Trey Anastasio Forms New Band Ghosts Of The Forest
Trey Anastasio announced the formation of a new band Ghosts Of The Forest. The Phish guitarist will be joined by Phish drummer Jon Fishman, Trey Anastasio Band bassist Tony Markellis, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski and vocalist Jennifer Hartswick, along with vocalist Celisse [Henderson]. The band will make its live debut with a short run of shows in April.
It’s been well over a decade since Anastasio put together a new band. Anastasio has been content to focus on his Trey Anastasio Band project and Phish, but Ghosts Of The Forest changes that.
Few details about Trey Anastasio’s Ghosts Of The Forest have been revealed as of yet. What JamBase can report is that Trey has prepared original music and new production for the limited run of performances. Ghosts Of The Forest will make their live debut at Portland, Maine’s State Theatre on April 4. The jaunt also includes dates in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Albany, Boston and New York City. Check out a sample of the new project’s music:
For comparison’s sake, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think back to 8 Foot Fluorescent Tubes, a project that only played one show back on April 17, 1998 at the old Higher Ground in Winooski, Vermont. Both Markellis and Fishman had a hand in that concert, which featured costumed dancers, theatrics and stunning visual production. Anastasio debuted a slew of new material that night including instant classics “First Tube,” “Sand” and “Mozambique.”
While Fishman, Markellis, Paczkowski and Hartswick have performed frequently with Trey in the past, Henderson’s experience singing onstage with Anastasio is limited to one concert. Henderson, Hartswick and Jo Lampert provided backing vocals for a number of songs during Phish’s cover of David Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars in Las Vegas on October 31, 2016. Celisse’s resume is heavy on musicals, including appearances in Broadway shows Wicked and Godspell. She has also performed with and has been mentored by Melissa Etheridge.
The rhythm section of Tony Markellis and Jon Fishman is one that has had an impact on Anastasio since Ronald Reagan’s first term. Markellis came onto Trey’s radar after a then 18-year-old Anastasio blew off a visit to the University Of Vermont to watch Tony perform as part of Big Joe & The Unknown Blues Band at Burlington club Hunt’s. When Anastasio put together a band for his first solo tour in 1999, Markellis got the call. Anastasio decided to attend UVM, where he spotted Fishman on his first day at the school and jammed with him soon thereafter forming a musical bond that lasts through this day.
The guitarist has a similar bond with Jennifer Hartswick. Anastasio was looking for a trumpeter to add to his debut solo album One Man’s Trash in 1997 and asked Dave Grippo for a name. Jennifer was put forward by Dave Grippo as a recommendation and the pair hit it off immediately. Hartswick contributed to Phish’s 1998 album The Story Of The Ghost and 2000 LP Farmhouse. Anastasio added a horn section that included Hartswick to his solo band in 2001 and she’s been a fixture in his non-Phish projects ever since. Jennifer is aboard as a vocalist for Ghosts Of The Forest.
A pre-sale begins Wednesday, December 12 at 12 p.m. ET via Trey Ticketing and ends on Thursday at 5 p.m. ET. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday, December 14.