Tim Barry – 28th & Stonewall
Suburban Home Records 2010
[tags: singer-songwriter, country, folk, 2010]
Listen while reading:
Prosser’s Gabriel (from 28th & Stonewall)
Thing Of The Past (from 28th & Stonewall)
Since I first heard of Tim Barry I wanted to write something about him and his music, but I never did so wherefore the post went more and more back in line. But now, with Barry’s new album 28th & Sonewall out on the lovely Suburban Home Records, I have no excuse for not reviewing the record. The current album is Barry’s fifth release and third full length and it seems that it really reaches a great audience because it earned some nice reviews all over the web so far.
The music of Barry is rough and he doesn’t care about singing beautiful little stories of how great life is – he’s the opposite of that. Barry has a look for all the small and big problems surrounding him and the people he sees and speaks with. A modern singer-songwriter who doesn’t quite celebrate the soft side of music all the time. Tracks like the intense and powerful sung (Memento Mori) point that way even though Walk 500 Miles is rather calm and gently recited.
Tim’s voice and his steel guitar play are the center of the record and other elements like percussion and drums support the tracks here and there. But not enough, Will Travel for example comes with partly improvised trumpets and bar piano and the result is some jazzy and blusey country tune – but to be honest, I think this experiment wasn’t quite successful because it sort of disturbs the atmosphere of the record. Tracks like the piano driven Moving On Blue fit much better and would have been a good alternative. Another point I’m not so satisfied with is the guitar sound, for it seems a bit weak at heart; compared with the expressive voice the guitar could have been more powerful to accent the vocal melodies much more. But this seems not to be a failure, for I think Tim and the guys mixing and mastering the record intented it to sound as it sounds – but why they thought so, I cannot tell for sure.
In the end 28th & Stonewall is a solid album which really got some fine moments, especially Tim’s voice is really pleasant and full of emotions. But on the other side I’m not 100 percent satisfied with the mastering and I don’t see the point why it was necessary to include trumpets in the way it was done as in the above mentioned Will Travel (ok, they bring variety, but for what cost?) Should one buy the record…well…I think it all comes down to the question if one likes the “old rockers gone soft” (as good Smansmith from Slowcoustic formulated it once) category of contemporary country and folk singer-songwriters (remember, Tim Barry also plays in the hardcore band Avail). If the answer is yes, you really should check out 28th & Stonewall for it has great potential – but in the end Suburban Home Records have set themselves and their artits a very high quality standard with the fantastic solo records by Chad Price, Mike Hale and Austin Lucas.
Feel free to have a listen to the whole album and stream it over at Suburban Home Records. If you like the music, order your copie directly from Vinyl Collective and make sure to have a look at Tim Barry’s MySpace.