Trey Anastasio has released The Beacon Jams, a live compilation album featuring 18 newly remixed songs from his 2020 Beacon Theatre livestream series of the same name. The digital-only is available now on all major streaming platforms.
The livestream series, which took place without an in-person audience at the storied Manhattan theater during the dog days of the pandemic-forced touring shutdown, played out over the course of eight Fridays in the fall of 2020. With strict COVID-19 protocols in place and travel abilities limited, Anastasio tapped a range of collaborators to enter the Beacon Jams bubble and help him reimagine his decades-long catalog for a collective 1.8 million viewers via Twitch.
“I absolutely loved The Beacon Jams,” Anastasio recalls of the residency of the. “We would end on Friday night, the stream would click off, and I’d go home and start planning the next one. With each passing week, we all got more comfortable. Everyone was making discoveries. … What made it feel successful to me was that we weren’t trying to recreate a live concert. What I was hoping was that it would be a fresh form of entertainment – turning lemons into lemonade. I feel like that turned out to be the case.”
Arriving two days prior to the two-year anniversary of the residency’s eighth and final night, the album includes performances from Trey Anastasio Band, comprised of Cyro Baptista (percussion), James Casey (saxophone, vocals), Natalie Cressman (trombone, vocals), Jennifer Hartswick (trumpet, vocals), Russ Lawton (drums), Ray Paczkowski (keyboards), and, in his final performances with the group, the late Tony Markellis (bass). Also featured are frequent collaborators Jeff Tanski (keyboards), Celisse Henderson (vocals), and Jo Lampert (vocals), as well as the debut of The Rescue Squad (violinists Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston, violist Rachel Golub, and cellist Anja Wood).
The 145-minute live compilation, co-produced by Anastasio and Vance Powell and remixed by Powell, the 18-track, collects varied acoustic and electric highlights from the event including solo material, Trey Anastasio Band favorites, and unique versions of classic songs from the Phish catalog.
The Beacon Jams residency generated $1.2 million in fan donations for The Divided Sky Foundation, the initiative launched by Anastasio to finance a residential recovery program in Ludlow, VT. Much like the livestream series itself, proceeds from the new compilation will benefit the foundation’s efforts to launch the treatment center, which is currently slated to open in 2023.
“It was beyond our wildest dreams that we would raise $1.2 million in fan donations,” Anastasio said. “It gave the recovery program a head start and it helped us begin working towards offering treatment options to segments of the community that have been shut out in the past.”
The news of the new The Beacon Jams compilation comes in the wake of Trey Anastasio Band’s eight-night co-headlining tour with Goose. Next up for Trey is a four-night New Year’s Eve run at Madison Square Garden with Phish.
Listen to the Trey Anastasio The Beacon Jams live compilation album on the platform of your choice here or stream it via the Spotify player below. Scroll down to watch a new video of “What’s The Use?” from The Beacon Jams featuring remixed audio. To read Live For Live Music‘s comprehensive live coverage of The Beacon Jams including setlists, videos, and complete nightly recaps, head here.
Trey Anastasio – The Beacon Jams – Full Live Album
Trey Anastasio – “What’s The Use” (Remixed for The Beacon Jams) [Pro-Shot] – 11/13/20
[A version of this article was published 11/22/22]