Trey Anastasio has officially released the debut record of his latest project, Ghosts of the Forest.
Ghosts of the Forest features Anastasio, his Phish bandmate Jon Fishman, Trey Anastasio Band members Jennifer Hartswick, Tony Markellis, and Ray Paczkowski, and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Celisse Henderson, who was featured alongside Hartswick as a backup singer at Phish’s 2016 Halloween performance of Ziggy Stardust.
According to the press release, Ghosts of the Forest was recorded over the span of just a few days at the Barn Studio in Vermont in April 2018. The record was produced by Anastasio and engineered and mixed by Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White).
Tonight, Ghosts of the Forest will kick off their two-night run at New York City’s United Palace Theatre (which will be live streamed), culminating their final shows of the inaugural east coast leg, before heading westward for two performances in California. The previous nights of the run have included several songs outside of Ghosts of the Forest’s nine-track album, spiking curiosity amongst the live music community.
In a recent interview with Ari Fink on SiriusXM’s JamOn, Anastasio explained that this weekend’s shows will eventually be released as a live album. With no scheduled dates beyond this April, it’s quite possible that Ghosts of the Forest will soon be but a distant memory.
In the same interview, Trey explained the inspiration behind the album, his late friend Chris Cottrell.
Chris was my soul brother. He was one of the last people I was really close with that didn’t work with me in some way. So, it kind of felt like more than a loss of an individual friend—it felt like the loss of a tether or two to a different era. I went in and visited Ray Paczkowski in the hospital around the same time that Chris passed away, and it was an intense time.
We did Chris’ memorial service and his daughters were there with me, and then a week or two later I went and recorded the (Ghosts of the Forest) album. It’s raw, you know what I mean? It was still too early to—it wasn’t finished yet, the picture still wasn’t finished yet. And then I started writing more songs because I wanted to address the other side of the coin, which is more of an acceptance and bigger picture outlook on where we fit in this grand scheme, or something like that (laughs).
Trey Anastasio – Ghosts of the Forest