Backing musicians for Trey Anastasio

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Trey Anastasio backing musicians
Origin Burlington, Vermont, United States
Genres Rock, jazz fusion, progressive rock
Years active 1999–2004
Labels Elektra Records
Members Trey Anastasio
Russ Lawton
Tony Markellis
Dave Grippo
Andy Moroz
Jennifer Hartswick
Russell Remington
Ray Paczkowski
Cyro Baptista
Peter Apfelbaum

Since 1998, Trey Anastasio, best known from Phish, has toured and recorded with several backup musicians, including several side-projects organized and led by the guitarist and composer. While active, his bands did not have a name. Fans commonly referred to them as Trey Anastasio Band, or TAB for short or "The Two for Five band". This group should not be confused with the current Trey Anastasio Band, which was renamed in 2006 from its original name 70 Volt Parade. Through its brief history, Trey Anastasio's band continued to add members, starting as a trio and ending as a dectet.

The beginning[edit]

Trey’s band had it roots in his brother-in-law’s Vermont nightclub, Higher Ground. On April 17, 1998, for the second show in the club’s existence, Anastasio put together a band of local Vermont musicians for a one time performance under the name Eight Foot Fluorescent Tubes. Among the five musicians onstage with Trey that evening were drummer Russ Lawton and bassist Tony Markellis. They debuted material that night that became part of the repertoire of both Phish and Anastasio’s solo career.

The trio[edit]

Less than a year later, on February 15, 1999, Trey performed a benefit show at Higher Ground for a local arts charity with Lawton and Markellis. Later that spring, the trio (as they are referred to on Anastasio’s website) went on a national tour of clubs and theatres. Most of the shows sold out, which featured a solo acoustic set by Anastasio and an electric set by The Trio. They debuted more new songs, many of them appearing on Phish’s 2000 album, Farmhouse. Absent from the tour were any songs from Trey's first solo album, One Man's Trash, which was released in late 1998.

In Spring 2018, Trey toured again as a trio alongside Lawton and Markellis. The tour began on April 17, 2018—on the 20 year anniversary of Trey's first solo show, Eight Foot Fluorescent Tubes.

The sextet[edit]

After Phish went on hiatus in 2000, Anastasio took his project on the road and added a horn section. Saxophonist Dave Grippo, a Burlington music teacher with a long history with Phish, trombone player Andy Moroz, and trumpet player Jennifer Hartswick joined Trey's band for this and all future tours. These shows, and all to follow had two full sets with the band, and no solo acoustic set.

The octet[edit]

Later in 2001, with Phish still inactive, Anastasio booked a summer tour of large amphitheatres where Phish had regularly performed in recent years. This tour also included some venues that Phish hadn't played in years like Red Rocks in Colorado and Jones Beach in Long Island, New York. Two more members were added to Trey's band, tenor saxophonist/flautist Russell Remington and keyboardist Ray Paczkowski

The dectet[edit]

2002 saw the release of Trey's self-titled second album, and a summer tour to support it. This tour of amphitheatres was significantly smaller than the 2001 tour. At this time, Anastasio added the final two members to the group, Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista and the multitalented Peter Apfelbaum.

Late in the summer of 2002, Phish announced their reunion, with their first show slated for New Year's Eve. During the fall of 2002, with Anastasio still promoting his second solo album, he took his dectet for a tour of smaller venues.

In 2003, with a Phish summer tour planned, Trey scaled back his touring. He played a brief tour that spring, before spending his first summer in three years with Phish.

In 2004, Trey played some random dates. He performed at the Easter jam at Higher Ground, with the other members of Phish. He then played a surprise birthday party in Stowe, Vermont.

In May, with Phish tour dates already booked, Anastasio made the announcement that Phish would be breaking up and the upcoming summer tour would be their last.

In June, days before Phish would start its final tour, Trey performed at the Bonnaroo music festival.

On September 18, 2004, about a month after Phish's final performance, Trey would play his final performance to date with his horn-based band at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Subsequent solo bands[edit]

In the spring of 2005, Anastasio introduced a new backing band, 70 Volt Parade, featuring Paczkowski, Skeeto Valdez on drums, Peter Chwazik on bass, and Les Hall on guitar and keyboards. After only a few months, Anastasio replaced Chwazik with Tony Hall of Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, and added Hartswick and Christina Durfee on backing vocals. Anastasio then replaced Valdez with Raymond Weber. Russell Remington also rejoined Anastasio shortly thereafter. In 2006, Les Hall left the band, and it was renamed Trey Anastasio Band.

Fall 2008 tour[edit]

In October 2008, Anastasio set out on a short tour billed as "Trey Anastasio & Classic TAB". This quartet featured Anastasio on guitar, Tony Markellis on bass, Russ Lawton on drums, and Ray Paczkowski on keyboards.

External links[edit]