Trey Anastasio has announced Mercy, his debut solo acoustic guitar album, which will arrive this Friday (March 11).
The nine-track effort, his first solo album since 2020’s Lonely Trip, is said to have been conceived way back in 2017, during a time when the Phish guitarist first embarked on a run of solo acoustic-driven shows.
According to the album’s liner notes, these events were followed by longer acoustic runs in 2018 and 2019, before Anastasio took to the stage for the first time in more than a year with his acoustic for a week’s worth of shows at New York’s Beacon Theater in June 2021.
Though the setlist was mostly assembled from popular Phish hits, the experience “was like a direct path”, recalled Anastasio, who also commented, “Without it, this album would not have happened.”
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” he continued. “Mercy is like a bookend. It’s two years since we went into hiding. This is still going on, and it’s an even lonelier trip.”
As alluded to by Anastasio, the album itself will focus on the “emotional ricochet of recent, pandemic life”, and is an account of “that confusion and isolation in unresolved questions and conflicted passions”.
Mercy – which was produced by Bryce Goggin and Robert “rAab” Stevenson, and engineered/mixed by Mike Fahey – arrives only weeks after it was recorded, and almost two years to the day New York City, his “adopted home”, went into lockdown.
It’s Anastasio’s first new material in a while, after he released both Lonely Trip and Phish’s Sigma Oasis within the space of four months in 2020. He also released an album with the Trey Anastasio Band, titled Burn It Down, that same year.
In 2021, he teamed up with his Phish bandmate, keyboardist Page McConnell, for a six-track EP, December, while the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Layla Revisited (Live at LOCKN') album also featured the guitarist’s talents.
Mercy will be available on all digital streaming platforms on March 11.
To find out more, head over to Trey Anastasio’s website (opens in new tab).
In preparation for his album’s release, Anastasio recently took to the stage with My Morning Jacket during the rock outfit’s annual concert vacation, One Big Holiday, at Riviera Cancun.
During the appearance, he helped the band cover Elton John’s Rocket Man and Rolling Stones’ Can’t You Hear Me Knocking – footage from the night can be found below.