Thursday, December 17, 2015

Band Review: Chris Barron

Chris Barron and I started following each other pretty recently, which is probably why when I was listening to his album, Pancho and the Kid, I was  thinking it was new. It's actually from 2009. That's okay; it still feels fresh.

There are some nice, bluesy vibes (listen to the intro on "Stars") that made me wonder about the origins. I would not have been surprised at Southern roots. Instead, Barron's ties seem to be to New York and New Jersey, but he shares those ties with John Popper of Blues Traveler. Whether that is more of an indication of a good blues scene in Princeton or that music simply transcends geography, I don't know. The musical classification listed on Facebook is roots music/rock/Americana, and that seems mostly right. (The "Americana" part could imply something overly precious, which is not the case.)

While the guitar is the predominant element, Barron judiciously adds elements of violins and piano on some songs, enhancing their moods and beauty. "Can't Kick The Habit" is a good example of that.

Lyrics are well worth listening to, well-spoken and relevant. "Part Of Me" is deceptively simple, and feels very personal. We all know that feeling.

The other thing that I learned researching is that there was a time when an acute form of vocal paralysis made it quite possible that Chris Barron would never sing again. Knowing that makes Pancho and the Kid even more of a gift.

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