The Barr Brothers – S/T Debut [Album Review]

by Woody on October 14, 2011

“Hey! You harpist! Turn it down. C’mon, I’m trying to think over here.” Thankfully Brad Barr didn’t have that reaction when living next door to harpist Sarah Page or else I might have been robbed of one of the most pleasant surprises of the year.

In a scene that can only be recreated in a horrible rom-com, Brad and Andrew Barr from The Slip moved to Montreal only to be harassed incessantly by classic harpist Sarah Page, and thus The Barr Brothers were born. I have cast the movie with scruffy Mark Ruffalo as Brad, Bradley Cooper as the wise-cracking brother/drummer and Mila Kunis as Sarah the harpist/neighbor. Multi-instrumentalist Andres Vial would be played James Van der Beek (big fan of Varsity Blues and he can use the work).

Their debut fuses folk and blues featuring elements of Elvis Perkins, The Low Anthem and Iron and Wine. In the first three songs, you’ll hear Barr almost whispering vocals on these beautiful folk tunes. Then “Give The Devil His Heart Back” has a guitar lick that is reminiscent of “The Shepherd’s Dog” from the aforementioned Iron & Wine.

One of my favorite tracks is “Lord, I Just Can’t Keep From Crying.” The Montreal-based quartet release the hand-brake and unleash a bluesy gospel number that sounds like something Ben Harper would have done before he met Laura Dern. You’ll hear scorching guitar work on this tune and even a little cowbell to make you feel alive.

If you would have approached me and told me that a couple of dudes from The Slip were putting out a folk album, I would have ignored you. If you would have told me I’d like it, I might have punched you in the face. Thankfully, none of this happened and I’m loving this album. They are going to be at Schubas on November 16th and you can visit their site for more dates.

The Bar Brothers – Beggar In The Morning

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol October 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Thank you for this lovely introduction to a new sound…we certainly have some terrific musicians here in Canada, and I feel lucky to have found this site very recently – just in time to catch this piece in your newsletter. Thanks to you, this album will be on my iPod tonight! Oh, and thanks to the Barr Brothers, too!

Greg October 24, 2011 at 8:27 pm

This site has introduced me to more good music than I can remember. A.A. Bondy, Dexateens, Deep Dark Woods, Carter Tanton…just to name a few. Now this. Keep ’em coming!

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