MARTIN BARRE – Roads Less Travelled (Garage Records GAR0002)

Roads Less TravelledI don’t think I’ve heard Jethro Tull for decades, but one of the highlights of the band’s music was, for me and many others, Martin Barre’s guitar work, so I jumped at the opportunity to check out his solo album Roads Less Travelled, for release on 31st August 2018. The CD features ten excellent songs plus an instrumental, all composed by Martin. As well as Martin’s guitars, banjo, mandolin and mandola, these tracks also feature regular members of the Martin Barre Band Dan Crisp (lead vocals on most tracks), Alan Thomson (bass/fretless bass) and Darby Todd (drums), augmented by Alex Hart and Becca Langsford (lead and backing vocals), Josiah J (percussion and Hammond organ), Aaron Graham (drums) and Buster Cottam (double bass).

If some of the tracks here make me think of 60s/70s West Coast and/or fusion music, that’s by no means a criticism, and it shouldn’t be taken as implying a dated approach. Partly, I think, it’s because Dan Crisp’s versatile vocals sometimes remind me of specific individuals from that era; partly because of the effective use of harmonizing lead guitars; partly because of the super-accurate way the guitars, bass and organ track each other’s lines.

Here’s the track listing.

  1. ‘Lone Wolf’, with the addition of Martin’s mandolin, mandola and banjo, borders on country-rock. And a splendid example it is. Slightly reminiscent of the Eagles or even Buffalo Springfield.
  2. ‘Out Of Time’ alternates some nifty electric riffing and athletic drumming with some gentler acoustic work.
  3. ‘I’m On My Way’ also benefits from Martin’s mandolin and mandola, as well as some tasty electric guitar.
  4. ‘Roads Less Travelled’ features some very nice lead guitar harmonies, and lots more.
  5. Becca Langsford takes over the vocals on ‘Badcore Blues’, a moody song supported by acoustic guitars, drums and bass guitar. A long way from country blues, but captures some of that desperation despite its sophistication.
  6. The nostalgic ‘Seattle’ balances acoustic and electric guitars with spot-on vocal and instrumental harmonies.
  7. ‘For No Man’ features breath-taking interplay between the guitars, fretless bass and organ over sophisticated changes.
  8. ‘(This Is) My Driving Song’ leans towards riff-driven 70s rock. Works for me…
  9. The jazzy ballad ‘You Are An Angel’ features Alex Hart on vocals, backed by Martin’s acoustic guitars and Buster Cottam’s double bass. Very classy.
  10. ‘Trinity’ is the CD’s only instrumental, with Martin playing all instruments. A tour de force, drawing on a wide range of musical influences.
  11. ‘And The Band Played Only For Me’ features Becca Langsford on lead vocals, ably augmented with Alex Hart’s backing vocals. Somewhere on the borderline between jazz and city blues, with lovely guitar and organ. If ‘Trinity’ is my favourite track, this is my favourite vocal track, though ‘You Are An Angel’ isn’t far behind it.

Excellent songs sympathetically sung, a master of the guitar (and no slouch on several other instruments), accompanied by a set of accomplished musicians and singers, and flawlessly produced: this is an album that’s going to stay on my iPod…

David Harley

Artist’s website: https://martinbarre.com/

The Martin Barre Band at The Citadel, Wigan:

Martin Barre announces new solo album – Roads Less Travelled

Martin Barre

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’:

Willy Porter – Human Kindness

Willy Porter - Human Kindness

All our second chances come when we’re done closing our eyes,” writes Willy Porter in a lyric from “Human Kindness,” the title track of the new album of the same name. Porter’s new record encompasses more than the outstanding musicianship audiences and critics have come to expect from this indie-artist, it is also a call to make a positive impact in our own communities.

Human Kindness features the talents of artists such as Martin Barre, Natalia Zuckerman, Carmen Nickerson, and Peter Mulvey and sets Porter’s blistering guitar work against a big studio sound on a stunning book of songs that explore themes about connection, compassion, and the human journey.

The seeds of the album came from an incident Porter witnessed of a man pulling a woman out of the path of an oncoming bus. That remarkable and simple act prompted Porter to explore bigger questions about the nature of human kindness in all its many forms and to ask “What would be possible if we saw one another with open eyes? What would change if we engaged with each other on a human level just a little bit more?”

This mindset has inspired Porter to launch a year-long campaign connected with the release and tour of this record. The Year Of Kindness is a call to action for people to get involved in giving back to their communities. Willy Porter has been making first time listeners into diehard fans for more than two decades. It is his warmth and wit that keep people grinning, but it is his music and humanity that keep them coming back for more. Willy Porter will be touring the UK promoting Human Kindness during October 2015.

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us. Can’t find what you are looking for? Search Amazon Store below.

Artist’s website: www.willyporter.com

‘Freedom’ from Human Kindness:

 

Martin Barre releases new album

Martin Barre releases new album

Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre has announced the release of his sixth and most important solo album to date.  Back To Steel celebrates the guitarist’s 50-year career with a return to his roots of steel strings and electric guitars and will be released on 18th September and will be available through www.martinbarre.com and iTunes and Amazon initially.

While paying tribute to Barre’s past, Back To Steel reveals his vision of the band’s future; it brings together all of his influences, including his undying love for early blues, and follows his evolution throughout an extraordinary half century that delivered his name to classic rock history.

The album features tracks ‘Skating Away’ and ‘Slow Marching Band’ from the Jethro Tull repertoire, an affectionate salute to that important portion of Barre’s career and a thank you to the fans who have supported him over the last 42 years. ‘Eleanor Rigby is also included as an homage to the week spent working with Paul McCartney. Continuing to share his lifetime memories and experiences, the guitarist gives us an insight on Birmingham’s 60s club scene with ‘Smokestack’ and tells about his very first trip abroad in ‘Calafel’.

Martin Barre releases new album

Barre says about Back to Steel:

“This CD is my most important work in my career as a musician.  I feel that my songwriting has matured to a point that makes it totally accessible to all audiences.  I want this music to be the basis of everything I do from now on.   My criteria were, that It would work live in a powerful way and keep our identity as a blues/rock band.  As always I’ve put in small quotes of music that give light and shade to the album.”

Martin Barre is currently playing some dates in the UK and Europe and will be performing in the States for the first time in November and December.  The multi talented band sees Barre taking care of guitars,mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, flute and keys, with Dan Crisp on vocals, George Lindsay on drums and percussion, Alan Thomson on bass and vocals – catch his slide solo on ‘Without Me’ – and Alex Hart and Elani Andrea contributing on vocals and backing vocals.

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us. Can’t find what you are looking for? Search Amazon Store below.

MARTIN BARRE ANNOUNCES STUDIO ALBUM FEATURING TULL CLASSICS

Order Of PlayResponding to fans’ demand, legendary guitarist Martin Barre has announced the release of Order of Play. The album, due out on September 29th, is the studio version of the acclaimed show which sees him performing Tull classics with his talented live band.

“In January 2013, we headlined a festival in Somerset, UK. We wanted a live CD to be a summary of the last two years of our work and this was the idea opportunity. Fans had kept asking for a CD version of the show, but rather than record an actual gig, thought we would do something better and record ‘live in a studio’, with all the energy of a show but with the best sound quality possible. So, with the band in one place, and a couple of “days off” – explains Martin.  “We met at Middle Farm Studio the next morning, set the back-line up as we do onstage, with Dan in a booth, as he, rightly, felt that it was important to record all his vocals live.  It was really important to keep the feel and continuity the same as a live gig. By the end of the day, we had all the songs finished.”

Martin Barre is one of the most influential and respected guitarists in classic rock history. His sound was recognized as a major factor in Jethro Tull’s success, they went on to sell over 60 million albums worldwide. Martin has worked with many other artists including Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and Chris Thompson and has shared a stage with such legends as Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Over the past two years, Barre has performed live, some of Jethro Tull’s most loved classics, winning praise from both critics and fans.

Next to Barre, in charge of guitar and mandolin, we find an array of like-minded musicians including Dan Crisp on vocals, acoustic guitar and bouzouki, drummer George Lindsay, Richard Beesley on saxophone and clarinet who is one of London’s most versatile session players, having played with Michael Buble, Mark Ronson, the Funk Brothers and The Supremes among others. Bassist Alan Thomson is also a long term member of John Martyn’s Band and an accomplished song writer, with credits including Robert Palmer, Rick Wakeman, and Bo Diddley.

While Martin Barre & friends continue taking Jethro Tull to growing UK audiences, grab a chance to take the songs home with you. Order of Play is out September 29th on Edifying Records through RSK, in digipak format.

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us. Can’t find what you are looking for? Search Amazon Store below.

Tracklisting:

1.     New Day Yesterday
2.     Fatman
3.     Watch your Step
4.     Crossroads
5.     Minstrel in the Gallery
6.     To Cry you a Song
7.     Steal your Heart Away
8.     Thick as a Brick (excerpt)
9.    Sweet Dream
10.  Song for Jeffrey
11.  Rock me Baby
12.  Teacher
13.  Still Loving you Tonight
14.  Locomotive Breath

Still a favourite JT song: and what a classic rocked out version it is…

Martin Barre – Away With Words

Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre released his fourth solo album AWAY WITH WORDS, through RSK’s new label, Edifying Records on 30th September. The record features new arrangements of Tull material together with some brand new compositions by Barre. Having been tipped off about his faultless performance at London’s Borderline we felt it was high time we showcased his excellent new release.

With the seminal prog outfit still on indefinite hiatus, Martin Barre brings back to life some of Jethro Tull’s classics but also less known gems, with the invaluable help of engineer James Bragg. The track list features RequiemFrom a Deadbeat to an Old GreaserMothsHome and Fire at Midnight amongst others.

 “Re-arranging and representing the Tull songs featured on this album became a very pleasant and rewarding task. These lesser known songs have always been amongst my favourite pieces of music and reworking them brought back many good memories” – he confides enthusiastically. Talking about his new compositions included in the album, he says “I have written the rest of the music, hopefully with sympathy and taste. Composing and re-arranging is my passion.  Bringing together the many acoustic instruments was a delight for me, but of course the electric guitar couldn’t be totally left out of the picture!”  He goes on to say “This album is a fusion of my writing blended together with Ian (Anderson’s) in a continual movement of music.”  

 On Away With Words, multi-talented Barre plays Acoustic/Classic/Electric Guitars, Bouzouki, Mandolin, Bass, Flute & Bass Clarinet, with Dan Crisp taking care of vocals. Completing the line up are Frank Mead on Blackwood Flute, Whistles, Bodhran and Blues Harp, Jonathan Noyce on bass and George Lindsay on drums & percussion.

Track listing:

1.  First Light/Moths
2.  It’s My Round
3.  One Brown Mouse/Fatcat
4.  All Bars Hold
5.  Air: Lament Of the Spalpeen/Martin’s Jig/Hymn
6.  Pussy Willow
7.  Snapshot/Paparazzi
8.  Long Ago/Home
9.  Fire At Midnight/From The Ashes
10. Protect & Survive
11. Spare A Thought/From A Dead Beat To An Old Greaser
12. Sundown

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us. Can’t find what you are looking for? Search Amazon Store below.

Martin Barre started his music career in the early 60s playing saxophone. He audition for Jethro Tull in 1969 and was handpicked by Ian Anderson to take on guitar duties from Mick Abrahams. Today he’s the longest standing member after Anderson himself, having appeared on all of their albums apart from their first.  Barre is also a talented flautist, both live and on record, with Jethro Tull and solo. The quality and uniqueness of his work and a series of high profile collaborations contributed to make him one of the world’s most rated rock musicians, with his signature ‘Aqualung’ solo voted as one of the top guitar solos of all times (Guitar Player Magazine).

Artist’s website: http://www.martinbarre.com/

Still a favourite JT song: and what a classic rocked out version it is…