Martin Barre Band Headlines Harlow’s

Sacramento Region, CA  |  By Jacqueline Fox
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Photo courtesy Martin Barre Band

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Photo courtesy Martin Barre Band

MPG Exclusive Inteview

Sacramento County, (MPG) - You’d have to be living under a rock not to notice the resurging interest in classic rock and roll, live performances specifically, and riding that wave is former Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre, who’s new band is currently enjoying its first West Coast tour with a September 8 gig set for Harlow’s Nightclub downtown.

“I get the best of both worlds,” says Barre, 71, explaining how he and former Tull lead man, Ian Anderson who founded the band in 1967, have an understanding that the music of Tull, which officially disbanded in 2011, belongs to them equally.  As such, fans new and old of Tull’s original music can fully expect the Martin Barre band to come through, pulling heavily from Tull’s more than two dozen albums and compilations, delivering familiar and new versions of the songs that shaped the British rock band’s 45-year run, including, Crossed Eyed Mary, Thick as a Brick, Skating Away and the 1971 release that essentially put the band on the map in the United States, Aqualung.

“Ian and I have an understanding that, although Jethro Tull are finished, we both have full access to our music,” said Barre.  “My new band is going to be pulling from an amazing repertoire of the Tull classics, adding in my own band’s bluesy rifts and interpretations, but positively we are going to be making our fans happy. I talk to our fans and I know what they want and it’s important to me.”

Harlow’s gig marks the third stop on the band’s 2017-18 tour, which culminates in Germany next May. The band has just released an album, Back to Steel (71st Street Music) and is preparing for a second album release sometime in early 2017, said Barre.  Barre joined Tull amidst the release of its second album in 1961, Stand Up

The Martin Barre Band’s approach will please fans who remember the earthy, bluesy sounds of early Tull, as well as their popular folky and progressive rock sounds.  But don’t be surprised if the performance takes you right out of the Tull bubble for a minute and into alternative territory with Barre’s own version of a couple of tunes from fellow British rock favs.


“We’ll be doing a very cool version of two Beatle’s songs Eleanor Rigby and I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” said Barre.  “Why, because they are fun.”


When you spend more than four decades with a band, explains Barre, it becomes like a marriage: evolving with time and changing points of view. But what has remained constant is the founding members’ original purpose: to produce great music and entertain the fans. The fact that Barre and Anderson are not fighting over performing and recording rights to the original music, ensures it will continue to be available.


“My entire purpose is to produce great music,” says Barre. “This is what I live for every day and to say that we are lucky to have been able to do that for 45 years, is amazing. Now, here I am at 71 enjoying both the ability to keep playing all of the fantastic music we (Jethro Tull) produced, while enjoying a new chapter, where I get to make new music of my own and bring new ideas and sounds and creative attention into the present. It just doesn’t get any better than that, and neither I or Ian want to see that stop.”

Barre said he spent several years working on his new sound before audiences across his home country of Great Britain and abroad, including a string of shows on the East Coast over the last couple of years.  This tour, he says, marks the Martin Barre Band’s first opportunity to continue the build out of the new band’s sound and Barre says he thinks West coasters are “really going to be impressed.”

“I spent 45 years building up the Tull brand and it is a solid brand,” said Barre.  “Then, with my new band, I spent a good deal of time working on building out my own brand. Now, I’m ready to start doing the same thing out on the West Coast. We are all just so excited to be here and to be doing what we love.”

IF YOU GO:

The Martin Barre Band

September 8th
Harlow’s Nightclub
2708 J St., Downtown
(916) 441-4693
www.martinbarre.com