Sunday, October 11, 2015

Song Of The Week: 10/11/15

Song: "Idle Idylist"

Artist: Tim Barry

Album: "Laurel Street Demo 2005"

Year: 2005

Place Of Origin: Richmond, Virginia

Years Active: 2004


"Idle Idylist" appears to be about not succumbing to a certain perception that's ingrained in people from the time they are younger that they have to get the "best" jobs to be able to buy the "best" things for yourself. Sometimes being happy in life doesn't have to be summed up by what material things you have or how good your job is. If your job is starting to strip you of who you are as a person or starting to change who you wanted to be, then maybe that "good" job ain't so good after all. It's really about appreciating the simple things in life and not letting your job or material things define who you are as a person.

TIM BARRY DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2005 - "Laurel Street Demo 2005" (Suburban Home Records)
2006 - "Rivanna Junction" (Suburban Home Records)
2008 - "Manchester" (Suburban Home Records)
2010 - "28th & Stonewall" (Suburban Home Records)
2012 - "40 Miler" (Chunksaah Records)
2014 - "Raising Hell & Living Cheap: Live In Richmond" (Chunksaah Records)
2014 - "Lost & Rootless" (Chunksaah Records)


Tim Barry has major cult status in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. It all started for him back in 1990 when he joined Richmond hardcore band Avail, originally as the drummer but soon to take over on vocals. Though the band was king in it's hometown, they didn't quite attain success on a national level, though they were highly respected in hardcore punk circles. While in Avail, Barry and the band released 6 full length albums along with several EP's and live releases up until 2002. Avail hasn't released anything since that year and has only played live dating back to 2007. From 2004 till the present day, Barry has been focusing on his solo career, which is based on rootsy, acoustic style folk music, very much Americana. It's music that is more influenced by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams or Johnny Cash than by his old hardcore punk roots. Barry's lyrical themes often reflect those of the poor man or the drifter, going from town to town, just his guitar on his back, playing songs and singing about his travels. It's about struggle, simplicity and about appreciating what you have no matter how small or insignificant it might be to someone else. I'd say Tim Barry and Hot Water Music's Chuck Ragan were kind of the first of the punk rock frontmen who decided to pick up the acoustic guitar and experiment with folk music. Now you find a ton of them taking the same path from The Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon, to Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, to No Use For A Name's Tony Sly, to Lagwagon's Joey Cape and several, several more. You can find several of these artists joining together on Chuck Ragan's Revival Tours, which Barry has been a frequent participant in. I'd say of all of those artists, Barry's music has the most outlaw country feel to it. I'd also say that while the other artists' main bands are far superior to their solo material, though I'd put Ragan's solo stuff very close to his Hot Water Music stuff, Tim Barry's solo material, in my opinion, clearly overshadows his work in Avail. I think he found his comfort zone with his solo acoustic material and though he still isn't having major success as an artist, he gets by with his relentless touring and stays active releasing new material every two years or so. Currently, Tim Barry is most likely on the road somewhere supporting his latest release, 2014's "Lost & Rootless". After years of releasing albums through Suburban Home Records, Barry has hooked on with The Bouncing Souls label, Chunksaah Records, and has been with them since 2012. If you are into country music the way it was supposed to be played, like outlaw country along the lines of Johnny Cash or real Americana folk like Woody Guthrie, then Tim Barry should be right up your alley. It's funny how a punk rocker can make rootsy music about struggle and living cheap while the big, mainstream country artists sound more and more like bubblegum pop stars. The battle between what's real and what's fake!! Mr. Barry is a real artist for sure.


1. Avoiding Catatonic Surrender
2. Thing Of The Past
3. No News From The North
4. Idle Idylist
5. Driver Pull
6. Shed Song
7. This November
8. The James
9. Dog Bumped
10. Lost & Rootless

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