Phish Guitarist Diving Into Solo U.S. Tour

Trey Anastasio's 10-date May swing through East, Midwest to be half-acoustic, half-electric.

Trey Anastasio, Phish's guitarist and principal songwriter, will embark on a brief set of solo dates through the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. in May.

The 10 shows will feature Anastasio in a half-acoustic/half-electric format, according to the eclectic, improvisational rock band's official website. The guitarist will play one set of all acoustic material without accompaniment, and then he will be joined by his non-Phish collaborators, Troy Markellis on bass and Russ Lawton on drums, for an electric set.

The first date is scheduled for May 2 at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, Mich. From there, Anastasio will hit small venues in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New York, Maine and Washington, D.C.

Phish last played as a band Dec. 31 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Their three-set marathon featured funk-influenced jams on the Talking Heads song "Cities" (RealAudio excerpt), as well as

"Ghost"

(RealAudio excerpt), the lead track off The Story Of The Ghost, Phish's seventh studio album.

Since that time, drummer Jonathan Fishman has played with his side project, Pork Tornado, and Anastasio has played a stripped-down set during the Tibet House benefit concert Feb. 22 at New York's Carnegie Hall. For the benefit performance, Anastasio played acoustic renditions of Phish songs to the most enthusiastic response of the night.

Phish are scheduled to regroup for a 20-date tour that begins June 30 in Bonner Springs, Kansas. San Francisco resident Bryan Lurie, an avid Phish fan, said Anastasio's solo outing will enhance the band's sound and growth.

"They've been together for 16 years," Lurie said. "Trey's tour will only help the longevity of the band."

Anastasio performed a show in his home state, Vermont, last month.

Lurie owns a tape of that show and said that it included an acoustic version of Phish's "Guyute" as well as an electric cover of the Five Stairsteps' "O-o-h, Child."

During a December stop in Milan, Italy, Anastasio told SonicNet Music News that the high level of fan interest the band attracts is a blessing.

"It's what made us who we are," he said. "I read an interview with Paul Stanley [of Kiss], and he was saying that if they started complaining about their makeup, it would be like being a lawyer complaining about wearing a tie. We're very fortunate."

Trey Anastasio Tour Dates:

May 2; Ann Arbor, Mich., Michigan Theater

May 4; Indianapolis, Ind., Murat Theatre

May 6; Chicago, Ill., The Riviera

May 7; St. Louis, Mo., American Theatre

May 8; Madison, Wis., Oscar Mayer Theatre

May 10; Asheville, N.C., Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

May 11; Washington, D.C., 9:30 Club

May 13; Binghamton, N.Y., SUNY at Binghamton Concert Theatre

May 14; Portland, Maine, State Theatre

May 15; Albany, N.Y., Palace Theatre