Martin Barre @ Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck, New Jersey, 10/6/2017

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Photo credit: Martin Webb

Although Ian Anderson was arguably the ‘star’ of Jethro Tull during the 40+ years his guitarist Martin Barre was in the band, Martin Barre is one of the great electric guitarists and deserves his own starring place in rock music. And at 70, the man is rocking harder then ever, as was apparent when I caught Martin and his band down at the Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck, New Jersey, Friday night, Oct 6th.

Sure, we got lots of Tull tunes here, “Minstrel in the Gallery,” into “Steel Monkey” (openers), “Sealion” and a “Hunting Girl” (all just in the first set.)But Barre and band managed two Beatles covers, “Eleanor Rigby,” (Barre covers this on his last studio album  Back To Steel) and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”. He also wailed on Bobby Parker’s “Steal Your Heart Away,” blues.

The 2nd set we got more Tull; “Teacher,” “Aqualung,” and “Locomotive Breath. But Martin showed off his prowess with a mandolin-led tribute to Robert Johnson, jangling through “Cross Road Blues,” a highlight. Hearing Martin play the mandolin so perfectly, as he did often with Tull, was as much a treat as to hear him bend the strings on his electric.

You’re not going to find a better guitarist then Martin Barre. The man seems so youthful playing these days, you’d never know he was in his 7th decade and if you do indeed get a chance to catch the man as he tours these smaller venues with his band, I suggest you get out to see him.

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