Bar 17

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
It's difficult to say what Bar 17 reveals about the development of Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio as a solo artist -- given that the disc was actually largely completed before he began work on his previous outing, Shine -- but course charting aside, it's hard to deny the pleasures offered by these 13 songs. For most of Bar 17, Anastasio seems intent on letting his freak flag fly -- a habit he curtailed on the surprisingly succinct Shine -- by festooning ornate songs like "Cincinnati" with full string sections, jazzbo honking, and some of his more off-kilter soloing in ages. "Goodbye Head," a similarly complex ditty, revisits the episodic stylings that Anastasio ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
It's difficult to say what Bar 17 reveals about the development of Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio as a solo artist -- given that the disc was actually largely completed before he began work on his previous outing, Shine -- but course charting aside, it's hard to deny the pleasures offered by these 13 songs. For most of Bar 17, Anastasio seems intent on letting his freak flag fly -- a habit he curtailed on the surprisingly succinct Shine -- by festooning ornate songs like "Cincinnati" with full string sections, jazzbo honking, and some of his more off-kilter soloing in ages. "Goodbye Head," a similarly complex ditty, revisits the episodic stylings that Anastasio explored early in Phish's career -- a serious pursuit that's leavened somewhat by playful lyrics contributed by the guitarist's ten-year-old daughter. Anastasio has been at it long enough to know that he needs to tickle more than just the collective cerebrum, and he devotes plenty of energy to body and soul here -- hitting the former square in the hips on the swinging "If You're Walking," a groove-oriented cut that's buoyed by percussionist Cyro Baptiste. The heartstrings get their best workout on "Empty House," an introspective tune that lets Anastasio explore the depths of solitude while filling some of that empty space with sweet finger-picking that goes a way towards dulling that pain. Whether or not -- as Trey has recently insinuated -- a Phish reunion is a possibility, this collection definitely raises the Bar for what he might offer up in the future.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Trey Anastasio's Bar 17 is a return, while ever looking forward, to the adventurous pop sounds on his self-titled solo album issued in 2002 and Shine from 2005. This is an ambitious, wide-ranging recording, with over 40 session players (granted 14 of them are string players, but so what?) among them, members of Phish, John Medeski, Cyro Baptista, and Briggan Krauss. In addition, this is the kickoff effort from Anastasio's Rubber Jungle Records. Bar 17 was produced by Anastasio and Bryce Goggin and the artist's own Barn studio in Vermont and in New York City. The music on these 13 tracks ranges from balls-out rockers such as the album's first single "Dragonfly," and the aptly titled "Mud City." There are the funky, ambitious but accessibly knotty pieces such as the album's opener, "Host Across the Potomac," and gorgeously textured pop songs, such as "Shadow," and "Let Me Lie." There are shimmering acoustic pieces like "Empty House" and stretched-out rock tunes that allow for real improvisation in the title track and "Goodbye Head." There are also a few unclassifiable, numbers with lush strings, lots of space, and paces that move form slow to slower. The closer is a sprawling jazz-rock piece with horns and pumping pianos that becomes a rock & roll jam. The point is, this is one unfettered date. That said, however, it is utterly focused and there isn't anything extra here despite the fact that the album is over 70-minutes long. Apparently, there is a bunch of stuff left over from the session, as well: those who pre-ordered the set from Anastasio's website get those leftovers on a bonus CD as a thank you. Anastasio's work outside of Phish while they were together, and especially since the group disbanded, is utterly fresh, exciting, and full of surprises. While his records undeniably have a "sound" that belongs to him, they are so wide reaching yet utterly accessible that it may be difficult not to find something in here that's appealing. Another winner.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/3/2006
  • Label: Red Int / Red Ink
  • UPC: 800314895220
  • Catalog Number: 48952

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Host Across the Potomac (6:05)
  2. 2 If You're Walking (5:46)
  3. 3 Dragonfly (3:51)
  4. 4 Bar 17 (8:51)
  5. 5 Mud City (4:03)
  6. 6 Let Me Lie (3:15)
  7. 7 What's Done (5:43)
  8. 8 Goodbye Head (7:04)
  9. 9 A Case of Ice and Snow (4:42)
  10. 10 Empty House (3:57)
  11. 11 Gloomy Sky (5:56)
  12. 12 Shadow (5:26)
  13. 13 Cincinnati (6:30)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Trey Anastasio Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Drums, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Peter Apfelbaum Tenor Saxophone
David Angell Violin
Cyro Baptista Percussion
David Davidson Violin
Connie Ellisor Violin
Jonathan Fishman Drums
Dave Grippo Alto Saxophone
Jim Grosjean Viola
Leslie Hall Keyboards
David Hancock Cello
Tony Markellis Bass
John Medeski Keyboards
Ben Perowsky Drums
Kristin Wilkinson Viola
Briggan Krauss Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Joan Wasser Vocals
Ben Perowski Drums
Gary Tussing Cello
Monisa Angell Viola
Karen Winkelmann Violin
Erik Lawrence Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Mike Gordon Bass
Peter Chwazik Bass
Janet Askey Violin
Steven Bernstein Trumpet
Ray Paczkowski Keyboards
Joe Russo Drums
Todd Sickafoose Bass
Jennifer Hartswick Trumpet, Vocals
Russ Lawton Drums
Russell Remington Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Andy Moroz Trombone
Marco Benevento Keyboards
Jared Slomoff Trumpet
Skeeto Valdez Drums
Sarighani Reist Cello
Christina Durfee Vocals
Carmen Keegan Vocals
Jacqueline Pickett String Bass
Mark Reneau Violin
Sue Schick Clarinet
Technical Credits
Trey Anastasio Composer, Producer, Horn Arrangements, Audio Production
Rick Beato Engineer
Bryce Goggin Producer, Audio Production
Don Hart String Arrangements, String Conductor
Fred Kevorkian Mastering
Greg Adams Horn Arrangements
Anthony Ruotolo Engineer
Bobby Shin Engineer
Peter J. Carini Engineer
Ken Lanyon Engineer
Jared Slomoff Engineer
Adam Sachs Engineer
Beth Montuori Rowles Studio Coordinator
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