tim barry — 28th & stonewall

tim barry @ the local 506, originally uploaded by minervacat.

Tim Barry — 28th & Stonewall. Out 1/26, Suburban Home Records.

This has been one of my hotly anticipated albums, since Suburban Home started posting press and information about it in the fall; shep. turned me on to Tim Barry last year, for which I am eternally grateful, when she took me to see him at the 506 and he blew me away as a live performer.

And this album is exactly what I wanted it to be — Tim’s particular brand of open chord punk-y folk, songs about loneliness and busting through the world on your own terms. Album opener “Thing of the Past” is a flat out rocker, full band and turned up to 11, about actually get up and living life, and after a single listen it’s an early contender for my favorite track of 2010; “Will Travel” swings with a startling Dixieland sound that surprised the hell out of me on first listen but works; and album closer “Bus Driver” is a heartbreaking, hilarious sing-along about life on the road.

The thing I love about Tim — and, in general, about the artists that Virgil at Suburban Home chooses to sign; Suburban Home just seems to have an ear for bands that are more than they seem at first glance, lyrically, and I love that — is that he’s such an intelligent, thoughtful songwriter. Even his most sing-along choruses are incredibly intense, so much more going on than an initial listen would reveal, and when he turns to something more than broken hearts or drunken sorrow, it’s stunning. “Thing of the Past” is my favorite track from the disc, but “Prosser’s Gabriel”, a true story about the leader of a Richmond slave uprising in 1800, is the centerpiece of songwriting on the disc. If you can listen to it without getting goosebumps when Tim sings, does anyone know the name Gabriel Prosser/my conscience says he’s the one that history missed, then possibly you’re a robot.

I’m just saying.

In short: this album kicks ass, and everyone should go buy a copy.

[Tim Barry — “Prosser’s Gabriel”] 5MB, .mp3.

[Tim Barry — “Thing of the Past”] 5MB, .mp3

Tim’s playing the 506 in March with Ninja Gun, another SBH artist, and Red Collar’s Jay Kutchma. It’ll be awesome, you should go. As for me, I’m vaguely mortified by the shots I got of Tim last year when he was at the 506, and I’m looking forward to knowing how to use my 50mm and Glenn’s new light plot and getting some good stuff. Also, of course, seeing Tim, but I think that goes without saying.

MP3s are for sampling purposes only; if you enjoy what you hear, please support the artists by purchasing their music. Files are available for a limited time only. If you represent an artist or a label and would prefer that I remove a link to an mp3, please email me at asdonkar at gmail dot com and I will immediately remove the file.

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