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Tim Barry with Austin Lucas

March 28 • Molly Malone's (Covington)

By Reyan Ali · March 25th, 2009 · Sound Advice
Imagine you’re the lead vocalist/guitarist of a band that plays Punk Rock, a commercially unrewarding genre. Your group forms in 1987, and after a decade of vigorously plying your sound in dives across the country, things really pick up. You gradually find yourself at an apex of underground popularity, reaching a point where your audiences recite your lyrics louder than you ever could. Then, the group’s output drops off significantly. What’s next? If you’re Tim Barry, you return to the beginning.

Once primarily known for the robust melodies of Avail, Barry has found a new love in performing solo while his band’s future remains indefinite. In volleys of earnest Folk, Barry uses his brazen voice and an acoustic guitar to deliver stream of consciousness confessionals about the people and culture rooted in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

As best expressed in his November release Manchester (Suburban Home Records), his instrumental prowess is certainly evident, but the real purpose of his music is to provide a platform for his stories. Barry’s latest pursuit originated in the same unplanned manner Avail did.

“I just happened into it,” says Barry.

It began with him unearthing unrecorded Avail material and testing the content in front of family and friends. A few impromptu recordings and a couple of benefit shows later, and Barry was absolutely reinvigorated.

“I got addicted to the challenge,” he says. While his old band’s material never lost its emotional weight in a live setting, “it just became easy. It was extremely challenging and threatening and scary to stand up there with just myself and an acoustic guitar and a microphone,” Barry says.

Curiously, there’s been a recent surge of singer/songwriters emanating from Punk since Barry first went solo in 2005. But Barry is grateful to have been ahead of the trend.

“I have more fun doing this than I have had doing anything in a really long time,” he says.

(Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.)



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