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Martin Lancelott Barre

Jethro Tull: since 1968
all albums except "This Was"
Instruments: guitar, flute

MARTIN BARRE can't remember a time when he didn't have a gig to play, carrying a guitar, saxophone, or flute (or all the above) on a bus from his native Birmingham, England to whatever kind of jobs were available. Such was the life of a touring musicians in the sixties, including such demanding gigs as support U.S. soul artists in three towns a night, seven days a week. He left his Blues band GETHSEMANE in 1968 for the band they'd just supported, JETHRO TULL. And nearly 30 years and 23 albums later, the guitarist behind the legendary riffs in "Aqualung" and "Bungle in the Jungle" is more active than ever. Tull has been a full-time concern for all these years, but increasingly, Martin is pursuing his own music, in the role of composer, producer, and arranger. His solo debut, A TRICK OF MEMORY came out quietly in 1995, but his latest, THE MEETING, is a tour-de-force of writing and playing for the rock combo.
Favoring the lyrical, rhythmic and harmonic elements of classical music, Martin clearly also has an ear for solid rock, and THE MEETING is a clever mix of both. Recorded at his home studio in Devon, the record consists of five instrumentals and six tracks featuring vocalists Maggie Reeday and Joy Russell. Drumming was supplied by Gerry Conway (Jethro Tull), Doane Perry (Jethro Tull), and Dave Mattacks (Fairport convention). Bassist Jon Noyce has since joined Tull's line-up for their upcoming U.S. tour supported by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. Rounding out the players are Mel Collins (King Crimson) on saxophone and Andrew Murray on keyboards. "The Outer Circle" is an instrumental inspired by those early days on Birmingham's bus route. "Spanner" is a nod to electric jazz, with a nifty soprano break from Collins. Reeday and Russell's vocal tracks blend an epic sound with Barre's own mystical lyricism.
Martin of course spends a lot of time on tour with Jethro Tull, like the late summer swing through the United States. Where does he get the energy? An avid runner, Barre runs 5-6 miles a day, especially when on the road. And it's also the sheer joy of doing what he loves to do-- this family man describes a day off the road: "take the kids to school, boil a pot of coffee, practice guitar, flute, a bit of drums, then more guitar, go for a run, pick up the kids..."


Solo album: A Summer Band (1992)
Solo album: A Trick of Memory (1994)
Solo album: The Meeting (1996)