KFAI Radio Without Boundaries
90.3 Minneapolis & 106.7 St. Paul
This Week: The Legendary Barry Thomas Goldberg!
Barry Thomas Goldberg
Live from Studio 5!
And I DO mean legendary. Local alternative/folk-rock stalwart Barry Thomas Goldberg has made a name for himself among the current generation as an outspoken, fearless political commentator and a musician who can adapt to a bevy of different styles, but he has, in fact, been playing and writing his original brand of protest songs for over 4 decades. You can check out his early work (An absolute must-have for collectors of sixties-era Twin Cities bands, much of which is psychedelic-inspired garage rock that's reminiscent of artists ranging from The early Who to Buffalo Springfield to Frank Zappa And The Mothers and CCR) by visiting www.ironweeds.com or CD Baby and picking up the album The Batch: Transistor- The Lost Basement Recordings, 1968-1971. Barry has been a prolific musician, singer, songwriter AND painter for decades. It will be a great treat and pleasure to have him on "Live From Studio 5!" For this show, our own legend, Georgia "Sonic Pleasure" Cady will be interviewing Barry with her unique perspective of being KFAI's in-house music historian as well as a BTG fan. Don't miss this one!
"Straightforward old-school rock with a vibrant edge. Goldberg is a singer/songwriter in his fifties who's been kicking around the Minneapois music scene for a couple of decades; his age and experience blaze through this simultaneously good-natured and apocalyptic song. Goldberg's deep, cigarette-stained voice brings the late Warren Zevon to mind, but there's an added Graham Parker-like snap and snarl to his delivery and something Dylanesque about the whole carnival-like enterprise, with its cavalcade of characters and situations set to a rollicking 3/4 beat". This Week's Finds - 2005
"The raw and wounded songs of an American outcast."
Chris Roberts/All Things Considered/MPR
"The raw poetry of a rebellious rocker", J-Mag/Switzerland
C"Remember New Orleansr" Barry Thomas Goldberg. I could have picked a half a dozen of the songs from cantankerous roots- rocker Goldberg's latest The Last Guitar, but this one wails with an urgency that suggests it was written in the same moment as Kanye West's infamous blurt. I also heart "Lily Of The Field" and "Post Tart Girl" and "Miss USAr" and, hell, suffice to say that the whole thing is good medicine for anyone disappointed by Devils & Dust or anyone who has ever hoped Curtiss A would get his shit together enough to make a record as angry, funny, and rockin' as his rants. Now then, why isn't B.T. Goldberg famous?
- Jim Walsh -City Pages -Online - 2006
Empire Moon (2002) - "Masterful and gritty....In Goldberg's wonderfully dreary world, suicide jumpers ballroom dance with right-wing columnists while clster bombs burst overhead."
Nathan Hall, Lost Cause.
July 18, 2007 - Wednesday
Mapleton Memoir on Electric Fetus Local Top Ten
Electric Fetus One Stop
July 11, 2007
8. Barry Thomas Goldberg – Mapleton Memoir
Barry Thomas Goldberg is a Minnesota music veteran who began his career as a local songwriter. He is best known for penning the tune "Twenty Years Ago in Speedy's Kitchen" by T.C. Atlantic. Involved with Dove Recording Studios in the 1960's, Goldberg joined the ranks of local legends Arne Fogel, Gary Paulak, and Michael Yonkers. In 2006, Goldberg helped with the release of Candy Floss: The Lost Music of Mid America, a compilation of songs from Dove Studios and that era. Since 1974, he has been recording and releasing solo albums that highlight his outspoken political views and poetic way with words. Goldberg's latest, Mapleton Memoir, is a musical tribute to his late mother, who passed away in 2006. "I was displeased with my prose writing [and] the obvious choice was to write her memoir as a musical album," he says. The result is a beautifully crafted, limited edition album that includes a ten-page booklet of photos and lyrics, "tracing one family's journey through time in pursuit of the elusive American dream." Goldberg's sound has been compared to the likes of Bob Dylan (circa 1970), Woody Guthrie, and Tom Waits."
Cl'Round The Dial
By: Tom Hallett
Barry Thomas Goldberg
Local alternative/folk-rock stalwart Barry Thomas Goldberg has made a name for himself among the current generation as an outspoken, fearless political commentator and a musician who can adapt to a bevy of different styles, but he has, in fact, been playing and writing his original brand of protest songs for over 4 decades. You can check out his early work (An absolute must-have for collectors of sixties-era Twin Cities bands, much of which is psychadelic-inspired garage rock that's reminiscent of artists ranging from The early Who to Buffalo Springfield to Frank Zappa And The Mothers and CCR) by visiting www.ironweeds.com or CD Baby and picking up the album The Batch: Transistor- The Lost Basement Recordings, 1968-1971.
The Creek was originally intended to capture live the raw essence of some of his most memorable past compositions, but during rehearsals, Goldberg found that he could not refrain from penning new material and making some of the boldest statements of his career. That, it turns out, is a very good thing, considering that although we've finally voted into office some apparently honest and empathetic politicians, we'll be dealing with the last administration's fall-out for decades to come.
Barry's illustrious catalog gives new credence to the old adage, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." His first songs came to fruition during the height of the Vietnam War, and today's social, political, and economic climate is a stark reflection of those tumultuous times. Goldberg was right to avoid making some grand, final statement just as the world needs his brand of raw, gutsy folk rock the most. This album is an amazing amalgam of musical approaches with a common thread- the world around us- even though the subject matter may not be exactly what the average club-going party animal might want to hear.
Goldberg's voice is a curious melding of Warren Zevon's smart-aleck howl, Elvis Costello's inscrutable, dry vocal tease, and Springsteen's devil-may-care holler. Not exactly what you'd think of when picturing a modern folk-rocker, but that's where the "alternative" derivation comes in. This isn't the stuffy, collegiate folk so common in coffee houses and on open stages, but a decidedly ballsier, more brash musical statement barely held in check by a time-wise pen. Simply put, it's music for the people made by a person, nothing more, nothing less.
Whether he's yelping indignantly about the state of the economy ("Hard Times,") musing on the effects of the real estate melt-down ("The Creek,") or growling along with gritty rhythm and sobbing slide guitars ("My Honeybee,") Goldberg undeniably makes each cut his own personal rock n' roll stump from which to impart his hard-won personal philosophies. His staunch backing band (Gary Paulak on guitar, slide, bass and backing vox, Marc Partridge on lead guitar, Jim Steinworth on organ and accordian, Gregg Kubera and Larry Hofmann on bass, and Scott Homan and Steve Thielges on drums) is obviously at home in the studio and onstage with him, and judging from the sound thrashing they give their instruments here, are in complete agreement with his earthy, pro-Democracy stance.
"Afghanistan" is ablaze with righteous anger, guitars sizzling and snare positively cracking along with a timely tale of one of the several wars the U.S. is currently involved in, and rings out a hard truth with lines like, "I wonder where I am/I must be in Afghanistan/Get me home, get me home right now/I got a wife and a child I love/I was answering freedom's call/Get me home, get me home right now..." "Propaganda" tumbles out on a funky drum beat and gleefully off-kilter keyboards, coming off like an alternate-galaxy blending of The Minutemen and The Monks.
The whole package wraps up with the outraged rant "Big Oil," (which was picked by the prestigious Brit rock mag NME as a "Best New YouTube Video" the week of its release) a self-explanatory slice of contemporary commentary that covers not only its stated topic but also homes in on many of the rotting super-structures that are supported by it.
Bottom line, Barry Thomas Goldberg is to today's fearless, all-American folk-rock movement what past heroes such as Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie were to theirs- he's just a hell of a lot louder and more world-weary than they were. A fierce, undeniable call to attention for a new generation from a guy who's been there and back and isn't ready to hang up his guitar until either he or fascism have taken leave of this planet. Available now on CD Baby.