Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Little Barrie, Stand Your Ground

Little Barrie are a guitar-bass-drums trio out of the UK and “Stand Your Ground” is the followup to their debut “We Are Little Barrie“.  A couple of things have changed between the two albums.  Original stand your grounddrummer Wayne Fullwood left the group and is replaced on “Stand Your Ground” by Russell Simins or Billy Skinner who has since joined the band.  In addition, Edwyn Collins who produced the first album has been replaced by Dan the Automator or Mike Pelanconi.  The change in drummers does not make a marked difference but the change in producers does.  Collins gave the band a rough and dirty sound that perfectly complimented the music; the new guys build a much cleaner sound with the three instruments sharply delineated and precisely placed in the soundscape.  Both approaches have different benefits with Little Barrie.  Where Collins brought out the raw excitement of their music, the cleaner approach emphasizes the sharpness and incisiveness of their playing, especially of Barrie Cadogan’s guitar.

What hasn’t changed is the music.  Little Barrie have a hard edged sound that is built around Cadogan’s guitar and combines elements of rock, blues and soul.  Cadogan is an interesting guitar player.  He avoids the trap that claims so many musicians of confusing technical with musical ability.  He’s not interested in lightening fast arpeggiated runs that end up sounding like mindless finger exercises nor is he concerned with crashing bombast.  Instead, he plays punchy licks that are carefully tailored to the needs of the song.  Although his playing sounds nothing like the guitars usually associated with jazz, he shares with many jazz musicians a well developed ability to pick just the right note to play at just the right time.  It gives his guitar lines an immediacy and life that most of the rock-god players haven’t begun to imagine.  Very refreshing. 

“Stand Your Ground” seems oddly paced to me.  While most of the tracks are certainly enjoyable the highlight comes with a three song sequence “Cash In”, “Just Wanna Play” and “Why Don’t You Do It” that are the 7th, 8th, and 9th songs on a 10 song CD. 

If you like straight ahead rock and superb guitar playing with all the histrionic bombast removed, Little Barrie might be just the thing.  Both “Stand Your Ground” and “We Are Little Barrie” serve as good introductions and if you like one you’ll probably like the other.

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11/28/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

2 Comments »

  1. […] You might also want to check out Little Barrie’s econd CD “Stand Your Ground“. […]

    Pingback by Review: Little Barrie, We Are Little Barrie « Tuned In To Music | 11/28/2007 | Reply

  2. Why Don’t You Do It is exactly what bluesrock should be these days… pity nobody is listening
    cheers

    Comment by mcgregor | 11/30/2007 | Reply


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