NASHVILLE During the final set of a show by jam-rockers Phish on Thursday, country singer Wynonna walked onstage, announced her divorce was finalized, and launched into a rendition of the rock chestnut "Freebird."
It was the biggest surprise of a night that had already seen a few.
The Vermont band, known for rock and jazz-infused flights of improvisation, was joined onstage during the Nashville show by a horde of country-music stalwarts.
Fiddler Sam Bush and mandolin player Ronnie McCoury added their magic to "Harry Hood." Then fellow bluegrass veterans Del McCoury and Ricky Skaggs joined the ensemble, wailing on guitar and mandolin, respectively, for the Bill Monroe classics "Blue and Lonesome," "Coming Home" and "Uncle Penn."
All were on hand to back Wynonna during her soulful turn on "Freebird," which she dedicated to herself.
Melding bluegrass and country with its jazz, funk and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink fusion is nothing new for Phish. Renowned banjo player Bela Fleck and Dobroist Jerry Douglas, for example, both play on the band's recently released studio album, Farmhouse.