Tim Barry – 28th & Stonewall – CD Review

Tim Barry, most commonly known for being the lead of punk rock outfit Avail, has done it again his way with his most recent release 28th & Stonewall. Once again he has created an honest solid album heavy on the folk with no bells or whistles that any hardworking music loving American can appreciate. The release is a personable attempt and can relate to any hard working person out there who knows all too well what the American dream really is all about.  This is his fourth release on Suburban Home Records.

Still putting time in a 9 to 5 job when not touring, Tim Barry is just like everyone else.  The guy is a true American at heart and is not thrilled about emails and technology.  He is happiest at home with a beer and might just be one of the friendliest guys out there.  Just don’t piss him off as he still has some of that punk rock angst left in him.  Recently some drunk idiot found that out while heckling Barry on stage at a show during a more personal song.  The result was a fight that should never have happened but proved a point – don’t mess with passion.

Granted he used to front a punk rock band, these days the friendly fellow finds himself more of a folk artist.  When time allows he gets together with friends and family in his hometown of Richmond, VA and records songs just for the pure joy of it.  Recording most of the songs in a three week period while home on break from seemingly increasing tours the material turned into 28th & Stonewall and really may be his best work yet.

The boot stomping “Thing Of The Past” started off the album with a very direct sincere track about everyday life of not only the singer but many other folk in this world talking about lack of money and living life. With lyrics like “I want nothing and that’s still all I have” as well as “it’s not what you make or do, it’s how you’re living” how could someone not appreciate his lyricism?

“Prosser’s Gabriel” stuck out over all other tracks on the album as Tim Barry told the story of an attempted slavery uprising Virginia by a former slave who was never added to the history books. I was glued to the story throughout the song featuring Tim Barry and his guitar. The song was not something I would have expected Barry to write but it was done so well. Not only did the song stick in my head days later but also intrigued me to learn more about this unknown hero.

One of the most enjoyable songs on the album was “Will Travel” featuring the No BS Band who supplied some heavy New Orleans style horn playing. “Moving On Blue” was a gloomier track pertaining to a relationship laid to rest featuring Daniel Clark (who has helped out Ryan Adams on more than one occasion) on piano.

“Downtown VCU” tells the story of a girl who was “one part country one part urban thug” (love it!) that passed on a newly enrolled college student. The song is a story of humor that really reminded me of Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue”. It had a point to it but was also surrounded by all sorts of witty calamity resulting in a fun track.

“Bus Driver” really put an end to the CD in the right way. Tim Barry sang on how he is tired of touring and singing and just wanted to go home. Thanking his booking agent and bashing his tour manager he asks that people let everyone know that he “long gone” and for everyone to “go on” without him. He even requested fans to tip his merch girl because she was not making enough. Not to be taken literally the song is more of a thank you to all the people that surrounded him as he toured.

While listening to the CD on the way to work a couple weeks back my mood changed and I really just wanted to turn around, grab a 12 pack, and just drink myself into a comfortable state while continuing to listen to the CD.  No, I am not a closet drunk or anything but this CD just had that effect. Full of storytelling songs I could just hang out on a porch with friends and listen to on repeat all day long.

Tim Barry really outdid himself on this album and proved the point of being a working man by stating that he “could stay home and make a lot more money working at the Richmond Ballet” but confesses that he “wouldn’t feel fulfilled”.  Thanks for continuing to do what you fo Tim, it is well appreciated.  Look for Tim Barry to tour in a town near you this Spring.  (Tour dates listed below)

Tim Barry 2010 Tour:
3/2/2010 Virginia Beach, VA @ Jewish Mother
3/3/2010 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 w/ Ninja Gun
3/4/2010 Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern w/ Ninja Gun
3/5/2010 Atlanta, GA @ Purgatory at the Masquerade w/ Ninja Gun
3/6/2010 New Orleans, LA @ Zeitgeist w/ Ninja Gun
3/7/2010 Houston, TX @ Walter’s on Washington w/ Ninja Gun
3/8/2010 Austin, TX @ Emo’s w/ Ninja Gun
3/9/2010 Dallas, TX @ the Prophet Bar
3/11/2010 Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
3/12/2010 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar w/ Possessed By Paul James
3/13/2010 Long Beach, CA @ Alex’s Bar w/ Possessed By Paul James
3/14/2010 Los Angeles, CA @Jaunita’s w/ Brian Hanover
3/15/2010 Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones
3/16/2010 Santa Cruz, CA @ Blue Lagoon
3/17/2010 Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
3/19/2010 Oakland, CA @ The Stork Club
3/20/2010 San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
3/22/2010 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre Lounge w/ Michael Dean Damron
3/23/2010 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon w/ Lizzie Huffman
3/25,2010 Salt Lake City,UT @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge
3/26/2010 Denver, CO @ Three Kings Lounge
3/27/2010 Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
3/29/2010 Louisville, KY @ Skull Alley w/ Red Clay River
3/30/2010 Indianapolis, IN @ the Vollrath Tavern w/ Red Clay River
3/31/2010 Chicago, IL @ Reggies Rock Club w/ Red Clay River
4/1/2010 Detroit, MI @ Smalls w/ Red Clay River
4/2/2010 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern w/ Red Clay River
4/3/2010 Harrisonburg, VA @Court Square Theatre (MacRock) w/ Red Clay River
4/5/2010 Washington, DC @ Black Cat Backstage w/ Red Clay River
4/6/2010 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s w/ The Menzingers, Red Clay River
4/7/2010 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs w/ Red Clay River
4/8/2010 Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory w/ Red Clay River, Jonny Corndawg
4/9/2010 Asbury, NJ @ Asbury Lanes w/ Red Clay River
4/10/2010 Richmond, VA @ The Camel w/ Red Clay River
4/22/2010 The Zoo, Brisbane w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
4/23/2010 Sydney, Australia @ Annandale Hotel w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
4/25/2010 Newcastle, Australia @ Cambridge Hotel w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
4/28/2010 Perth, Australia @ Rosemount w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
4/29/2010 Adelaide, Australia @ Enigma w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
4/30/2010 Melbourne, Australia @ Corner w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
5/1/2010 Hobart, Australia @ Brisbane Hotel w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols

2 thoughts on “Tim Barry – 28th & Stonewall – CD Review”

  1. I really dig this album also. Yet, I still find myself slightly detered by the more “up-beatedness” of the whole album. I think I just need some more quality time with it. Maybe we should sit and drink ourselves silly one night and jam it on repeat.

  2. Love them all, and this one took a few to grow on me. But I’m thinking this may be my favorite one of his yet!

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