similar to the one that enters your body when “Catapult” is recited over a dark, brooding, mystical jam. Although the funk is deep, it definitely has a gloomy, sedated overcast to it. The lyrics that weave their way through the tune amplify that feeling. It’s never made it’s way to the stage with Phish, but it definitely has the qualities to jump into rotation in the future. Mike also wrote this song as a bluegrass standard, which he performed along side Gordon Stone and Doug Perkins on 10/1/96 at Slade Hall (University of Vermont) in Burlington. This version was faster and more upbeat, and had the inclusion of banjo and acoustic guitar, but it did not lessen the morose quality of the tune in the least. More recent bluegrass-styled renditions were offered by Mike's group Ramble Dove on 5/29/06 at Toad's Place in New Haven, or 5/31/06 at New York's Irving Plaza with Trey sitting in. Both the funk and bluegrass versions are relatively upbeat, but the lyrics in addition to Mike’s ‘wail of woe’ hit the soul.
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