Spring Hill

Tim Barry

Chunksaah Records, 2022


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Richmond, Virginia acoustic guitar-armed hero and full time dad Tim Barry returns with 13 new tracks penned during the pandemic lockdown, where the punk rock icon clearly spent much time fleshing out these relatable, heartfelt and sincere stories. 

“Ain't Much For Talking” starts the listen with much beauty and the sounds of nature, as Barry’s unmistakable grit enters alongside aching pedal steel and backing female vocals. “Free As The Wind” follows with some playful percussive sounds and soulful harmonica entering the rousing folk climate, which segues into the more chunky appeal of the firm delivery that is “Glorious.” my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

In the middle, the pleasantly surprising cover of the legendary Washington D.C. outfit 3's 1989 song “Swann Street” suits Barry's version of rugged folk rock perfectly, while “Bella & Charlie” is a quick, vocally harmonic and dreamy display of stirring, poetic song craft. “Camille,” one of the album's best, then touches on more mountain-esque ideas that benefits much from well-timed strings.

Nearing the end, the louder, quicker “Cherry Isle” is a track you could dance to with its soaring harmonica, hand clapping fun and southern rawness, and “Switch Key” exits the listen with much prettiness in the very eloquent guitar, pretty singing and universally common lyrical themes.

If you've been milling around the punk scene for a while, you might remember Barry from his time fronting the almighty Avail, who were very active from the early ’90s up until the mid 2000s. Avail regrouped in 2019, and though Barry’s solo work is much more stripped back, the blue collar, unwaveringly honest and wise song craft he’s built his career on is still front and center.

Not just for aging punks who want their music a bit more tame now, Tim Barry is a modern folk-singer that anyone with an ear for organic music and forthright, observational wordplay will adore.

Rating: A

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