Rick Barr / Blog


I've finally begun playing solo gigs! My first two were at O'Toole's on the west side of Columbus, a great venue with a superior sound system. I have a few more shows lined up, and things are really clicking. I also joined the Columbus Songwriter's Association, and that has presented other unique opportunities.

The New Album Is Out!

Although it may take a while to become available on the online retail sites, I can announce that "No Progression" is finished. The tracks are available on ReverbNation now.

Most of these songs are simpler than my usual sounds. I didn't use an electric guitar at all, the first time that's happened since my 2003 album, "Take It Away". There are also no keyboards. Still, plenty of acoustic guitar, banjo, percussion, and harmonicas permeate the album. I used my trusty drum software a bit, but not as much as usual.

The title "No Progression" reflects the style I applied to the album. It's more simplistic, going back to when I recorded my first album, over 10 years ago. With only a couple of acoustic guitars on hand, I was forced to mimic a bass sound by recording on a regular guitar and changing the pitch during editing. I've come a long way since, but felt the urge to get back to some of those basics.

It was freeing in some ways, to do less editing than I normally would have. You'll hear a few imperfections here and there. I usually do everything I can to cover those up, but this time, I shrugged and said, "that's okay". It resulted in a more natural sound, and I hope you enjoy it.


Finally Playing Again

This summer, I finally started playing live music, after a nearly 20-year hiatus. I used to play in high school quite a bit, but stopped after I graduated due to college, then becoming a father. I used the latter as an excuse for way too long, and in July got my feet wet with a couple of open stages.

Playing just four or five songs isnt a big deal for a lot of people, but it was fairly nerve-wracking. I did pretty well though, and on August 18, joined my friend and fellow musician Randall Douglass Matson for his gig at Little Sicilys in Columbus, OH. I did a couple sets of eight or nine songs each, and while I got a bit nervous at times, I also learned a lot about what kind of equipment I will prefer to use. I also got some lessons in stool placement and height. It sounds like mundane stuff, but a couple of small differences would have made things a lot more comfortable.

So, Ill keep playing whenever my schedule allows and try to get some more shows set up. Ill post more updates soon.


My album is on iTunes

As well as a few dozen other online retailers, including Amazon, Last.fm, and Rhapsody. Although "Softer Than Stones" is my 10th studio album, this is the first time I have ever gone the extra step to make it available for purchase in this "official" capacity. Of course, uploading my songs was the easy part; now I need to promote it and get my name out there, which I haven't done very well in the past.