I’m going to start this blog off by saying I love music. I love the sounds I love being a part of thriving music scene here in LA, seeing shows and being a small part of the creativity. Back in the day in college I went the standard college radio station route to put myself right smack frickin dab in the middle of arguably one of the most diverse and ever changing music scenes in the country, Boston Massachusetts. Little WERS 88.9 fm has literally made me the music fan I am today and my dad, can’t forget him either. I have been to hundreds of shows and in those early years where I discovered it’s always better in a small club rather than a giant arena I got a glimpse of amazing real talent. This band I’m about to introduce you to is one of those groups whose members bring music and love of music full circle on a personal level. They are the Barr Brothers and their new record is something that I honestly don’t want to share with anyone and keep all to myself, but we all know I can’t keep a secret to save my life.
Beggar In The Morning – The Barr Brothers
Brad and Andrew Barr are from Boston Massachusetts. They live in Canada now. They have a band which are called The Slip they share with bassist Marc Friedman and now they are The Barr Brother which the share with harpist and neighbor Sarah Page and Andres Vial who fills the void by playing bass, keys and percussion. My first introduction to these gentlemen was when they were part of The Slip when they were touring behind their amazing album Eisenhower. I remember doing two in studio mixes with the guys one was fully plugged in and the other was acoustic. The first mix was all material from Eisenhower, but the second they shared with me a couple new songs and I gave them my mixes to use as demos to make a new record with. This was about 5 years ago.
I have a amazing treat for this blog. One of the demos I recorded back in the day made it on the Barr Brothers newest release. To clarify my version didn’t make it on, but the song did. I’m going to post both of them. The first version of the song was recorded with Brad playing his acoustic guitar and Andrew playing the studios Steinway grand piano. The second is the second track off the Barr Brother’s self titled release. Same song, years apart.
O0h, Belle (Live at WERS) – The Barr Brothers
Ooh, Belle – The Barr Brothers
Pretty cool huh? I don’t know how to play music very well but I’m pretty sure they changed the key. I’d love to know what you guys think in the comments section below. This is one of my favorite songs I was given the opportunity to record during my stay at WERS and as far as the record the music on this release is diverse and something that I could only see coming from the musicians that made it. I think it is truly listeners music. The nuances in it and the light additions of keys and the harp just bring light to the whole thing. Not every song is as light a lullaby as Ooh, Belle after all they were in an experimental rock/ jazz outfit for many years. Try this one on for size.
Give The Devil Back His Heart – The Barr Brothers
They still have the rock in them. I love the guitar and vocal pairing on this song. Brad Barr is an amazing guitar player and with the effects used on his vocals with his style of singing on this song it’s a little bit of a wake up and just shows how diverse these musicians really are.
There is a little blues element a little middle eastern rhythm and of course a jazzy element to this tune that really grabbed me and is definitely the standout on a record of standouts. I think tune will drive all the points I just made home. The next two tracks after Give The Devil Back His Heart are quiet acoustic songs, amazing, but then we get to the 7th track on the record called Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Cryin’. Welcome to the delta…
Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Cryin’ – The Barr Brothers
I can’t boast about these guys enough. They are amazing musicians and from my limited interaction with them over the years, they are amazing people always generous to share new music and try new things. I think this record is a testament to their efforts to try new styles of music and play the music that inspires them. From the quietest notes of Ooh Belle to the loudest grittiest notes of Lord I Just Can’t… the dynamic range on this record is really one to be admired. As a music fan I think I can recommend this band and this music to just about any one.
Deacons Son – The Barr Brothers
The Barr Brothers are currently touring on their new self titled release and will be making stops in Los Angeles on November 2nd at the Hotel Cafe. Do your selves 2 favors. Get your hands on this record. It is available on Amazon and iTunes. It is also available to listen to on Spotify. Here is the last track from The Barr Brother’s self titled release. Next time I’m going to write about the Muppets, yes the Muppets.
Let There Be Horses – The Barr Brothers