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Published: 2005/07/12

Anastasio Plays High Ball with the Devil

Trey Anastasio could be called a de facto Atlantan at this point, as he has been showing up frequently at many of the best haunts in the jewel city of the south. Last night he joined Les Claypools band at The Variety Playhouse for a few extended numbers. Playing through a considerably smaller amp than he is used to, he emerged late in the set to lend mainly rhythm accompaniment to High Ball with the Devil (the title track of Les release with his Holy Mackerel band). After a drum segment featuring Jay Lane and Mike Dillon Claypool returned with the rest of his band which included Gabby La-La on sitar, electric ukulele, Theremin (and others) and sax ace Skerik who had just performed in the same venue two days previous with Mike Clark and Robert Walter.
The band followed the drums with a trio of songs from the 2002 Frog Brigade release, Purple Onion first tearing through Buzzards of Green Hill and David Makalastar. Anastasio rejoined the septet to deliver more aggressive guitar to the set- closing Ds Diner. Trey stuck around for the encore as well, which consisted solely of a newer composition entitled, Cohibas Esplenditos, during which Gabby La-La delivered an extended Theremin – prompted many smiles on stage and off, and Claypool to move to stage right for a brief Theremin duel. Cohibas Esplenditos is a song inspired by a brand of cigar Claypool discovered while reveling with his buddies Kirk Hammett (lead guitarist of Metallica, Claypool refers to him as Hamster) and Mark Osegueda (lead singer of Metal bands Death Angel and Swarm, known in Claypooland as Hot Potato).
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey opened for Claypool, as they will tonight at The Orange Peel in Asheville. The Benevento/Russo Duo will serve as an appetizer for Claypools July 16, 18 and 19 shows in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Anastasio has been confirmed for the annual Seattle Bumbershoot Festival Labor Day weekend, and he will open for the Rolling Stones at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia October 6. Report by Rob Turner

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