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James Casey Makes Surprise Appearance For “O-o-h

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Trey Anastasio got the band back together on Thursday in Baltimore for the first full performance by his eponymous solo outfit of the year. While saxophonist James Casey sat out the bulk of the concert, he joined Trey Anastasio Band for an emotional encore cover of “O-o-h Child”.

While Thursday’s concert at Pier Six Pavilion marked the first TAB show of 2023, the Phish guitarist last month staged a trio of shows at Denver’s Mission Ballroom with drummer John Fishman and bassist Dezron Douglas under the Trey Anastasio Trio banner. Additionally, later this year he will reactivate the Classic TAB configuration of drummer Russ Lawton, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, and Douglas for a run of festival appearances and headlining dates.

Meanwhile, James Casey continues his courageous fight against stage three colon cancer that began two years ago. Immediately following the diagnosis, he sat out TAB’s 2021 summer tour as he pursued treatment, only to make his triumphant return the following year. In the years since his diagnosis, Casey’s onstage presence has become a beacon of light adding new meaning to many old, familiar songs, in particular his moving delivery of the Grateful Dead‘s “Touch of Grey” when performing with Phil Lesh & Friends.

Related: James Casey Discusses His Colon Cancer Journey On ‘TODAY’ [Watch]

On Thursday, Casey helmed The Stairsteps‘ 1970 R&B classic in TAB’s first performance of the tune since 2017. As the band returned for the encore with Casey in tow, they made no announcement of his presence and instead let the weighty cover do the talking. Trey has historically sung lead vocals on the song, but instead on this version communicated his feelings through a powerful guitar solo. Following the cover, Anastasio wrapped Casey up in a hug before introducing the horn section, his voice faltering with emotion.

Watch James Casey cover “O-o-h Child” with Trey Anastasio Band in Baltimore. TAB’s tour continues tonight, July 7th, with a show at Asbury Park, NJ’s Stone Pony Summer Stage. For tickets and a full list of tour dates head here.

Trey Anastasio Band, James Casey – “O-o-h Child” (The Stairsteps) – 7/6/23

[Video: Troy Laur]



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