Martin Barre, best-known as guitarist in Jethro Tull – one of the biggest selling prog bands of all time, releases his new solo album Roads Less Travelled on Garage Records on 31st August.
Barre has developed his own distinctive style within the framework of Jethro Tull, and his instantly recognizable and original sound form the basis of this album. Roads Less Travelled features eleven original tracks by Barre, which reflect the last 50 years of his esteemed musical career.
Reflecting on the tracks & recording of the album, Barre says “I’ve concentrated on improving my songwriting over the last few years and as a result, I am really pleased with this new CD. Although my playing has a lot of space in the music, I’ve worked a lot harder on the arrangements and lyrics.
My goal is to have a CD that keeps the listener from beginning to end. Roads Less Travelled reflects my belief in taking music somewhere new.”
Barre’s solo on Jethro Tull’s 1971 hit Aqualung has been repeatedly voted as one of the top guitar solos of all time. Barre has been cited as an important influence by many virtuoso players, including Joe Bonamassa, Steve Vai & Jo Satriani and can count the likes of Mark Knopfler and Geddy Lee amongst his many fans.
While all the songs showcase his exceptional electric guitar, acoustic guitar and mandolin playing, the Martin Barre Band also shine throughout. A long-time resident of Devon, Barre’s band features several local musicians:
Dan Crisp (vocals), Alan Thompson (bass/fretless bass), Darby Todd (drums), Becca Langsford (vocals/backing vocals), Josiah J (Percussion/Hammond), Aaron Graham (drums), Alex Hart (vocals/backing vocals) Buster Cottam (“stand up” bass).
Barre was the guitarist for rock band Jethro Tull from 1969 – 2012. Jethro Tull have sold an estimated 60 million albums worldwide, with 11 gold and 5 platinum albums among them and were described by Rolling Stone as “one of the most commercially successful progressive rock bands”. Barre appeared on all but their debut album during his 33 year stint with Tull and is the longest-serving member after Ian Anderson.
For four decades, Barre’s career focused on Jethro Tull but in the 1990s Barre began to perform as a solo artist and has since released seven solo studio albums. On these recordings, Barre combined rock and guitar-oriented fusion in his sound.
Martin’s guitar playing has earned him a high level of respect and recognition; he was voted 25th best solo ever in the USA and 20th best solo ever in the UK for his playing on Aqualung. His playing on the album Crest Of A Knave earned him a Grammy award in 1988.
In addition to his Jethro Tull and solo work, Martin has worked live with many other artists including: Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Gary Moore, Jo Bonamassa and Chris Thompson and has shared a stage with such legends as Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
Artist’s website: martinbarre.com
While we wait for the new material, here’s Martin and his band playing a classic – ‘Crossroads’: