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Trey Anastasio: The Horseshoe Curve

The Horseshoe Curve is a big hello-there both for those who never cared for (or got) Phish and the formerly faithful who felt abandoned by the last couple of solo albums from the defunct jamband’s guitarist and de facto leader. The fumbling singer-songwriter of those efforts is gone, for now at least, replaced by an in-control funkmeister who’s been spending time with his Tower of Power and James Brown records (or sounds like he has, anyway)-and maybe a little Sun Ra and Miles, too.

Fronting a 10-piece band, half of them horn players, Anastasio leaves the vocals behind and gets down to business: These eight instrumental workouts, mostly remnants from a few years back left unfinished till now, are pumped with muscle and stewed in soul, drawing from Afro-Cuban and Memphis (Booker T.)/NOLA (Meters) rhythmic traditions, classic uptown funk and a modicum of the eccentricity and experimentalism that has always marked Anastasio’s work.

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