The Barlow “New Year, Old Me”

Independent, 2022

A highly talented country band from Denver making their own great sound.

The Barlow album New Year, Old MeNew Year, Old Me‘ is the third full-length album by The Barlow, a four-piece country band from Denver, Colorado featuring Shea Boynton on vocals, guitar and banjo, Troy Scope on bass, Brad Johnson on guitar and vocals and Ben Richter on drums. Recorded between December 2021 and March 2022, it consists of ten songs written during an extensive tour during 2021. “While there’s a few narrative pieces, the songs are mostly based on personal experience,” says Boynton. “This record is a definite step towards our sound and what we do. Instead of comparing things to others’ sound or style, we aimed to make it our own.”

This they certainly do. The musicianship from the four band members throughout is quite excellent. With guitars to the fore- “we leaned into the guitar work a lot more on this record,” says Boynton- songs such as the brilliant ‘Josephine‘ and ‘Obsession‘ feature driving rhythms, memorable solos and melodic choruses; whilst the centrepiece of the album, title track ‘New Year, Old Me‘, takes your breath away with its pace, urgency and highly skilful playing, framing Boynton’s vocals about new beginnings and “heading on down the road“. It isn’t all about the guitars though; guests Ben Waligoske on pedal steel, Andy Schneider on keyboards, and Dan Hochhalter on fiddle bring additional subtlety and variety to the songs, particularly when the pace slows on ‘Heart In A Sling‘ and ‘Tarred‘.

The Barlow’s ‘New Year, Old Me‘ is a very good album, and with much of it written and developed during soundchecks when they were on the road last year, they are sure to be great to see live when they tour again this autumn and perform these songs in front of an audience for the first time.

8/10
8/10

About GrahamBollands 9 Articles
Proud dad of Jess, Harry and Lucie. Was a headteacher for 17 years and now pleased to share my experiences working as a university tutor training the next generation of primary teachers. Now living the dream in North Devon, doing up a barn, growing vegetables, walking the coastpath, volunteering on a farm alongside young adults with learning difficulties, presenting a weekly radio show, singing in a choir, and whenever possible, listening to great music and going to gigs.

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