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The Barr Brothers

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The Barr Brothers
w/ Simple Life
Friday, October 19, 2018 8:00 PM
The Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY
  • All Ages
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Show Details
  • Ticket Price: $15.00 - $20.00
  • Door Time: 7:00 PM
All ages admitted
The Barr Brothers:  To begin their third album, The Barr Brothers weren't writing any songs. For the first time, the Montreal outfit's three members - namesake siblings Brad and Andrew Barr, harpist Sarah Pagé - went empty-handed into the studio. No plans or preconceptions, no books of lyrics or sheets of chords - they went down miles of snowy road to a cabin on a frozen lake, a place full of windows and microphones and starlight and sunshine, with amplifiers in the bedrooms, their volumes turned up loud. On the fringes of Saint Zenon, Québec (pop. 1,1150), a 30-minute snowmobile ride to the nearest grocery store, the band spent seven days making things up. Improvisations that lasted hours at a time - noons and midnights, dusks and dawns, with grooves inspired by India, West Africa and 808s; by Brad's scorching electric guitar; and by Pagé's new inventions, hacks to turn her harp into a versatile, sub-bass-booming noisemaker.
 
Queens of the Breakers was born at that cabin in the country. Then the band took that racket and distilled it into songs: 11 tracks of blazing courage and failing resolve; suffused with groove, melody and the Barr Brothers' wide-open sense of the blues. At times the sound's all twinkling, the score for a lost John Hughes film; at other times it's whetted, searching, like the stuff of Lhasa de Sela or Led Zeppelin's III. These are tales of teenagers prowling through Rhode Island mansions (the title track), coming to Montreal and falling in love ("Song That I Heard"), tattered patriotism and clenching fists ("Kompromat", "Ready for War"). There's also "Defibrillation", a mournful letter from a father to his son, inspired by the broken rhythm of a pair of hospital heart monitors - and a drumbeat based on that dither.
 
It's this tension, this dither, that lives at the centre of Queens of the Breakers. Three players - friends, comrades, music-makers, all of them trying to play in sync. Three bandmates - each of them fumbling, remembering, trying to invent something together. A band still playing, even occasionally reimagining, their rock'n'roll.

 
 
 
Simplelife: Simplelife was established in 2001 with Ben Sumner, Mike Frisina & Ben Lucas as an acoustic trio that focused and prided itself on three-part harmonies. Gary Lucas (drums, percussion) and Michael Schleier (bass) joined the group in early 2002. They released their first full length album "Life in the Third Person" in 2004 to critical acclaim. The album won a Syracuse Area Music Award (SAMMY) in the "Best Pop Recording" category. Upon Schleier's departure in 2005, Simplelife brought in bass player Brett Hobin (The Todd Hobin Band) who has remained as the bassist for the band ever since. Gary Lucas underwent a series of medical issues in 2006 and could no longer withstand the rigors of touring, so his father Jim Lucas (Mr. Ed, The Todd Hobin Band) replaced him as the touring drummer. Gary has remained as the session drummer, arranger and live percussionist. In 2005, Simplelife was signed to Subcat Records and released its sophomore album "New Addiction", also to critical acclaim. The album was also nominated for a SAMMY in the "Best Pop Recording" category. 

Currently, Simplelife can be seen anywhere from a two-piece acoustic act, to a seven-piece full band. Lucas and Frisina have since opened 2 Bros. Studios and continue to write and record music consistently. The group is currently working on their long-awaited third release which will be available to the masses in summer of 2015.

 

 


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