TREY ANASTASIO: BAR 17

By SuperDee

Let me start by stating which side of the fence I'm on with regards to Trey Anastasio: I love the man. As far as his new record Bar 17, in all honesty, I will probably only listen to it the few times it will take to write this review. This is not necessarily a matter of "I like it" or "I hate it." More than anything else, this album confuses me. Does Trey want to be a composer of modern symphonies or musical theater? (This could be an intriguing direction.) Or perhaps he'd like to be a pop darling? (Sorry, my love, this doesn't seem likely.) Does he want to sing lullabies or does he want to be the bad-ass guitar rocker for which we are all yearning? With Bar 17, I just don't know.

The song that leaves me the most conflicted is the title track, "Bar 17," the end of which has a stunning guitar solo backed by an emphatic performance from the band, especially Skeeto Valdez on drums. But it starts out focusing on Trey the singer in a high octave, which he gets in tune, but that's about it. There is nothing angelic about it, and it just feels... awkward. The next track comes back around with a rousing "Mud City," which showcases many of the guests Trey invited to record on the album, including Mike Gordon on bass, Sir Joe Russo on drums, Marco Benevento and John Medeski on keys, Cyro Baptista on percussion, and a horn section featuring Briggan Krauss and Steven Bernstein among others. Wow, what a lineup! Then – OUCH – Trey is takin' his bike out and riding it slowly, just how he likes, in the very questionable "Let Me Die."

Always looking for the glass that's half-full, I must continue by saying that Trey's musical ability is undeniable and his compositions are solid for the most part. He collected some of the best musicians of Trey Bands past and present to record on this album – acoustic, electric, brass, string, you name it - and the actual sound is pristine thanks to the fine people at Trout Recording right here in Brooklyn. I do have a favorite song on the album, the seductive "What's Done." Following the tension-climax-release formula, this will certainly be the one to hope for in the live show this tour. "Goodbye Head" is compelling in its vastness, but it feels out of place on this album. Trey walks that very thin tightrope between Zappa-esque and Broadway-esque; it's got potential for both greatness and disaster but doesn't quite fall to either side. There is lovely acoustic picking on "Empty House," reminiscent of "Inlaw Josie Wales," and gorgeous melodies pop up every once in a while as in "Shadow." The singing is very clearly the weakest aspect in this collection of songs, and it's difficult to ignore amidst today's musical landscape.

This album sort of reminds me of when Billy Joel started writing songs like "The River of Dreams." I wanted more than anything to get back to the guy who was kicking his piano bench, pounding the keys, and singing about the many faces of the stranger. But, as with good ol' Billy, I will always support Trey and his endeavors because I am a forever fan. I just hope that our musical tastes become aligned again as they once were. If you asked me, and I realize nobody did, I would like to see Trey continue to explore his horizons and deliver a deliberate, more focused record in the direction of conceptual composition for a large ensemble. Either that or rock the fucking roof off already.

JamBase | Brooklyn
Go See Live Music!

http://www.treyanastasio.com/

[Published on: 10/9/06]

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Comments

Jenny Jen Mon 10/9/2006 02:12PM
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Jenny Jen

great story SuperDee...it's good to hear an unbiased opinion coming from a phan, enjoyed the story in full

Nick Irving Mon 10/9/2006 02:14PM
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i been hatin him and last night he put together one hell of a show @ webster hall. the fire has slowly been building and its back.

zerox120 starstarstarstar Mon 10/9/2006 02:37PM
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zerox120

I completly undrestand the confusion. I myself often wonder what it is Trey is out to achieve. I will be at the Vic and will hold off any conclusions till then when I'm sure I'll get a full dose of the new catalog.

Hug Mon 10/9/2006 03:36PM
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Hug

I fully agree, the album has it's high points but just doesn't quench my thirst for what we all know Trey has the ability to deliever and"...rock the fucking roof off already."

MaseBase starstarstarstar Mon 10/9/2006 03:52PM
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MaseBase

You said it a lot nicer than I would have, SuperDee. A step up from "Shine", though small, I still don't quite connect with this album. But I want to...
The live shows always seem to be a bit more positive, as he can really make up for it live. I would think most phans will take their chance to see him live on this tour even though they too might not really enjoy the album.

phishphreak2009 starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/9/2006 04:03PM
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phishphreak2009

Thanks for the great story. I am also having trouble figuring out what Trey wants. Look at the difference in "Seis de Mayo" and "Plasma" and "Trey Anastasio" and "Bar 17". Does he want to continue playing songs like "Dragonfly" or "Cincinnati" or "Cayman Review" or "Shine". The direction Trey's music is taking him is unclear in "Bar 17". I hope Trey will do more collaboration work with an allstar lineup to create songs like Dragonfly. Best of wishes to Trey and hopefully the tour will go well!

treyphan77 Mon 10/9/2006 04:21PM
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I agree that it is a little hard to clearly understand what my long time Idol is trying to "say".
I think he put a lot of "private life" emotion into those songs.
But I must admit that Shadow "although quite dramtic" goes in some interesting directions.

As for the broadway-esque/zappa-esque thread, I'd go out on a limb and say he has been doing that all along to some degree "TMWSIY" come to mind.

Youngstar starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/9/2006 09:24PM
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I heard dragonfly on JamOn the otherday with a friend. After 30 seconds we both burst into laughter and changed the channel. I do not understand trey anastasio. He had the world and now he has nothing in my mind. Sorry trey, it used to be fun but now I feel embarassed.

phishmanxx starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/10/2006 05:38AM
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If any one pre-ordered this, the add'l disc that comes with Bar 17, 18 Steps, is better in my opinion. Still not great, but the best way to describe it is patient. I really feel that Trey has never been and never will be a studio musician. He's like Jerry Garcia when it comes to the studio; it's a jungle gym. They get some material together, fool around, waste a lot of money, put together an album because they're supposed to, be done with it, and get back on the road. I have never really dug any of the Phish, Dead, Trey, Jerry, or even Bobby studio efforts. These guys live and breathe live music. I am by no means knocking them, just my opinion.

Great article though. Good job separating your love for the musician and your for music.

SuperDee Tue 10/10/2006 06:09AM
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SuperDee

p.s. As with all things Phish and many bands that have graced the pages of JamBase its AAAAAALL about the live show. I went to see Trey at Webster Hall last night in NYC and it was wonderful. He looks so happy. Not sure if he's bringing Kuroda or the string section on tour but even if it's "just" the four-piece plus the ladies, this should be a great tour. Cheers.

shanky95 Tue 10/10/2006 06:50AM
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I feel like I fell into an alternative reality where Trey became a pop god, but then I come out of my mental haze and realize it truly has happened. I respect the man for all that he has given me musically, but the stuff he's releasing now is just second rate, and I can't even bring myself to listen. The live shows are second rate too. Now that he has more material, hopefully he can cnage the setlists up slightly. Wishful thinking I feel.

frenchp starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/10/2006 07:42AM
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SuperDee is right on...both in his review of Bar 17 and his comment about the Webster show. While I too struggle with the material on Bar 17, Trey does seem fulfilled and happy. I was at the Webster show Sunday night and -- while I still think the best stuff was from his self-titled disc ("Money Love & Change, Drifting, Alive Again, Night Speaks to a Woman)-- it's clear that Trey can still tear-it-up but good! While I agree with most folks that this isn't his strongest material, there's something to be said for his pursuit of something more than money. Sure, Trey could keep recycling Phish tunes, but I gotta believe that playing the same songs for so many years is pretty unfulfilling -- as much as we love to hear them. Sunday night, you had to see Trey's smile to understand where he's at. Mick and Keith don't look that happy!

t_herman starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/10/2006 08:02AM
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This review is right on. I have more expectations for Trey than most, so each time he doesn't provide the big pay off, it's all the harder. Saw Fishman play with the Everyone Orch this weekend in Atlantic City in front of 70 people. Now THAT's a direction I wish Trey would head towards! It's not commercial but it's intelligent, stunning and dynamic.

All Loving Liberal White Guy Tue 10/10/2006 11:01AM
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All Loving Liberal White Guy

i think that it's just time to accept that the era of phish is over and that trey is mediocre at best these days.

rabbitsounds star Tue 10/10/2006 02:04PM
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Well, 1st I want to say that there are far more better albums that Jerry did in the studio than Trey did. Actually, Bobby release better studio albums than Trey has. I use to love Trey. Of course, people will always say let him grow...let him grow. I want to say to them...they probably were never there in the early days. Ok my early days were only 1991...but hey...I was there. Trey...you are a JOKE to me now. I can't stand anything you do. Last time i saw your band...it was Horrible. I mean Horrible. So terrible that I walked out in the end. Remember the Brian and Robert Clap...well...that was me...and it was suppose to be a joke not a join along...TREY YOU SUCK. No one cares...and it is just about time that someone finally told you to stop. So please man. STOP...and if you do start again...start with some good music. To me right now you are as if Sheryl Crow and John Mellencamp had a child that they never loved. There is nothing in your music anymore. I would rather listen to nails grinding a chalkboard then one of your terrible acoustic Chalkdust Tortures. Sorry dude, I wish you would have quite after 1999. 2001 was ok...but ok is about the most you can say of it. Please Trey, end this musical career. I am tired of hearing people trying to make your shows seem like they were impressive and then when i listen to them...you really are pissing in their ear. Ok. I hate the new album. I hate the old album and I hate everything you have done post 9/11. You are a disgrace. Please...vanish.

All Loving Liberal White Guy star Tue 10/10/2006 03:58PM
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All Loving Liberal White Guy

trey needs more publicity like i need a case of the crabs.

trini. Tue 10/10/2006 04:21PM
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trini.

Rabbitsounds my goodness!? Harsh my friend. I love Trey always. He will forever have my respect and attention. I can't imagine that ever changing. I enjoyed Bar 17. Sounds like a soul release to me. This isn't Phish. Quit wanting, waiting, whishing, hoping that it will make you feel that way. You're setting yourself up for a dissapointment. It's new ... it's Trey. I guess for me it's about supporting one of the men (1 of many) who made such a huge difference musically in my life. If you don't like it, no need to BASH the man. Have your opinion but give him a break. He deserves that respect. ROCK IT TREY!

TheKellerIncident starstarstarstar Tue 10/10/2006 08:06PM
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I think everyone is forgetting that this is not a new Phish CD...
They wanted to experiment with their music and that is exactly what Trey is doing. Of course he'll have a few blunders along the way, but what musician expanding their horizons doesn't? I have yet to go get the CD so I can't give an opinion on the CD itself, but I still have respect for Trey and what he is trying to do and figure out about his music.

phishead818 starstarstarstar Wed 10/11/2006 12:41AM
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Pretty sure it is "let me LIE", not die... at least thats what it says on my copy. Trey grew up, and every song isn't about an antelope or a lizard. Not about suzy greenberg or david bowie. They are about his feelings and his finding himself and being okay with what he is doing and what he has done. Letting things go, and getting a grip on new things. I think this album while it doesn't blow me away and is definately not what I want to hear from him, shows maturity.

rabbitsounds star Wed 10/11/2006 12:04PM
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ok...i will make trey a break if he can refund 10 dollars on the CD. since i have been trying for the past two years to understand what he is doing. I suggest he take some time off. spend it with his kids, his wife, and whatever it takes for him to gain insparation again.

boxofrain Wed 10/11/2006 12:32PM
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I agree with both TheKellerIncident and phishead818!
"I think everyone is forgetting that this is not a new Phish CD... They wanted to experiment with their music and that is exactly what Trey is doing. Of course he'll have a few blunders along the way, but what musician expanding their horizons doesn't?" I Couldnt have said it better

shonuff starstarstarstar Wed 10/11/2006 05:22PM
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First off, I like the fact that SuperDee is not kissing Trey's Ass. Second, I think it is fair for people to say that they are "confused", or don't get what trey is doing. But, I agree that Trey does seem much more happier on stage, and that is a good thing. I just don't think people should go to the shows just because it is trey, and maybe he will play a couple "phish tunes"; Unfortunately, that is what I did two summers ago. Plus this is a step up from "shine", which was garbage.

theorb419 Wed 10/11/2006 08:15PM
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theorb419

definitely let me lie

phillip2 Thu 10/12/2006 08:29AM
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EVERYONE MUST GO UP AND DOWN THOSE 18 STEPS........
the bonus cd is awesome got to admit.
----Let me lie stays in your head and is genuis.
---some songs seem a bit varying as far as direction but that's what I dig.
-----I like ice and snow and empty house fits perfectly behind it in my opinion. This cd is not SHINE and I think it's great at times and very mediocre at times. but either way he gets down and he's earned the right to do that in any way he chooses.....

cliftonhanger420 starstarstar Thu 10/12/2006 09:34AM
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i do agree with the article above, but we need to not be so hateful and disrespectful, you know who you are. trey is a great musician and probably the best guitar player in music today. as for theis album, i was excited, i listened to it at the record store and left empty handed. it is mediocre at best. i thought over the summer, with mike and the duo, was the best shit i've heard out of trey since 99' (as for his solo stuff) i think the TAB with the horns was way overkill and repetitive. i thought the 70 volt parade was fun, but kind of weak compared to Phish. Trey seems like he wants to go pop and i don't get it. dragonfly on letterman was not that entertaining, i've seen better from him before with the boys. yes, phish have gone through some tough times and burned themselves out a little, but it's time for him to make a decision. i would say either stick with mike and the duo and practice, practice, practice and there is potential or Phish. this solo stuff, should only be a side project and not be taken real serious anymore. i thought the 3 man band in 99' rocked, but he did a lot of covers. i just don't think that trey is that great at writing pop tunes and i don't even want him to try. go back to the "zappa ish" sense of humor days where phish would tear the roof off. no more acoustic wilson's, i need the real thing. i do think trey has a decent voice, so does page, and mike ain't bad either. it's called a "group mind" and playing as a team (all equals) like phish was. his back up band today sucks and doesn't even compare. If you're reading this Trey, I love you man and I have been trying to give you many chances, but nothing has compared to Phish. Like i said, i danced my ass off to the 3 man TAB in 99 in ashville and every Phish show i ever attended, and nothing has came close since. Mike and the duo could be great, but still needed some practice. Mike is the man, you need to stick with him buddy. I'll see you next time Phish is back together or when you play with Phil. All do respect for Phil, he's the man. Peace. We need the old rockin' trey back, the one that made me grin from ear to ear. i know that you can play hendrix, clapton, almost anything you want to a "T", show these kids what the old days were like.

trini. starstarstarstarstar Thu 10/12/2006 10:20AM
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trini.

Agreed (below) ....

PCPrabbit Thu 10/12/2006 10:53AM
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PCPrabbit

haha, he USED to be the greatest guitar player. sless is so much more professional in the way he plays. check out some recordings of him with phil on the last tour. you hear trey come out and all the sudden the momentum will fall off and have to build up all over again. don't get me wrong, trey can play and he was fuckin great till 99 but right now he's sort of floundering in a sea of himself.

Andrew W. Thu 10/12/2006 11:38AM
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Andrew W.

SuperDee Rules your Face!

waolsen starstarstar Thu 10/12/2006 03:56PM
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Its not a matter of comparing Trey to Phish. The CD is mediocre, period. If Trey just came out of the blue, no one ever heard of him, this CD wouldn't make a ripple. Then when you compare it to what he is capable of its even worse. Its a step up from the BS of Shine but like so many others have said, where is Trey going? Who is Trey? I think its a very fair question.

johncandy starstarstarstar Thu 10/12/2006 06:14PM
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johncandy

Ever since Shine came out all I've heard is that Trey has gone pop. Does anyone on this site even listen to pop? Now I'm not a big fan of Shine or Bar 17 and I've only seen Trey twice live since Phish called it quits. One of the shows at Red Rocks last summer was awesome and the Fillmore show was not so good. But pop? Seriuosly it's not Phish but it's also pretty far from what I consider pop music. So your mad at Trey over Phish- get over it. The dude still rocks. Can't wait for the Fox!

waolsen Thu 10/12/2006 07:02PM
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At the Red Rocks show last year too. It was absolutely terrible. I especially enjoyed the 10 second cow bell solo before 46 days. The fact that he played half Phish songs was also disgusting. That band was a terrible back up for his ego. I really don't know how anyone who has grown to appreciate Trey's enormous talent could listen to that slop last tour and think it was "rocking". If you were anywhere beyond the 10th row you would have noticed the crowd standing still. I've seen Trey tons of time with Phish, Oysterhead, Trey Band and never saw the lack of energy in a crowd as I did that night.

johncandy Thu 10/12/2006 07:47PM
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johncandy

Tons of sweet dude!

treyphan77 Thu 10/12/2006 08:33PM
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I really love the idiots who mention that X is a better player then y because of the direction they go. That was a lame statement and the fact is that Trey is up there with anyone.

carlsefni starstarstarstar Fri 10/13/2006 09:59AM
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carlsefni

I have to say, this review falls pretty much in line with my own thoughts -- on Bar 17, on Trey's whole deal over the last few years. He seems to zoom from one thing to another (not to say from one lineup to another), unable to settle into one, let alone even 2 or 3, non-Phish musical personalities. It may be fun, but it's not an ideal way forward, I think. I think he would do well to settling into a minimum number of well-defined rolls, one of which should *clearly* be rocking the fucking roof off :)

pgeano starstarstarstar Fri 10/13/2006 03:45PM
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I haven't read all the comments; sorry if I repeat somebody else's:
I also struggled all the way through Shine, Bar 17, and Bar 18. The only thing that carried me through was the voice in the back of my mind saying, "you've gotta hear it all before you judge." Here's my judgement: bleh. Just bleh.
Still, I've heard some of the live stuff and he still brings the heat on stage. MOST of the time.
The feeling that I get is that Trey is sort of working out some inner struggle in the studio. Either he'll come out of it at the bottom, and see fewer and fewer fans attending his shows until he becomes (gasp) a nostalgia act. Or (I hope), he'll work out whatever he has to work out and come out of it a better person. And a better songwriter. Lots of luck, Trey! I wish I could be there for you, man!

All Loving Liberal White Guy Fri 10/13/2006 05:17PM
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All Loving Liberal White Guy

super dee rules your face is a good name for a band. at the very least it should be tagged all over san francisco.

officialrx starstarstar Sat 10/14/2006 01:41PM
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Trey (to reflection on the other side of the ice): Who am I?
other-side-of-the-ice Trey: I don't know; I guess I have a lot of things to ponder.

manjotar starstarstar Mon 10/16/2006 06:27AM
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manjotar

eh, it's better than most music on the radio around here...
i say bypass the new trey cd and go straight to the release of the colorado shows from 88!! timber ho!!!

Tom Law Mon 10/16/2006 09:04AM
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Tom Law

First of all, let me tell you that writing this stuff will be extremely cathartic for me as a long time fan, so I hope ya got awhile...
This just in, my album review after hearing my bit-torrent-downloaded copy of 10-13-06 Charlottesville. I include this because I've now heard the post-album live show. For most bands, the live situation is the place to really sell the album to the fans that come for the show. This would include playing the songs in a manner similar to the album version you just released. But then, everything Trey does is unconventional to the point of self-sabotage.
This takes me back to the albums. I emphasize the plural, because if you paid full retail price for Bar 17 alone, then you were truly plundered. If Bar 17 and the tag-along-through-the website-18 steps were mined for 60 minutes of music, then you could definitely have a decent set of material to enjoy. I do think between the two that there are 12 very enjoyabe songs. What there definitely is not is a good single. I guess it's sad when you can't say that there is a 'Heavy Things', or a 'Free', or even a 'Birds..'
The Bar 17 version of Dragonfly is an embarrasment to me as a fan of this guy that I've been following for 13 years. Trey's producer should be blackballed from the industry for allowing this swill to see the light of day. I'm not even saying the song is that bad, but the lyrics needed some work, and Trey's vocal performances are just not acceptable. Then add the fact that the vocals completely trample on the only interesting change of the whole song, and you've got an aural disaster. At the rate he's going, Trey's next tour will be of coatrooms in gin mills. He'll be lucky to headline the afterparty at Nectars. It's pretty obvious why Trey created his own record label. No company have allowed Trey to put out the material that he did in the matter that he did. Sony would have taken a major bath had they released it and invested the promotion dollars that they did for Shine, which I'm sure they lost a fortune on. Most of my phan friends wanted nothing to do that album and even less to do this this one after catching Dragginshit on the radio. Since I am what some would call 'gay-for-trey', I give this stuff a shot, because I still enjoy the live stuff, and I do enjoy a lot off these albums. I'm trying to review this stuff as objectively as a I can from a perspective of someone who's not 'gay-for-Trey', and when I do, there is a lot to be dissected and shit-upon. Kenny Wayne Shepard. I use this name because he is the perfect example of a guitar player who gets sole billing even though he does none of the singing. Someone needs to tell Trey that it's OK not to sing on every song. If he needs a nice, soft, high-octave vocal, then use a female singer, don't do it yourself with a clamp on your nuts, or at least sound like there's a clamp on your nuts. It's just like Flock Of Words off his self-titled 2002 release. If you made it through the whole song once, it was too much and we probably skipped over it every time we listened to this enjoyable album. Now he's got 6 X flock of shit on these new releases. What's the point of having all these guest musicians if you're not going to get a professional, listenable lead vocal track? I do like the acoutic guitar-playing in general, especially on the 18 Steps songs. I like that song Home, even if the vocals are a bit weak. Other than the fact that Dark and Down is practically the same song as What's Done is Done (Just like 'Melinda' is the same song as Drifting, with the differences being negligable) I think 18 Steps could be the better album of the two. I liked Discern ever since I heard the IT version and 'Low' was pretty neat, with the interesting instrumentation and appropriate sound effects. Unfortunately, it's another barren lyrical landscape that I don't think could catch on as a single. It's just another example how these songs keep coming up short over and over again. It's obvious that Trey surrounds himself with 'yes-men' and women, and I'm sure it's why he either left or was fired from Columbia-Sony records. He needs real producers to be honest with him about what he's putting out there and how he's being percieved in the marketplace. He had good selling power after Phish and after a very well produced (outside of Flock of Shit) 1st solo album, he's been perplexing and has created music that emphasizes his weaknesses since, with production that could be called shmaltzy, cheezy, 70s love-pop, 90s easy-listening love-pop, and worse. He would have been so much better served to have paid the Duo what they needed to make an album with them and Mike, though the liberace piano on 'Host' might nix that theory. At least he would have had a chance to create something hip, fresh, and relevant and maybe not sound so old and archaic. I just think that, unless you're like the later era Beatles and have given up touring, that your album music should be true to your live capabilities. I think that by late fall, and december of last year, that the 70V parade band had gotten there. That NYE show with the Crows was on the money. It saddened me that he broke it down again and played those shows in April sounding naked and barren. The two guitar chemistry was there and he threw it away and now all those Shine songs sound empty live. This brings me back to the live show I've just heard. I'm through the 1st 10 songs of 10-13-06 Charlottesville, and I'm not disturbed by it. Even though some of it sounds empty, at least his playing is exciting and active, and there is some energy. Some horns are present on some of it, though not high enough in the mix, which is another curse that's been plaguing Trey for a few years. Whatta doing Paul? Trey is not the only guy up there and most of the time should be brought down when other musicians are soloing or taking precedence in part of a song. Paul must be a yes-man for Trey too. Ever wondered if Trey's growing deaf? He's always so above the mix. Doesn't he hear that? guess not.
I was debating blowing off the shows at the Vic here in Chi-town, but I guess I give him one more shot. From what i've heard on this show, he can still rip and who knows, maybe I'll get a chance to voice some of these concerns to him. If that show sucks, though, then I have to move on
Jimmy Herring and Widespread ARE THE SHIZZNIT!!
I'm out

PCPrabbit Mon 10/16/2006 11:23AM
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PCPrabbit

Well i think that x,y,z,and even q are better than trey. ha what do you think of that. it's pretty obvious that the more trey freebases cocaine, the better he plays/sings. OBVIOUS. i'll see you at trey's next show! bring the tin-foil and torches!

boxofrain Mon 10/16/2006 02:27PM
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"At the rate he's going, Trey's next tour will be of coatrooms in gin mills. He'll be lucky to headline the afterparty at Nectars." See ya there!!! The C'ville show was pretty rockin, I thought! The 46 days with josh from TLG was pretty rippin!

shotty1 starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/16/2006 04:03PM
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what if Live in Brooklyn sold more copies than Trey's release, would that send a strong enough sign of what to do next ? I wish I enjoyed Bar 17 but just can't align myself with the sound

ladymoe starstarstarstar Tue 10/17/2006 08:21AM
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I think Trey should keep making albums similar to Shine. Eventhough it was a poppy alternative to what Phish would have normally done I happened to really enjoy the album. It was fun rock'n'roll and I think that is the essence of was Trey is all about. Not this orchestra new liberating orchestra wank.

bstops starstarstarstarstar Sat 10/21/2006 04:18PM
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i dont even know where to start. being a long time fan i hate to write these things about him, but it needs to be said. i can see myself sleeping to this bar 17 cd. trey has so much potential, but uses it in the wrong categories. for god's sake he sings about riding his bike slowly down a hill, then using his brakes. it rediculous. trey has not come to milwaukee or madison lately, which is where im from. im sure as hell not traveling to see him (Phish is different). ill give him one more chance, but if he doesnt make up for it i have to move on. he can blow the roof off the house when he plays, but he has to do something soon or his fan base will be gone. especially if he makes another cd like bar 17. being a loyal fan only takes me so far. im as loyal as they come as long as the cd is decent (shine was decent). does he want to be a guitar god, or an orchestra conductor? i dont mean to hate, but theres no place like a PHISH show!! get it together
Peace Y'all

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstar Mon 10/23/2006 11:26AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

Hey SCI new album sucked too, but it doesnt mean their shows have gone to heck.. Umphreys Mcgee album sucks, the live show is better.. Shine was not very good, but the live show I saw was great.. I saw SCI a week ago, and it was great even thought their new album sucks.. am I repeating myself??
hahahhahaahaha.. peace ya'll

minorswing star Thu 10/26/2006 09:33AM
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As soon as I got Bar 17/18 Steps I looked to see what tracks Tom Marshall wrote lyrics for. Although I wasn't impressed with Cincinatti, Let me Lie is reminiscent of Phish's more ballady tunes, Marshall's lyrics make a simple chord change a damn beautiful peace of art. The guy is a mad genius. Trey's not bad at writing lyrics, but that's Marshall's cup of tea anyway. We don't all have a way with words like Tom. That said, Let Me Lie, Home & Discern are the SHIZZLE! I don't care if Trey can't sing like Whitney, no one ever listened to phish for their voices. Home has such an honest sound it's touching. Sure I could hate- I was for a while. After Shine I thought it was the end. As long as Trey and Tom stay together beautiful songs will be written. IT'S ALL ABOUT TOM!

ctates Fri 11/3/2006 12:19AM
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Bar 17 is an album that I've been getting lost in for the last 2 weeks. Every listen brings new discoveries on songs that are for the most part complex, creative and beautiful. I have been a huge Phish/Trey fan for close to two decades now and I like the direction Trey is going. It is good to see Mike and Trey jam out on songs like "Host across Potomac' and 'Goodbye Head'. Two songs that have such tight chemistry and sophisticated instrumention that those songs get 2-4 listens in a row usually. Just amazing stuff. The addition of Marco Bennevento and Joe Russo is brilliant. The chops that those two bring on this album, especailly on the two songs I just mentioned is amazing. Russo's subtle fluid beats flow so perfectly. The Duo is by far one of my favorite bands. Anyway, getting back to the album. 'Ice & Snow' and 'Let me Lie' are wonderful songs. 'Cincinatti' is great too. The softness of songs like 'gloomy sky' is soothing and addicting. The guitar and Hammond work on 'What's Done' is kick ass. This album is just unbeliveable! I will admit the diversity on this album is evident, but it caters to different moods and patterns. Such as life. Everyday is a swing of moods and events. That is one of the best parts of the album. There is some very beautiful songs here, with gorgeous arrangements and vocals. I despise all of you critical whiners who say that Trey's vocals are bad and that if his next album is like this then I am not going to be a fan. Fools. You people are embarrasment to music and the art of making music as a whole. Like people, music changes and expands. If Trey or any muscian were to put out the same music and style year after year for 17 years, they would kill themself due to depression. I just don't get it, and I am glad I don't. The fact that you give barely any credit kills me. Idiots! Trey's vocals are amazing and they cover many octaves and it is cool that he gives us rough takes as well as smooth whails that rival a moving creek in the wilderness. I give this album a 9 out of 10. Better than Shine, although Shine has a half dozen gems. Trey is prooving to be a monumental figure and diverse musician (always has been). Kick ass album. I hope Trey keeps pumping albums out at the rate he is doing. What a catalouge of material in 17 years.

être starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/10/2006 05:56PM
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être

*** AP NEWSFLASH *** PHISH CALL IT QUITS. GET OVER IT!
I caught Trey at 10,000 Lakes this summer and thought that these songs played/ jammed very well. Name another artist that can bring so many different artists into the studio and on the road and make it happen night after night. Trey is one of the most creative people on the scene today. Enjoy him while you can. Years from now the same people will be b!tch!ng that he is gone.

straightfingerwater Thu 9/20/2007 05:19AM
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I never had strong feelings either way about Trey Anastasio or Phish. Admittedly, I’m sure I missed out not seeing this band perform live. However, the Phish music I have bought and listened to has always left me with mixed impressions. This changed after hearing “What’s Done” from the “Bar 17” CD on XM. On the strength of that song, I bought the CD and it has grown to be a favorite. In particular, “If You’re walking” and “Bar 17”. are inspired pieces of music. “If You’re Walking” floats along on a nice Hammond B3 vibe with a beautiful piano and terrific drumming. “Bar 17” is a thematic piece that wanders. I enjoy the instrumentation, development and sophistication of the arrangement. This is music by a guy that is continuing to expand and take musical chances. Too bad the some elements of the Phish fan base are getting left behind!

straightfingerwater Thu 9/20/2007 05:19AM
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I never had strong feelings either way about Trey Anastasio or Phish. Admittedly, I’m sure I missed out not seeing this band perform live. However, the Phish music I have bought and listened to has always left me with mixed impressions. This changed after hearing “What’s Done” from the “Bar 17” CD on XM. On the strength of that song, I bought the CD and it has grown to be a favorite. In particular, “If You’re walking” and “Bar 17”. are inspired pieces of music. “If You’re Walking” floats along on a nice Hammond B3 vibe with a beautiful piano and terrific drumming. “Bar 17” is a thematic piece that wanders. I enjoy the instrumentation, development and sophistication of the arrangement. This is music by a guy that is continuing to expand and take musical chances. Too bad the some elements of the Phish fan base are getting left behind!