In yet another blow to Trey Anastasio Band‘s fall tour plans, drummer Russ Lawton has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of tonight’s scheduled performance at Columbus, OH’s Express Live! and will have to sit out the rest of the tour.

In a note posted on social media, Anastasio’s camp explained that the Columbus show will now be a solo acoustic performance. The announcement added, “Stay tuned for more info on this week’s shows and thank you for the continued support.”

Just last weekend, Trey Anastasio Band was thrown a similar curveball when Jennifer Hartswick (trumpet, vocals) tested positive ahead of a two-night, two-city run in North Carolina. TAB had already been without its usual horn trio throughout the tour’s first six shows, with Hartswick and trombonist Natalie Cressman joined by stand-in Cochemea Gastelum (and, for one night, Natalie’s dad, Jeff Cressman) in place of regular saxophonist James Casey, who is undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer. With both James and Jennifer now out of play, Anastasio announced that he would finish out the tour without a horn section.

A no-horns TAB configuration is not entirely new to fans—from Classic TAB to the Trey Anastasio Trio/Quartet to, most recently, The Beacon Jams—but with Dezron Douglas on bass in place of the late Tony Markellis, audiences in Charlotte and Asheville witnessed a never-before-seen lineup. That pared-down group—featuring keyboardist Ray Paczkowski and percussionist Cyro Baptista alongside Anastasio, Douglas, and Lawton—proceeded to fire off two thrilling, improv-heavy performances featuring deep takes on Phish favorites.

Solo acoustic shows are likewise not uncommon in Trey’s world. Earlier this year, he returned to the Beacon Theatre in New York—where he had played to an empty house during The Beacon Jams—for an emotional run of solo acoustic performances.

Trey Anastasio Band’s 2021 fall tour is due to wrap up this week with shows in Pittsburgh, PA (9/29); Washington, D.C. (10/1); and New York, NY (10/2, 10/3). Anastasio has yet to announce how he will approach those remaining performances in light of this latest COVID-prompted cut to the touring lineup.

[UPDATE 9/29/21]: After performing solo in Columbus, Trey Anastasio announced that Phish drummer Jon Fishman will serve as the drummer for TAB’s last four fall tour dates. Check out the setlist from the solo show and read more about the addition of Fishman here.

For a full list of scheduled Trey Anastasio Band dates, head here.

Following the end of the TAB run, Anastasio is set to link back up with Phish for the band’s fall tour beginning October 15th in San Francisco. For a list of upcoming Phish fall tour dates, head here.


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