INDIEcent Exposure #5 — Jeb Barry, “Milltown”
When Jeb Barry began recording over 40 songs for what was to be a double cd, he began to notice a common theme of small town despair and tragedy.
He realized a lot of the songs were about hard times in a small milltown, much like the one he was born and raised in, and much like the towns he traveled through during the past few years seeking to establish a solo performer and songwriting career. Many of the songs were directly related to that small, long gone milltown, with few prospects and fewer rewards, or the people who live in them. He discovered in his travels that there are more than a few of these depressed towns in the United States. And each one has its own stories to tell.
Controlled Exposure—Rhythm Express
You just couldn’t get past these four recordings in the late sixties – early seventies: “Theme from Shaft” by Isaac Hayes, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” – Marvin Gaye’s epic, “What’s Going On” and the Temptations, “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” These were extended play songs that begged time getting the message out and the music? – totally hypnotized the listener.
Rhythm Express remembers…
You could be driving through America’s heartland, down a mountainside in the great Rockies or cruising a Baltimore neighborhood on a hot steamy summer night and any one of those songs would have you mystically engaged and compel you pull the car to the curb – close your eyes and sing along. The words are poetic and meaning even deeper. The music – orchestrated like a new Beethoven arrived on the scene and had discovered the Wah Wah pedal, a funky place for Latin congas, four part harmony, – rhythms that rip and roar to every corner of the sound system; expanding the compositional and orchestral possibilities of funk and soul music.
This, the seventh single for the Rhythm Express brings a contemporary edge to the classic, “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”