Happy Birthday Trey Anastasio: Watch 2022 Sit-Ins & Live Collaborations
Go backwards down the 2022 number line with Dave & Tim, My Morning Jacket, Goose, Billy Strings & More
Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio marks his 58th birthday today. Over the past year, Trey has remained his typically busy self, touring with Phish and his Trey Anastasio Band, while also squeezing in a few solo acoustic shows and an Oysterhead festival set.
On the occasion of one’s birthday, making an assessment of the past year’s achievements and celebrating accomplishments is in order. Among the highlights of Trey’s busy year were a number of sit-ins and collaborations that exemplified his longstanding collaborative spirit.
The videos compiled here showcase Trey’s eventful 2022, starting in February in Riviera Maya, Mexico. While there, Anastasio once again sat in with Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds on the final night of their destination event. He then stuck around after staging Phish’s own multi-day fest in Riviera Maya to sit in with My Morning Jacket at their Mexican excursion, joining the band for the first time.
Two of Trey’s sit-ins in 2022 lit the fire behind many “torch-passing” memes. Lengthy collabs this summer in New York City with Goose at Radio City Music Hall and a few weeks later with Billy Strings at Pier 17 were noteworthy not only for Anastasio’s apparent stamp of approval of the next generation talents but also for being musically exceptional.
Two other notable collaborations saw others joining Trey onstage in two different settings. After sitting in with Celisse during her Peach Music Festival set last year, Anastasio’s Ghosts Of The Forest bandmate returned the favor at this year’s Peach by dropping in at the end of the Trey Anastasio Band’s set. Lastly, and most adorably, 7-year-old fan Jovi Crusen was brought onstage at a solo acoustic show in Grand Rapids, Michigan and got to help Trey sing “Bug.”
Revisit each of the above-mentioned sit-ins and collaborations from 2022 along with excerpts of JamBase’s coverage from shortly after the events unfolded.
Dave and Tim returned for the first encore with Phish guitarist and longtime Dave Matthews collaborator Trey Anastasio. Anastasio also performed with Reynolds in Dave & Friends. The past couple of years have seen Dave & Tim doing Riviera Maya the weekend before Phish’s destination event and Anastasio joined Dave and Tim in 2020 as well.
The trio got the collaboration underway with Phish’s “Waste,” a favorite when Trey and Dave play together, to kick off the encore. Dave handled the first verse with Trey singing harmony on the chorus and helming the second verse. Trey would stick around for the DMB number “Everyday,” [see below] once again harmonizing with Dave on the chorus and offering a guitar solo ahead of the coda and conclusion of the guest spot.
Dave & Tim – Waste
Dave & Tim – Everyday
Trey Anastasio, fresh off Phish’s own destination event at Moon Palace, emerged with My Morning Jacket for the evening’s encore. Anastasio has spent a few weeks in Mexico, as he joined Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds at the final night of their Riviera Maya run on February 20. My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James addressed the crowd at the start of the encore. “It feels so good to be here with all of you right now … alive … and [we] just feel so grateful,” James said.
The collaborative encore began with a cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” James and Anastasio traded off lead vocals on a song Phish played once and My Morning Jacket has covered 19 times over the past 22 years. Jim went acoustic for “Rocket Man” and then strapped on an electric for the band’s first “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” cover. The frontman sang The Rolling Stones classic which ended with Anastasio and James engaging in fretboard fireworks while Broemel played sax. Last night’s concert came to a close with “Magheetah.” The lengthy version saw Trey sing a verse and add backing vocals. “Magheetah” featured impressive improvisation as a giddy Trey hopped around the stage throughout.
Anastasio emerged after “Silver Rising” opened the third set and stuck around for the remainder of the evening. The members of Goose were all smiles and the crowd exploded when the guitarist took the stage last night. Up first for the Trey/Goose summit was a 20-minute version of “Hungersite,” a track featured on the Connecticut-based band’s new album, Dripfield, which came out one day prior. Anastasio sang “Hungersite” with Goose and then dug into a potent solo. The six musicians covered plenty of ground as Trey and Rick Mitarotonda exchanged angular riffs while Peter Anspach made fine use of a baby grand piano. Last night’s “Hungersite” contained a few modulations with Trey in lock step throughout. The song concluded with a fiery peak reminiscent of The Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.”
The ensuing “Arcadia” was another lengthy affair and saw Anastasio sing the third verse by his lonesome to the delight of the sold-out audience. Trey also provided harmony vocals on the choruses leading up to an expansive jam. The rhythm section of drummer Ben Atkind, bassist Trevor Weekz and percussionist Jeff Arevalo provided a groovy base for call-and-response from Anastasio and Mitarotonda as Anspach wailed on Clavinet. Trey and Rick displayed impressive interplay as they built upon each other’s melodies. The ensemble eventually made a move towards a transcendent and anthemic blissful improvisation filled with blissful leads courtesy of Mitarotonda and Anastasio while Peter inserted organ blasts. Last night’s “Arcadia” jam concluded with a memorable climax complete with full-tilt fretboard fireworks from both guitarists.
Anastasio and Goose continued the memorable collaboration with the title track off Dripfield. The third long and well-jammed song in a row began as Rick showed off his stellar vocal skills in leading the group through the composed section of “Dripfield.” Once again, Trey found the perfect spots to fit in accents and harmonized with Mitarotonda’s leads. Anspach also got in on the guitar action and grinned widely as he stepped up to join Anastasio and Mitarotonda mid-stage. The jam was more dirty and distortion-filled than the previous excursions. Anastasio and Mitarotonda dug into one powerful progression after another and eventually the six musicians broke down the beat for an impressive transition into a quick “Loose Ends.”
The beloved “The Empress Of Organos” concluded the third set last night at Radio City. Goose and Anastasio patiently worked through the potent number for 18 minutes with Anspach delivering a stellar piano solo after the pause and clapping towards the start of the song. The ensemble then broke down the groove to near silence for a funky interlude featuring plenty of shredding from Anastasio. Then, Trey and Rick connected on an ethereal progression they built to a rolling boil before taking the jam down to a slow and tasty conclusion ahead of the final chorus. Both Tillman and Anastasio came out with Goose for the celebratory encore. Father John Misty took Arevalo’s spot while Jeff played guitar on a cover of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Tillman, Mitarotonda and Anastasio traded lead vocals duties on the Revolver classic.
Anastasio emerged with acoustic guitar in hand towards the middle of Strings’ second set in NYC after rumors circulated for hours before the guest spot and just days after he performed with Goose at Radio City Music Hall. The summit featuring two generations of acclaimed guitarists began with “Back On The Train,” a song from Phish’s Farmhouse album that Billy has played regularly dating back to 2017. Strings and Anastasio shared vocal duties and traded angular licks throughout with big smiles all around. Next came the gorgeous “Love & Regret” from Billy’s Grammy-nominated 2021 LP, Renewal. Trey delivered tasteful licks and then Billy took an emotional solo of his own.
The collaboration continued with a cover of Bill Monroe’s “I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome.” Phish first performed the song on November 16, 1994 and covered the tune a number of times through June 22, 2000. More recently, Anastasio played “I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome” with Del McCoury and members of his band at DelFest in 2013 and 2017. Last night’s version saw Trey handle the low end vocals before Strings sang the high parts. The ensuing take on John Hartford’s “All Fall Down” was the improvisational highlight of the guest spot. Anastasio was clearly comfortable during a 12-minute version in which the musicians painted outside the lines.
After “All Fall Down,” Strings noted the curfew was approaching and that the musicians would play right up until the end. “You and your music sir have sure done a lot for us and a lot of people,” Billy said in a touching moment adding, “We love and appreciate you.” Anastasio responded with, “I think your has done a lot for everyone” and thanked the crowd. The pair along with Hargreaves, Walker, banjoist Billy Failing and bassist Royal Masat then treated fans to a beautiful rendition of Eric Von Schmidt’s “My Love Come Rolling Down,” a song recorded by Doc Watson in 1978.
The memorable concert came to a close with another Farmhouse number, “Gotta Jibboo.” Strings debuted his “Gotta Jibboo” cover on January 20, 2018 and three additional versions came before last night’s take. Billy and Trey both sang the song and dug hard on their axes making use of every second up until the 10 p.m.
Anastasio introduced Henderson as the band’s “dear friend” and “family member.” Celisse first performed with Trey at Phish’s Halloween concert in Las Vegas on October 31, 2016, when Henderson teamed with Jo Lampert and TAB’s Jennifer Hartswick to provide backing vocals for the quartet’s “musical costume” of David Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars album. Anastasio then recruited Celisse to join Ghosts Of The Forest for the project’s lone tour in Spring 2019 and reprise as part of “The Beacon Jams” on November 6, 2020. Celisse also performed with Trey at the next “The Beacon Jams” livestream concert on November 13, 2020.
The most recent Celisse/Anastasio collaboration before Saturday took place at last year’s The Peach Music Festival. Celisse welcomed Trey Anastasio for three songs during her set at the event in Scranton, Pennsylvania just under one year to the day prior on July 3, 2021.
Celisse emerged towards the end of TAB’s set and played guitar and sang on the ensemble’s funky rendition of the Phish staple “The Moma Dance.” Henderson took part on the first “Moma” featuring most of TAB at “The Beacon Jams” on November 13, 2020. This time Celisse had her axe with her and engaged in call-and-response with Trey early in the song. Henderson then belted out the chorus with Hartswick, James Casey and Natalie Cressman. Celisse went on to deliver a powerful solo to close the song. Next, Celisse joined Casey, Hartswick and Cressman in providing backing vocals for Trey on Ghosts Of The Forest ballad “A Life Beyond The Dream.”
The guest spot and TAB set came to a close with “Rise/Come Together.” Celisse had her guitar in hand once again as she shared lead vocal duties with Trey on a song first performed by TAB that has also joined the Phish repertoire. Anastasio and Henderson engaged in a guitar duel while Jennifer, James and Natalie first played horns and then sang harmonies.
Anastasio pulled a 7-year-old fan out of the audience to help sing “Bug” on Monday night at his solo acoustic concert in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The sweet collaboration took place at the start of the encore of the show held at The Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater.
Anastasio responded to a sign held by a young fan asking to sing “Bug.” After briefly checking with her mother to make sure the request was legitimate, Trey took the youngster up on her offer, allowing her to fulfill her wish and sing the Farmhouse favorite.
“I wasn’t nervous but I had to take a big breath just to keep the tears away,” Jovi Crusen told JamBase about her experience singing with Trey. “I like ‘Bug’ because I get to raise my voice and sometimes yell ‘bug!’ It’s fun to sing.”
Jovi, who has been getting into Phish lately, particularly their album Farmhouse, added that she thought the chance of singing with Trey was “impossible” but getting pulled up on stage was “great” and a “terrific” experience.
“That’s Jovi!,” Anastasio said after “Bug” ended. “That was incredible, Jovi. You’re so good. So good. You’re amazing. She’s amazing. So good. Wow! I don’t know what to do after that. Wow. Thank you.”