Empty House

Originally Performed ByTrey Anastasio
Appears On
HistorianTim Wade (TheEmu)
Last Update2018-11-12


The tracks on Trey’s 2006 solo album Bar 17 come in a variety of flavors, including bombastic rock (“Dragonfly,” “Mud City”), prog rock (“Cincinnati”) growling blues (“What’s Done”), sweeping string arrangements (“Bar 17,” “Gloomy Sky”) and even pop (“Goodbye Head”).  There are also a couple of understated gems tucked amid this potpourri of styles; the Trey/Ray Paczkowski duet “A Case of Ice and Snow,” and the solo acoustic number “Empty House.”

An expert blend of melancholy and light gives “Empty House” a surprising depth and elegance.  Beginning in a minor key, Trey deftly picks his way to a more uplifting theme, then balances the sunshine with a sad folk melody, asking “What am I to do now that love went away so soon?”  These simple ingredients in the hands of a brilliant artist become a poignant moment to remind the listener that there is beauty even in heartache.  “Empty House” has never been performed live by Phish, although it was debuted by Trey during his Solo Acoustic tour in 2018. And if you enjoy Trey’s more introspective compositions, don’t overlook this wonderful piece.

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