Alive Again, a limited series podcast from JamBase partner, Osiris Media focusing on the solo career of Phish‘s Trey Anastasio concludes with its fourth and final episode. Trey’s Ghosts Of The Forest project and “The Beacon Jams” livestream series are among the topics covered in “Every Story Ends In Stone,” available now for streaming on all major podcasting platforms.
The episode begins with a discussion of how the music and band for Ghosts Of The Forest came together. Anastasio noted his experience working on Hands On A Hardbody helped prepare him to write the narrative for Ghosts Of The Forest, which he was inspired to put together after the death of his childhood friend, Chris “CCott” Cottrell. Trey took a band out of the road that included Phish drummer Jon Fishman, TAB members Jennifer Hartswick, Ray Paczkowski and Tony Markellis as well as vocalist Celisse. Ghosts Of The Forest marked the first time Tony and Jennifer toured with Fish. “For all the years I have known Trey, I understood him on a completely new level watching him and Fishman interact,” Hartswick revealed of the experience. “I thought the material was beautiful and cool and so heartfelt.”
Anastasio goes on to recall his time self-quarantining in his New York City apartment during the start of the pandemic. Trey put his efforts into writing new material and released the album Lonely Trip last summer. The guitarist spoke about how much he enjoyed the experience of recording in his living room and how it took him back to his early days as a musician.
Phish co-manager/Trey Anastasio manager Patrick Jordan was among those who explained how “The Beacon Jams” came together. “The Beacon Jams” was a series of eight weekly livestream concerts originating from New York City’s Beacon Theatre last fall. Anastasio, Jordan, Hartswick, Paczkowski, Natalie Cressman and James Casey were among those who shared thoughts on the repeatless-run. Pianist Jeff Tanski and arranger Don Hart also spoke about putting together arrangements for “The Beacon Jams.”
“It was like a strangely unexpected gift. I always felt like I had to go on five different tours to incorporate all this stuff,” Anastasio said. “There’s the solo acoustic tour, there’s the trio tour, then there’s like the funky five-piece tour, then there’s the orchestral tour, then there’s a Ghosts Of The Forest tour. It’s all in there in a digestible form and unified. It was deeply satisfying.” One particularly interesting revelation is how Anastasio had to adapt the plan for the sixth week after Fishman dropped out. The final result wound up being extremely satisfying to both Trey and those watching at home.
“Every Story Ends In Stone” concludes with the story of the Divided Sky Foundation and a Vermont Substance Use Disorder Treatment Center under construction in Ludlow, Vermont. “It took everything away, it’s a miracle it didn’t kill me. Came pretty damn close,” Anastasio said of his substance abuse issues. Trey shared how he told his management his plan to build a treatment center just before he took the stage for a solo concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Both Phish Inc. general manager Beth Montouri Rowles and Trey’s drug court case manager (and now Divided Sky Foundation clinical director) talked about their work in putting the facility together.
Stream the final episode of Alive Again below: