PEI BREWING COMPANY PRESENTS THE BARR BROTHERS - LIVE AT THE PEI BREWING COMPANY EVENT SPACE with special guest Laura Sauvage and Fraser McCallum/Adam Gallant of Racoon Bandit.
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The Barr Brothers Biography (in 3 acts)
“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It
would be like sleep without dreams.”
Interior; montreal 2008; cross-section of two adjoining
Brad Barr and Sarah Pagé meet when Sarah’s harp playing drifts
through the thin walls separating their two apartments. He is inspired
and attempts to learn her music through drywall. They meet and
become friends. Sarah, an experimental harpist, had been playing
with various orchestras and performing with the esteemed singer
Lhasa de Sela. Brad, a recent transplant from the US, had played for
years with his brother Andrew in the Providence/Boston based band
The Slip. He had followed Andrew to Montreal after a fire in a
Montreal club they were playing sparked a romance that took them
over the border. The two brothers and Sarah began playing and
recording together in their makeshift studio, ultimately producing their
debut record, The Barr Brothers, “…a dusty journal of hushed
Americana, West African grooves, and voyeuristic lyrics, rich with
Exterior; the Grand Canyon, 2012; band is set up on the rim.
Rounded out by multi-instrumentalist Andrés Vial, the four band
members have been touring relentlessly since their record was
released on Secret City Records. The wiling quartet decides to set up
on the rim of the Grand Canyon and asks the tourists to film the
charade on iPods. Its been a long year with many miles and shows.
Its hot, and the band is prone to such hallucinatory daydreams. Along
their travels, amongst the many highs and lows, they performed on
the David Letterman Show, opened for Emmylou Harris, lost as much
gear as they’d purchased, been nominated for a Juno award, played
festivals from Iceland to Portland, and learned how to make mojitos.
Interior; recording studio; 3am; 2013; a half-glass of whiskey
sits on a Hammond organ.
The four members of the Barr Brothers sit behind their instruments in
a large wooden room in Montreal–a recording studio built in the
70’s(and decorated as such). They have enlisted the engineering
skills of Ryan Freeland(B. Raitt, R. Lamontagne) to help them record
and mix their second album, Sleeping Operator. They record
everything live, including vocals. By the end of the year, after working
in several different studios(including a session in Iceland with Valgier
Siguròson(Bjork, Sigur Ros)), and many friends coming in to lend
their voices, they will have recorded nearly 40 songs. They will have
whittled the album down to 13. Sleeping Operator is a bold, dense
release, an expansion on a continuum that they set out upon when
they tip-toed into the unknown.
At 4am, the drummer types a letter to the head of the record
company. It reads:
I imagine this record may seem a little confounding at this
point, but we’re starting to have some clear and united
visions of the thing – it’s getting pretty exciting.
here’s my current two cents on the work as a whole:
in the time since we started making this record with Ryan,
there have been two weddings, two babies, many miles
clocked on the international road. needless to say it’s been a
liberating, joyous, but also intense time for us with a lot of
major life changes.
this record, to me, reflects a complexity that is perhaps
beyond what we’ve done before. not complicated musically,
just complex. it has a wooly and warm weight to it – a big
soft ruby blanket – a weight that is welcome and liberating–
maybe a lot like these changes that we go through as we
grow up a bit, build communities and families, etc.
we’d like the artwork to be Brigitte’s diamond. this image to
me has a primal, yet “from-another-planet” feel to it, and
has all of the rust and beauty that we seek in our music.
ok, those are my musings from the studio couch. rough
mixes on their way!
call me if you want to talk.