Martin Barre – Roads Less Travelled
Martin Barre is best known for being the guitarist whose playing style was an integral and defining part of the sound of Jethro Tull for almost fifty years, during which time the band famously and somewhat controversially beat Metallica to win the 1989 Grammy award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance. He will release his sixth solo record ‘Roads Less Travelled’ in October 2018.
What is clear from the opening track ‘Lone Wolf’, is that Barre has lost none of the hunger for a sharp riff or a catchy tune. Mandolin and electric guitar combine to deliver a familiar, classic folk-rock sound that runs throughout the record. ‘On My Way’, ‘Seattle’, and the instrumental ‘Trinity’ all showcase this folk-rock sound with crisp acoustic guitar, sharp mandolin, and electric guitar combined and harmonising together. It compliments the individual strength and unique sound of each instrument.
The album comprises eleven original compositions by Martin Barre himself and at the ripe old age of seventy-one, it seems he has been harbouring a talent for songcrafting for a long time.
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.
‘Roads Less Travelled’, ‘Out Of Time’, and ‘(This Is My) Driving Song’ showcase the heavier progressive rock side of the album with deep, brooding guitar hooks combined with swirling Hammond organ.
Barre has sourced the local music scene of his hometown of Devon and put together a strong line up of musicians that utilises the talents of Dan Crisp on vocals, Alan Thompson on bass, Darby Todd on drums, Becca Langford on vocals, Josiah J on percussion and Hammond organ, Aaron Graham on drums, Alex Hart on vocals, and Buster Cottam on upright bass.
Unlike other guitarists who launch solo careers, Barre is clever not to fall into the trap of making the record all about him. Each musician has space to bring their own talents to the record and they are given space to shine. Just take time to listen the Hammond playing or some the bass lines on the record, not to mention the vocal talents of Becca Langford on the delta-blues-soaked ‘Badcore Blues’ while Alex Hart adds haunting soulful vocals to ‘You Are An Angel’ and the jazz-prog infusion that is ‘And The Band Plays Only For Me’.
‘Roads Less Travelled’ is an album that is reassuringly familiar and different at the same time. Barre’s sound is instantly recognisable to fans and he is on top form on this recording both as a player and a composer. Featuring superb musicianship, it covers multiple genres and styles to deliver a record that will appeal to Martin Barre fans, rock fans, folk fans, and new fans.
The record was released in the UK on 5th October 2018 and is available to pre-order on Amazon.