In terms of official documents, The Barr Brothers aren’t exactly prolific. Brad and Andrew Barr have been making music together since childhood but even with multiple projects (including The Slip and Surprise Me Mr. Davis), the siblings have only released a handful of studio works. A profound sense of care infuses their albums, where each number has been loved and massaged in a way that gets into the cellular structure – a seemingly natural character that’s the product of intelligent design. It’s an approach that makes past works like The Slip’s under-sung Eisenhower (2006) and Surprise Me’s That Man Eats Morning For Breakfast presents waiting to be unwrapped at any time, i.e. music not locked into the time frame of its creation. This sense has never been more palpable than The Barr Brothers’ self-titled debut released this past September, a song cycle that hums with contemporary and ancient subtext, a mixture of traditional sounds and modernity’s cross-pollinating drive. These tunes breathe with moist reality, a scent filled with ideas that keep one awake at night or perhaps usher in a new sun on brighter days – music that feels unutterably alive. That they’re able to achieve this in the finite world of a studio is impressive and makes one patient for each new chapter since experience has shown it’s worth the wait.
Thankfully, the Barrs are touring regulars who frequently offer up new music in front of audiences. The band – which is fleshed out beautifully by harpist Sarah Page and multi-instrumentalist Andres Vial starts a new slate of shows this Wednesday, November 30th, in South Burlington, VT. You can see the full tour here, and here’s what Andrew and Brad had to say to our inquiries to get you in the mood.
- 1. Great music rarely happens without…
- Brad: dynamics
- 2. The first album I bought was…
- Brad: AC/DC’s Fly on the Wall
Andrew: Quiet Riot’s Mental Health
- 3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
- Brad: Timber Timbre’s Creep on Creepin’ on
Andrew: Nico Muhly’s Mothertongue
- 4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
- Brad: virtuous
Andrew: Joe Montana
- 5. My favorite sort of gig is…
- Brad: transcendental
Andrew: full of surprises
- 6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
- Brad: …that I love the sound of whales.
Andrew: …love is my lighthouse.
- 7. I love the sound of…
- Brad: whales
Andrew: dogs sneezing
- 8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
- Brad: Surprise Me Mr. Davis
Andrew: Uakti’s Aguas de Amazon
- 9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
- Brad: my mom’s house.
Andrew: my mother’s linguini and sausage in tomato sauce.
- 10. I always find the coolest audiences in…
- Brad: …my head.
Andrew: …front of me.
- 11. The worst habit I’ve picked up being on the road all the time is…
- Brad: …not changing underwear for days.
Andrew: … late night Looney Toons binges.
- 12. Led Zeppelin or Radiohead, which flips your switch the most and why?
- Brad: Led Zeppelin…nostalgia and the blues
Andrew: Led Zeppelin was my access point into a certain mythological world of music – they’ll always be superheroes to me.
- 13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
- Brad: …a felon, eatin’ watermelon, down by the bay.
Andrew: … a settlement of cliffside cave dwellings in Dogon country, Mali West Africa, where the Telem people used to live….they would basically have to fly to get home.