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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Thursday, December 17, 2020

50 Years of Jethro Tull - Martin Barre - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, 50 Years of Jethro Tull, from Martin Barre and it's surprisingly fresh. Like most everyone, I was a Tull fan in the past but have more recently tired from hearing them over and again. I was quite surprised when I started listen to this release how new and interesting it sounded. Opening disc one with My Sunday Feeling,  Martin Barre, one of the first guitarists with Tull plays guitar with Dan Crisp on vocal and guitar, Alan Thomson on bass, Josiah J on keys and Darby Todd on drums. With it's tight boogie like delivery, this is a super opener for this new release. Barre's guitar lead is free and flowing. Love Story is a cool rocker with power guitar riff and a British sound but lacking much of the drama present in a lot of the Tull work. Very cool. Song For Jeffrey has me rocking in my seat with it's driving beat and scorching guitar riffs, driven hard by Todd on drums. The duplicated guitar intro on Nothing Is Easy is really nice and the bass line by Thomson is compelling. Barre handles the guitar solos with more contemporary riffs breathing new life into an early rock track. New Day Yesterday has taken on a new life with the rework by Joe Bonamasa in his own sets but the drum work on this track brings it back home. This is a super closer with power keys and scorching guitar soloing by Barre. Excellent! Disc 2 is a whole new ballgame. With Alex Hart and Becca Langsford on vocal over the tight acoustic string work of Barre, this is beautiful. Life is A Long Song is another acoustic track that, with only a fresh voice, takes on a new life. Cheap Day Return has such character and vocal blending with Barre's string work behind... terrific.  Breaking from the light, female vocal blending, Still Loving You Tonight features John Carter on lead vocal and Barre on naked electric guitar lead over acoustic rhythm. Home is a really nice, mostly acoustic ballad with flute melody by Frank Mead and understated electric guitar work and clean acoustic guitar lead by Barre. Locomotive Breath maintains much of the original arrangement but with acoustic instrumentation and strong female vocals by Hart and Langsford. With angelic backing vocals and mandolin under the track, hit definitely breathes fresh air.  Very clean and powerful.  The release is wrapped with live cuts of 4 heavy hitters from Tulls largest period, War Child, Bungle In The Jungle, Heavy Horses and Songs From The Wood. The tracks are new and different but not unrecognizable if you're a Tull fan. I've heard that this is a must have for Tull fans. 

 Ponder this...If you haven't listened to a Tull release in 30 years, this may renew your interest.  

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