By: Jeff Perlman Editor-in-chief
For 43 years, Martin Barre’s explosive lead guitar powered Jethro Tull to legendary heights.
Barre’s expressive and explosive guitar mixed with Ian Anderson’s flute and distinctive voice enabled Jethro Tull to pack arena’s and dominate rock radio from the late 60s to the present.
Tull eventually disbanded in 2011, but Barre is keeping the fires burning on the iconic band’s 50th anniversary with a tour featuring all the classics and new material.
Barre and his band will perform two shows at Boca Raton’s Funky Biscuit on Feb. 9 and 10.
Fans of Jethro Tull and connoisseurs of great guitarists won’t want to miss this rare chance to see a legend in an intimate venue.
We recently caught up with Mr. Barre who was rehearsing in England before his U.S. dates.
At 72, Barre remains passionate about music and after decades of a hectic recording and touring schedule with Jethro Tull he is developing another aspect of his talent—song writing.
“I finally have the time to write my own music,” he said. “I don’t have a formula, I just sit with my guitar and my notes and I see what comes of it. Every day I experiment. It’s a process of discovery for me. And even if there are days when I don’t come up with much it’s still a good day because I love music and the process.”
Barre feels he is still improving and evolving as an artist and guitarist.
“I’m not sure if I’m getting better,” he says with a laugh. “I think the word is consolidating. I’m consolidating. I’m never going to be the whiz kid or the fastest gun in town. But whatever I have in my arsenal, I try to make it the best it can be. It may be just one note a day….but that note is getting better and better. I think you grow as an artist because you grow as a person.”
Barre says he takes particular joy in playing and performing, whether on the road or at home.
“I wake up, find a guitar or a mandolin and just play. It’s what I’ve done my whole life. It’s part of me. I can’t examine what makes it happen or why…but music has always been my best friend.”
As he develops his songwriting chops, Barre finds inspiration in artists such as Don Henley, Neil Young and Jackson Browne.
“They, among others, inspire me. The ability to write a melody that people remember for decades is something remarkable. That’s my goal. To write a great song or a few great songs that people will remember…that becomes part of music history.”
It’s an aspiration already achieved by Jethro Tull with songs like “Aqualung”, “Thick as a Brick”, “Locomotive Breath” and “Bungle in the Jungle” etched into the memories of millions.
“2018 is a big year for us,” he says. “It’s the 50th anniversary of Tull and we want to play that music, but we also want to share the new songs which we’re proud of. The band is really great so the fans are in for a treat. They are so dynamic and play with such power and energy. We can’t wait to get to Florida.”
For ticket information visit www.funkybiscuit.com or call 877-435-9849.