Martin Barre Concert-A Brief History of Jethro Tull
The Worthington Country Club, Massachusetts
June 18, 2023
Nestled in the country along Route 143 off Worthington Road in Massachusetts is the beautiful Golf Links, owned by David and Helen Pollard. It was my distinct pleasure to attend the concert being held there with Martin Barre. For a few reasons: I knew the Pollards very well and had worked for them for five years in the early 2000s. And I had not seen them in 14 years! Secondly, I am very familiar with Martin’s guitar playing with Jethro Tull, covering several of the reissues of their group’s studio recordings over the years, seeing them play live with the band, and providing coverage before he departed on his solo career. With that in mind and being able to see some old friends, I had been anticipating this event for months.
We had a beautiful clear blue sky with the sun shining to usher in this rock legend; however, as the night rolled on, it got a bit nippy, and Martin was warming his fingers to keep them agile.
Martin Barre is one of the finest guitar players in the world and has been for many decades. Now in his 70s, he has not lost a step in showcasing his six-string virtuosity. I was to realize this fully last night as he made his way through two lengthy sets. His band consists of Dan Crisp (lead vocals/keyboards), Alan Thomson (bass), and Darby Todd on Drums. The lead singer bares a remarkable resemblance to a younger Phil Collins. That is what I recognized in short order. And besides that, after belting out the first number with authority, he did a complete turnaround. He sang like a young Ian Anderson, including all the facial expressions and mannerisms of the Jethro Tull mastermind and leader, writer, singer, and musician.
Another surprise may have been Martin being an accomplished flute player. I had known this, but many in attendance were surprised. The crowd expressed their delight as Martin handled his second instrument quite well. Quite honestly, and even though I still enjoy Jethro Tull to this day, Ian has lost his voice due to age and wear and tear, and nobody ever could replace Martin on guitar. It has not been the same since he left the band.
This night I relived the good old days with Martin wailing away and rocking the crowd and Dan Crisp doing a splendid job with each song from the Tull catalog. There are so many outstanding Tull albums and much ground to cover. Martin and his band are tight and did a marvelous job recreating all the music. Even Ian Anderson would be impressed.
The first Tull album I got was Warchild back in the day when there were record and CD clubs that no longer exists. It still stands as my favorite album. Now there are many different choices if you are a vinyl enthusiast to choose from. Hearing them play “Warchild,” “Back Door Angels,” and “Sea Lion” was a treat for the ears and senses. And of course, there are many of the favorites that the audience recognized immediately, such as “Bouree,” “My God,” “Thick As A Brick,” and many more, including the all-out rocking encore numbers “Locomotive Breath” and “Teacher.” Martin and the band ended the show on fire, cranking out those two prog rock classics. Fitting, it ended with plenty of fireworks from Martin’s guitar.
It was another night for me to remember, and an honor to be able to see the show and report on it. Thank you, David and Helen, for the night that will forever be in my consciousness and for giving this old rocker a smile from the inside out.
If you like the beauty of nature and outdoor music, visiting the Worthington Golf Club this summer is a must. Look at what is on tap for the rest of the season and get your tickets here: https://worthingtongolfclub.com/music-concerts-and-events.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
June 19, 2023
Look Into The Sun
Someday The Sun
We Used To Know
Serenade To A Cuckoo
Back To The Family
Nothing To Say
(chat) Thick As A Brick
Black Satin Dancer
Back Door Angels
(chat) Under Wraps Acoustic
Under Wraps Electric
Protect And Survive
Fallen On Hard Times
Too Old To Rock & Roll
Slow Marching Band