The Clifford Ball was the first in a series of 7 weekend-long events hosted by the band. In each show, Aug. 16-17, 1996, Phish performed 3 sets & an encore to 70,000 fans. This phenomenal festival was captured on film and is now available on 7 DVDs. Also included is an interview with Jim Pollack, interview with the band, and more. It was a music festival with just one amazing act. In 1996, Phish set up a stage in rural Plattsburgh, New York, and played for two days, offering three full sets to over 70,000 fans. The weekend-long show, dubbed The Clifford Ball, was the first in what would become a powerful musical tradition–drawing jam-band fans from across the globe, Phish followed-up the massive concert with six legendary festival-style performances. This incredibly comprehensive box set includes the sights and sounds from the Plattsburgh stage, including nine hours of improvisational jams, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of the band.
Over the years, Tom Ball has worn two different hats equally well. He is an acoustic guitar-playing folk instrumentalist in the John Fahey/Leo Kottke/Robbie Basho vein, but he is best known for being half of the acoustic blues-oriented duo Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan. On Filthy Rich, Ball's role isn't that of a guitarist — Sultan does most of the guitar playing, while Ball is primarily in charge of singing and playing harmonica. Ball is in picker mode when he is unaccompanied on a medley of "The Glory of Love" and "Swingin' on a Star"; this medley shows what Ball can do as a folk instrumentalist and an unaccompanied acoustic guitarist…….
Although the acoustic blues duo of Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan can often be entertaining with their particular brand of wry-humored blues, on Too Much Fun their antics are…well, too much. Instead of appearing to the listener as the accomplished musicians and music business veterans that they are, songs such as "Chicken Ala King" and "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away" make the duo come off as a couple of juvenile drunks at a local bar. As on any Ball & Sultan album, there are moments, the instrumental "American Medley" being one of them, but overall the album is more slapstick than substance.