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The Barr Brothers

22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 27, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

2011 album from this Montreal-based quartet founded by brothers Brad and Andrew Barr, best known for their previous work as members of New England trio The Slip. A move to Montreal in 2004 eventually led to the formation of the new group, rounded out by harpist Sarah Page, and multi-instrumentalist Andres Vial, both Montreal natives. Recorded in their makeshift studio in an old boiler room at the foot of Mount Royal, the self-titled debut was written over the course of the brothers' time in a city full of strangers, lovers, old ghosts and new friends. It reads like a dusty journal of a traveler at the crossroads of good and evil. It's an opus of beautiful Folk, gut- busting Blues and far-out African rhythm.

1. Beggar In The Morning 5:55
2. Ooh, Belle 3:49
3. Old Mythologies 3:34
4. Give The Devil Back His Heart 5:31
5. Cloud (For Lhasa) 5:38
6. The Devil's Harp 4:26
7. Lord, I Just Can't Keep From Crying 4:26
8. Deacon's Son 5:48
9. Held My Head 4:58
10. Let There Be Horses 4:27

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Secret City 2
  • ASIN: B005H1SFKO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,753 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Freitas on January 2, 2012
Format: Vinyl
I have been a fan of these guys for many years...I have seen the Slip around 30 times and Surprise Me Mr. Davis, around 10. I have to say I was reluctant to get this album as I feel that Brad and Andrew have unfinished business with both of those bands but I am quite pleasantly surprised by this offering. I believe that this album is the best studio recording they have put out. I have heard some of these songs played with the Slip/SMMD for years including: Beggar in the Morning, OoH Belle, Deacon's Son, Let There Be Horses and feel like they translated better here than I would have imagined after hearing them live. I won't go into song specifics, my favorites change with each listen but I will say that it has renewed my faith in the Barr brothers who I have been following for almost 10 years. I do hope a new Slip album and a satisfactory SMMD album is in the cards for the near future as it seems that both bands have suffered from lack of enthusiasm and lack of decent studio outputs within recent years but I can honestly say that this album is really beautiful and a good snapshot into the talent of these musicians.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By StevJD on March 8, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I ran into this CD at a used cd store and was intrigued by the cover; I checked out the inside and saw that the band thanked Low Anthem and Plants and Animals, both bands that I really enjoy. I figured it was worth a quick listen in the store's CD player and it sounded consistent with my expectations based on the other bands' connections. I bought the CD and figured it might be worth the cash. To make a long story shorter, this CD is well beyond my expectations. Given the substantial amount of time that I spend on listening to music and reading about it, I am rather shocked that such an accomplished band has slipped my attention. This band deserves much more acclaim. This is a great album with strong songwriting, talented playing, and diverse sounds -- your typical great Canadian Americana band. Check it out and you too will surely be impressed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy P. Meyers on April 26, 2012
Format: Audio CD
It's a little bit too easy to compare this album to Bon Iver's self-titled album, my other top pick for 2011. Both are mostly quiet, mostly folky albums with interesting arrangements that demand you to be quiet and listen closely to them.

This album, though, has melodies that get stuck in your head and enough percussion to draw you into the songs a little bit more.
The album is filled with harp, fingerpicked guitar, bass, drum, handclaps, harmonica, pump organ and strange distortion that keeps it accessible but also suggests strangeness lurking just beneath the surface.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James A. Heard on June 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love their acoustic music. Lovely vocals and rich, layered instrumentals combine for some of the best new music I've heard in years. (First heard them live at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, and was captivated.) However, their electric music just doesn't work as well for me. Some of it comes across as almost harsh. That said, I would definitely recommend the CD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Avery A. Lenhart on April 17, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a great mix of different styles, all appealing, terrific lyrics. A couple of great get-down-and-dance tunes, mixed with some thoughtful, slow and pretty tunes. I've seen them live and will see them again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Talón de Brea on December 22, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I regret that I didn't hear -- or hear of -- this fine 2011 album until 2013. I especially recommend two of the more "gentle" tracks: the closer, "Let There Be Horses," and my favorite on the CD, "Cloud (For Lhasa)." They're timeless (as opposed to retro), decidedly un-trendy songs that, to me, have an un-forced neo-1970s singer-songwriter sound and feel (in a good way, of course).

As I type this while listening to the CD, if I had to make "for people who like" comparisons based on sonic qualities, I would for most of the tracks cite late Simon & Garfunkel / early solo Paul Simon, some Low Anthem and maybe early Badly Drawn Boy as some general points of reference. But then, there's variety in a couple of tracks that lean more toward Dan Auerbach / Black Keys territory. The entire CD makes for a worthy purchase for listeners who like "albums."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Snufkin on July 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This quality of this album is hard to express in a text box. Suffice to say if you're a fan of quality songwriting, poetic and moving lyrics and some of the most atmospheric and music I've heard in a long time then I guarantee you will enjoy immensely.

If you do enjoy this album (of you course you will) then you might also enjoy their British but unknown equivalent. They're called Takeda. Especially their first album Hufsa. Check it out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jamtronica on December 18, 2013
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Wonderful record. I was a huge fan of the slip back in the 90s and early 00's and while I miss BAM, this record and the Barr Brothers in general, hold up. It's not the slip but there is some heavy stuff on here. Great to hear the musical evolution of a brilliant songwriter.
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The Barr Brothers
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