Trey Anastasio Discusses The Barn, Expanding TAB Lineup & More On ‘Alive Again’ Podcast
Jennifer Hartswick, Ray Paczkowski and Cyro Baptista are among those who join Trey in lending their voices to the latest installment of the Trey Anastasio-focused podcast.
Trey Anastasio of Phish‘s solo career is the focus of Alive Again, a limited series podcast from JamBase partner, Osiris Media. The second of the series’ five episodes, “Mr. Completely,” details the importance of The Barn, the decision to expand the Trey Anastasio Band beyond a trio plus much more and is now available on all major podcast platforms.
“Mr. Completely” picks up where the debut episode, “The Architect”, left off. Anastasio talks about buying The Barn, a space near his home that was converted into a recording studio. The guitarist went on to record One Man’s Trash, his debut solo record at the facility while Farmhouse was the first of a number of Phish albums tracked at The Barn. Longtime collaborator producer Bryce Goggin also discusses the unusual nature of The Barn.
Trey recruited a 17-year-old Jennifer Hartswick to contribute to One Man’s Trash on the recommendation of Dave Grippo. Hartswick recalls receiving a call from Anastasio asking her to join him at The Barn to add to “At The Barbecue.” Jennifer speaks of Trey’s warm and hands-on nature. “I walked out of there thinking ‘well, that was a fun one-time thing, I’m sure I’ll never see that guy again,” Hartswick recalls of the experience. Little did the trumpeter/vocalist realize she would get another call from Trey asking her to join the expanded version of the Trey Anastasio Band for their Winter Tour 2001. Jennifer has been a key member of the group ever since.
Keyboardist Ray Paczkowski appears next as part of the tale of how he came to join TAB. “I saw Ray with Viperhouse and it was just like, ‘that guy is amazing, I’ve gotta be in a band with him,” Anastasio notes. Hartswick and Paczkowski then share memories of their first TAB tour before Trey discusses his disappointment the group played venues in Summer 2001 that were too big for such a new band. “Playing bigger places was a way to keep the organization afloat during the hiatus, which I felt a lot of pressure from,” Anastasio says. “It wasn’t good for me. In my mind, we didn’t even have an album yet!”
Anastasio speaks about the party atmosphere that developed around The Barn and at his live performances, both with Phish and the Trey Anastasio Band. “(It was) a lot of fun for a while before it tipped beyond fun,” Trey says. The discussion moves on Trey Anastasio’s self-titled solo album and the addition of percussionist Cyro Baptista to the mix.
“Mr. Completely” continues with TAB members sharing memories of performing at the first Bonnaroo in 2002. Anastasio then recalls a gig in Utica at which the show was stopped as the balcony was crumbling. Members of TAB go on to discuss the long process that led to TAB’s highly orchestrated version of “Magilla,” a song first played by Phish penned by Page McConnell.
Today’s episode ends with Anastasio explaining how his partying and the partying going on around him led to Trey’s decision to breakup Phish. Trey then played with new musicians to record what would become his Shine album in Vermont. Anastasio scrapped the tracks he was recording and made the choice to work with acclaimed producer Brendan O’Brien. Trey and the musicians flew to Atlanta to record with O’Brien who then told the guitarist he needed to cut his new band loose. Stay tuned to find out what happened from there in the next installment of Alive Again.
Stream the Alive Again episode “Mr. Completely” below: