Martin Barre Comes “Back To Steel” Our Attention

Martin Barre Comes “Back To Steel” Our Attention

“Five years removed from Jethro Tull and I haven’t heard from anyone. The demise of Jethro Tull was orchestrated by Ian; the ball was always in his court,” says long time Tull guitarist Martin Barre as he readies to launch the next leg of a tour in support of his latest release, “Back To Steel.” “I’m having too much fun with my band now and the more I’m with them; the happier I am. I’ve got some big things coming and I can’t give it away just yet but I’ll announce them soon.” 

“The ball,” so to speak, is now firmly in the court and the hands of Barre and from the looks of things,he doesn’t plan on dropping or handing it off any time soon. “I like where I’m at now,” stated a seemingly at ease Barre. “I can’t say it enough; I am very happy with my band. I could never turn my back on them. We are  four piece and we play just great music. That has always been my focus, our focus from the beginning. Going on the road and performing, playing the Tull songs mixed with my material and me having the say as to where we go and where we perform is refreshing. On this tour, we are not playing huge venues and that’s how I’ve designed it; I’m building things slowly. I’m very particular about where we go and what we play on stage.” 

Speaking from England a day prior to the tour kicking off, Barre spoke with confidence as he discussed the first go around of the journey. “The audiences have been inspiring. The first portion of the tour, nobody knew what to expect but then after; so many people have come to me saying the same. They’ll say, “We didn’t know what to expect but this was fantastic”and that’s a great feeling.” 

Martin Barre performing @ Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA - 12/6/15 (photo by Matt Condon/@arcane93)

Martin Barre performing @ Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA – 12/6/15 (photo by Matt Condon/@arcane93)

One of the reasons for the success of the product on stage, is Barre’s willingness to change and do so at times on a nightly basis. Intertwining classic Tull material with his own; Barre keeps his past as prevalent as his present. “I change my show pretty much all of the time. New tour means new songs and there will be a few surprises; I don’t want people to know what is coming from one song to the next and I don’t wish to be predictable. I may play my flute, which is something that I rarely do. I own five flutes, I’ve been playing since I was a young boy. I played it a lot in a blues band; until I met Ian and then I no longer had a need (laughs).” 

Along with the tour comes the new album and “Back To Steel” is a new look with an old twist. This twelve track disc features two remakes of the Tull tunes, “Slow Marching Band” and his version of “Skating Away” as it’s titled on this CD. “The record came out last year and it’s gotten great reviews,” he explained with a combination of relief and satisfaction. “It has done me an awful lot of good to have a CD of my original material. People are now getting to know me as a songwriter and it’s been fantastic. People are thinking of me as a a writer and it has been wonderful.”

Barre is making a stop in New Jersey on September 7 at Parker Press Park in Woodbridge located at 400 Rahway Avenue, where he’ll perform an outdoor 7:30 p.m. show. “This is about a 10 week tour of North America and we’ll be stopping in New York, New Jersey, Boston and many others; then we go back over to Europe. We are very much ready and looking forward to getting started.” 

To discover more about the Woodbridge show please visit http://www.woodbridgeartsnj.org/. To find out more about Martin Barre and the current tour; please go to www.martinbarre.com.


Danny Coleman (Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.)