Artist: Phil Barry
Album: Between the Carolinas
Label: Hey Burner!
Genre: Americana, Folk, Acoustic
Americana is alive in Kalamazoo, Michigan and breathing through the songs of Phil Barry. Barry has toured Europe and the States as a guitar player for Rachel Yamataga. This solo CD, a side project from his current band, Corn Fed Girls, contains 9 songs about heartache and disappointment on the road, the perfect subjects for his moody folk tunes. He took some good notes while listening to his influences, as fans of Simon and Garfunkel, Elliott Smith, and the Jayhawks can attest.
"The Spaces" is a very Beatle-esque track with an ebow guitar riff, reminiscent of a George Harrison tune.
"Never Gonna Be Your Man" is an up-tempo track with a catchy slide guitar riff to segue the chorus to the verses. The song is about a man 'doing the best he can' but still feeling used. The track is followed by the 45 second acapella 'I'm Your Man', singing over some great harmonies, in which he forgives the girl for the 'lies, heartaches, and the fights she's won'. I guess being used trumps being lonely on most days.
On most of the tracks, Phil exercises the Elliott Smith method of using dark melodies and lyrics, but delivering them with bright vocals, sometimes harmonizing with himself. The Smith vocal comparison is most notable on “Crying Shame” and the beautiful "Dark Star".
"Goodbye is not the End" closes the CD with Phil accompanying himself with Ukulele.
Mike Fuerst plays bass and violin. Jeff Moehle plays drums and bass throughout.
You can find "Between the Carolinas" at CD Baby (http://cdbaby.com/cd/philbarry).
Verdict: Recommended for a late night drive, Phil has revived those wonderful sounds that I thought had died with the great Elliott Smith or flew off with the Byrds.