The jury is still out trying to reach a final verdict on the new Trey Anastasio album Original Boardwalk Style - Live In Atlantic City. Recorded live December 30-31, 2006, at The House Of Blues, Atlantic City, NJ, it's a 75 minutes selection of two nights that were enjoyable but not memorable. With a touring band that had ballooned into an eleven-piece, hence the name "Undectet", most of the songs get the big band treatment with lots of brass and wall-to-wall keyboards.
Original Boardwalk Style kicks off with Drifting, a meandering piece that has trouble finding a proper groove. It's an odd choice for an opener, but it's a brave one. By the end of 2006 Anastasio was adrift him self, his guitar playing suffered and his voice was giving in. However. he pulls him self together on a number of tracks, especially during a great Plasma, a funky Simple Twist Up Dave and good ol' Hammond and celebratory horns in Mud City. On the other hand tracks live Alive Again has an edge of panic to it. He might be glad to be alive, but he needed help too -- but that wouldn't arrive until later when he entered rehab to kick a heroin habit.
Trey fans are a highly critical bunch, blaming him for the Phish breakup in 2004. Reviews have been mixed so far, and this one is too. Rest assured: he still can play the guitar, he hasn't lot his signature tone, listen to the album closer Mr. Completely. All he needs is a bit of rest, some proper gigs, and lots of practice. He still has that great ""how are you, dude" smile and with a couple of dates coming up he will be able to market this album not as a comeback but as a step up on his way to be a six string maestro again. Proceeds from the sale of the album will benefit the Seven Below Arts Initiative, established by Trey in 2006 to foster artistic development and support arts education in the state of Vermont. And speaking of that state, yes, the four of them are in touch and anything might happen. Or not.Upcoming live dates:
- 07/06 Rothbury Festival, Rothbury, MI (solo acoustic)
- 08/02 Newport Folk Festival, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI
- 08/10 All Points West Festival, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ
electric set with classic TAB members Russ Lawton, Tony Markellis and Ray Paczkowski.
Track listing CD:
Track listing LP: