Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
Old Saybrook, CT
October 13, 2016
Sennheiser ME-104's>Tascam DR-07 (16/44.1, 40hz bass rolloff)
>USB> PC> GoldWave v5.56 (invert, balance levels)> CDWaveEditor v1.96 (track split)> TLH> Flac (6)
02. To Cry You A Song
03. Minstrel In The Gallery
04. Steal Your Heart Away
05. -MB Speaks-
06. Back To Steel
07. -band intro, MB Speaks-
08. Eleanor Rigby
09. -MB Speaks-
10. Nothing To Say
11. Sea Lion
12. -MB Speaks-
13. Love Story
14. Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day
15. -MB Speaks-
16. Thick As A Brick (excerpt)
17. Blackest Eyes
18. Thorazine Shuffle
19. -MB Speaks-
21. Jig & Hymn 43
22. Bad Man
23. -MB Speaks-
24. Moment Of Madness
25. Sweet Dream
26. A Song For Jeffrey
28. Fat Man
29. New Day Yesterday
30. Locomotive Breath
Martin Barre - guitar, mandolin
Dan Crisp - vocals, guitar, bass
Alan Thomson - bass, vocals, guitar
George Lindsay - drums
As always, please support the artist and venues like The Kate.
Martin Barre revisits Tull, showcases new solo work at the Kate
Published October 12. 2016
By Rick Koster Day staff writer
Often, in the fast-paced court of public opinion, famous artists have entire careers boiled down to just one thing � regardless of how unfair that is or how widespread and substantive the body of work might otherwise be.
In the case of British guitarist Martin Barre, his IT moment is pretty much universally acknowledged.
Y'see, starting at the three-and-a-half minute point in the song "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull, and lasting for the next 66 seconds, Barre improvised a first-take guitar solo that's routinely cited as one of the most indelible, exhilarating and perfect in rock history.
Yes, it's that great. On the other hand, though, Barre, now 69, has had many, many tremendous accomplishments and wonderful moments in his career. He was a member Tull for 42 years and 20 studio albums that, in addition to "Aqualung," include such exemplary efforts as "Songs From the Wood," "Thick as a Brick," "A Passion Play," "Stand Up," "Benefit," "A," "Heavy Horses" and "A Minstrel in the Gallery."
Over the years, Barre has also found time to release a strong catalog of his own with recordings like "Trick of Memory," "The Meeting," "Stage Left" and the glorious acoustic CD called "Away With Words." Currently, with his Martin Barre Band, he's touring behind the recent "Back to Steel" album and, if the title suggests a metallic context, the recording does in fact rock in blistering fashion. With versatile vocalist Dan Crisp wailing a set of crafty Barre tunes (and two reconceptualized Tull pieces), the overall vibe recalls the heyday of British rock acts like Free, Robin Trower and Humble Pie.
The Martin Barre Band plays Thursday in the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and, along with Crisp, bassist Alan Thompson and drummer George Lindsay round out the lineup.
While Barre enjoys the opportunity to pursue solo projects, it's also true he'd still like to be part of Jethro Tull. Unfortunately, the band's founder/leader Ian Anderson pulled the plug on the group in 2012. Like Barre, Anderson still records and tours under his own name.
"It's a tragedy that Jethro Tull is gone forever," says Barre, whose Tull identity remains almost as iconic as Anderson's. On the phone last week, Barre was kind and thoughtful in that wonderful context of English gentility. "It was probably the right time for many reasons, but the way it happened wasn't right. In the latter days of the band, Ian's vocal range was limited, and, as such, we had a very restricted catalog to draw from. It just all became very sterile and lacking the proper emotion."
But just because Tull is over doesn't mean Barre doesn't still celebrate the band's work. With his own group, Barre happily performs Tull songs as well as stuff from his own albums � in a roughly equal mixture.
"I have the luxury of looking back at the Tull material and choosing what I want to play. At this point in my career, administering my own band isn't that difficult, and playing the actual music onstage is exhilarating. It's everything I love doing � writing and arranging music and having a great bunch of musicians around me."
Though Anderson is generally credited as the Jethro Tull's visionary songwriter, the incredible musicality of JT band members over the years � including players like John Evan, Eddie Jobson, Barriemore Barlow, Jeffrey Hammond, Glenn Cornick, Dave Pegg and John Glasscock � might also suggest there were plenty of band compositional (and unacknowledged) contributions.
"That's absolutely hitting it right on the button," Barre says, sounding thoughtful. "I've always believed part of a musician's job was to come up with parts to help the song. In the early years, we had a scenario where Ian very much came in and told us all what to play, but ultimately it became a case where you have musicians of that caliber in a rehearsal room and, believe me, a lot of ideas and contributions come out of that. You needed to be credited for those contributions, and in Tull that didn't always happen. We were so focused on the work at the time and, I guess, (we were) a little naive. But, basically, that's all water under the bridge, and it's not something I worry much about. There's always new music, and I never forget what a joy it is to play."
This attitude also seems to reflect Barre's methodology when it comes to songwriting � which is to never try to dictate the Muse.
"I try not to have an agenda," he says. "I prefer to see what happens, and it would never occur to me to say, 'Today I'll sit down and try to write a blues. Sometimes I'll pick up a mandolin or acoustic instead of an electric guitar. And I love having a band that's this good because you can never predict what will happen and that's part of the excitement. Just, you know, get a bunch of players together and have a sort of melting pot where you're exposing yourself but you're also drawing inspiration from each other."
And as for that iconic guitar solo everyone's always asking him about? Will that be included in Thursday's presentation at The Kate?
"We don't actually play 'Aqualung,'" Barre says, laughing softly. "It's not that I don't like it or I'm not proud of it. But to me that's the easy way out. In your mind, you know people will go crazy, but I'd rather play a bit of new music � maybe even something we wrote only two weeks ago � and if THAT goes over, that's a new and genuine reaction. I've got a lot more to offer than just that one song."