New York City, baby.

Thursday, October 30, 2003


Trey Anastasio's guitar work on
the Dave Matthews album Some Devil

Through his playing, the Phish helmsman brings an earthy wisdom to Matthews' breezily dark meditations on existence.

He kicks a song like So Damn Lucky into the next gear and takes the instant classic Up and Away soaring evocatively over the diminishing earth.

There's a Jerry Quality to the former, a Bob Marley Quality to the later. But it's unmistakenably Trey. Precision trippyness. A steady, coiling build to joyous release.

The song Gravedigger is another example of how crucial Anastasio's contribution is to lending a stately, but flourishing might to the album.

At times his guitar playing is reminiscent of those who have been best at tapping the uncluttered, powerful grace of the instrument: this is Clapton on Bell Bottom Blues; this is Paige on All of My Love; this is Harrison on My Guitar Gently Weeps.

In an album leaflet photo of Trey and Dave working out a tune in the studio, their faces aglow with nimble thoughts, we see evidence of the sparks formed by this musical fellowship.

There's potency to this music: one that must have been felt in the room.

Let's hope it inspires these two friends to embark on an even deeper collaboration. If Some Devil is any indication, it could be a musical partnership for the ages.


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