Man, there’s just a ton of news that I could write about. There’s everything to do with the election, of course. The Clinton Foundation. The Trump/Putin bromance. Polls and stupid people voting for Trump. Football players sitting and kneeling. Gary Johnson getting tripped up on national television. On and on and freaking on.
I ain’t got it. I just have no energy to take on anything remotely controversial today. So instead, let’s talk about something that makes me happy, MLB. No, not that MLB, I mean my main man, Martin Lancelot Barre! If you don’t know who Martin Barre is well, shame on you, music lover. He’s the extraordinary guitarist that helped make Jethro Tull such an interesting band over all of these years. Since joining the band for their second album, Stand Up in 1969, Barre proved to be the perfect foil for Ian Anderson.
If you only know Tull from their biggest hits, you probably have no idea how diverse and often times complex their music is. Tull’s best music ran the gamut, from hard rocking guitar solos ala Aqualung to intricate pieces like Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play to the unadulterated, Elizabethan boogie of Songs From the Wood, on and on. There are few other bands in the history of rock and roll that were as successfully all over the musical map as Tull was. Although Ian Anderson was the undisputed leader of the Tull pack, there is no possible way he could have done it all without Barre by his side.
By my count, I caught Tull in concert six times from 1982-2000 in venues in Rochester, Buffalo, and Toronto. I unfortunately missed them in their concert heyday of 1969-1978 and by 1982, Ian’s voice was already on the reedy side. No matter who was in the band though, they were always a tight, well-oiled machine on stage. They were also pretty damn funny. If Monty Python was a rock band, they’d be Jethro Tull.
Why bring up Mr. Barre today, you may be asking? Glad you asked! I am completely psyched to be seeing Mr. Barre and his band next Thursday night in a club show here in Buffalo. They play some of his solo material, along with a healthy dose of Tull tunes and a few other interesting covers. Look for a full review next Friday. Rock on!
PS. It was two years ago today that I last saw my great friend, Andrew. I turned him into a Tull fan and we listened to this song endlessly in the dorms. Give it a listen. If you are only peripherally aware of Tull, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what a fantastic song this is.