Martin Barre Band – Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Theater “The Kate” October 13, 2016
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Just one word needed to describe the Martin Barre Band performance at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center on October 13th, “Brilliant”.
To coin a british term brilliant best sums up the energetic performance. The band took the stage and wowed the sold out crowd. They played an assortment of songs including original compositions by Barre, some blues-rock, Jethro Tull classics, and even a jig.
Martin Barre on guitar, Dan Crisp on vocals and guitar, George Lindsay on drums and Alan Thomson on bass were a top notch combo. Each an exceptional musician in their own right combined to make a memorable evening. All of the band members complimented one another’s talent and they meshed beautifully. It was evident they enjoyed playing together and looked like they had fun on the stage.
In between the songs Barre entertained the audience with a few clever quips and jokes. Barre has an unexpectedly dry sense of humor as well as being warm and down to earth. He also spoke of the early years of playing and how he was changed by coming to America.
Martin Barre has not wavered a bit in his performances. After 43 years of playing with Jethro Tull and then on to his own Martin Barre Band one thing that has never changed is his amazing ability on the guitar. While with Jethro Tull he sold over 60 million records and racked up eleven gold and five platinum records. He sounds just a good as I have ever heard him.
Dan Crisp was spot on on his vocals with backup from the rest of the band. He belted out with great animation the Jethro Tull songs and soulfully crooned the blues numbers. Sounding similar enough like Ian Anderson when needed but with a style all his own on most songs. Crisp showed that when he launched into “Bad Man” off the Back to Steel album and in “Thorazine Shuffle” a Warren Haynes & Gov’t Mule cover.
There was no need for a flute in this crowd. The guitars wailed and teased the audience into each song with abandon. They did reengineered versions of “Teacher” and “Fatman” and a few other Jethro Tull classics. Enough of the original to remind you of the roots but taken in a different direction by Barre. Barre even pulled out the mandolin for a tweaked up version of Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues”. Every song was so great that 2 1/2 hours later it was impossible to pull out a favorite.
Called back by a cheering and clapping audience for an encore Barre and the band blew the roof off the house with “Locomotive Breath”. As they took their bows Barre said he would remember “The Kate” for a long time and promised to return again. We certainly hope they do. If you get the chance to see The Martin Barre Band definitely do it.
For more information on the band and future tour dates visit www.martinbarre.com
Cry You A Song
Minstrel In The Gallery
Steal Your Heart Away (Bobby Parker cover)
Back To Steel
Nothing To Say
Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day