08 - Brad Barr: Student of the World
I believe Brad Barr is one of the more unique musical voices of our time. A musician who truly knows no bounds, his openness, curiosity and deep listening abilities have accompanied him around the world many times over in his 20+ years of touring and music making. Brad spent the better part of the 90's and 2000's tirelessly traversing the country with his brother Andrew Barr (drums) and good friend Marc Friedman (bass) with an exceptional trio known as The Slip based out of Providence, RI. As their song-based but highly improvisational music organically evolved over the years from a Scofield-esque jazzy-jam band, to a bonafide indie rock power trio (with plenty of other territory covered in between), they developed a strong and extremely enthusiastic fanbase that on any given night were just as excited about the band's improvisational risks as the rewards. The Slip eventually teamed up with the beloved folk-singer Nathan Moore and keyboard whiz Marco Benevento to highlight some of their more old fashioned Rock N' Roll leanings in the festival favorite super group Surprise Me Mr. Davis.
For the better part of the last decade Brad and his brother Andrew, now based in Montreal, have been putting out some of their most focused and refined music yet in an outfit they created along with harpist Sarah Page called The Barr Brothers. With Brad's lyrics and songwriting more at the forefront than ever and three Secret City Records releases under their belt, The Barr Brothers are quickly and steadily building immense international acclaim.
I have a unique relationship with Brad (as well as his brother Andrew) as he has been one of the most pivotal and influential musicians in my life since I was 14 years old. Besides musicians that I play with regularly, I believe I have seen Brad and Andrew play live more times than any other group of musicians in my life.
In this episode Brad and I discuss how being a father has altered his life and music, ways in which his perception of "World Music" has evolved, his elusive songwriting (non) process, and ponder why I can't find a good bagel in Northern California, among other things. Enjoy!