Barefoot Truth, an acoustic folk rock quintet from Mystic Connecticut, has a new album coming out February 16th. Their 5th studio release “Threads” could be their best yet, from midnight December 1st through midnight December 2nd a streaming version was offered to Barefoot Truth fans through the Reps program on their site, I took the opportunity to do a quick “Once Through Review” after work, of the forthcoming album.
“Okay” – A good upbeat, catchy song. Acoustic/folk/poppy feel to it with the rhythmic guitar intro before the blazing harmonica and lyrics begging to prompt the listener’s chorus. Garrett’s harmonica and Will’s lyrics and vocals are the stand outs on this track at first listen.
“All Good Reasons” – Folk acoustic hip-hop with a positive message. Garrett’s understated harmonica behind the lyrics brand it Barefoot Truth. Different versions have been released, a single in 2008 as well as on the 2009 EP “Life Is Calling” featuring Naia Kete, and has been a long standing staple of their live set.
“From the Earth” – John J starts the song with a fantastic bluesy acoustic flat picked/slide riff, Wayno’s piano riffs stick out on the verses and bridges and help fill out the song’s tone. Will belts out the metaphoric liberal and green lyrics, a common theme throughout many Barefoot Truth’s songs.
“Spoonful” – Acoustic reggae / island sounds. Played live in this timing this would be a great grab your girl and sway song. Andy’s stand up bass is intricate and ties the track together for the duration. The overall message of measuring success by whatever makes you happy is a great one.
“Jaju Call” – I quick instrumental song blending a great bit of percussion, bongos and gongas possibly, background sea sounds with wind chimes, and an entrancing didgeridoo bellow.
“Damage Done” – Will kicks this one off with a some drumming in what seems to be a jazz timing. Haunting echo effects are used on the background vocals before Will starts in with the quickly flowed verses, almost akin to hip-hop with a poignant and cautionary tale. Good bit of acoustic slide throughout with some strings in the background, maybe a violin or cello. Halfway through the song goes for an extended instrumental section where Garrett goes ballistic on his harmonica for about 8 bars before the acoustic slide takes over center stage again. It comes to a false stop before kicking back in hard with lyrics and music. A very strong track, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the next single from the album.
“Roots of Stone” – Starts out with heavy acoustic slide work, reminds me a bit of country blues. Another song with a strong message about sticking together to bring change. Halfway through it goes electric and begins to rock out for a long time into an abrupt false stop. After a few seconds Wayno kicks in with an evocative outro, sounding almost like a concerto.
“Threads” – Jazzy with a capital J! Threads starts out with some sexy saxophone and Andy slapping the stand up bass. When Wayno kicks in on the keys I want to grab a cigarette and beret. Halfway through the song changed and had a reggae feel, certainly an interesting combination coupled with jazz. Another positive song about personal responsibility and love. Another good outro with Andy on stand up bass John J (I believe) on acoustic guitar and Will on non standard percussion.
“Curtain Call” – Great electric slide bluesy guitar throughout the song. Will’s vocals are strong, stretching both the high and low end of his range, also some showing off some rocking drum lines and fills. Garrett lays out some great Harmonica during the bridges before John J begins a furiously pick acoustic folk blues solo. Lyrically i believe the song is a fuck you to President George W Bush in regards to the mess he left for future generations to rectify. A sentiment I can whole heartedly get behind.
“Believe” – Starts out with a great drum line with almost a hip-hoppy feel before two separate acoustic guitar tracks kick in (assumability played by John J and Will respectively), complimenting each other. During the song it sounds as if a bit of organ is used by Wayno rather than the piano/keyboard heard throughout other tracks on the CD. Will sings another positive song, if the latter was penned through frustrations with our previous leader, I’d stand to bet this song of coming together in believe and hope, was inspired by our current leader. With a singable chorus and clap track this song seems destined to prompt audience participation while closing with a slow jazzy drum outro left open for live interpretation.
“Without a Fight” – Musically this track starts out sounding like a bit of saloon folk jazz with a happy walking piano bit from Wayno, rhythmic acoustic guitar from John J, slight stand up bass line from Andy and continues, sans drums, for the first third of the song while will really focuses on laying out the vocals. Another lyrically strong gem about following life’s path and defeating the obstacles that lay across your path. Wayno picks it up and shines while the horns come back for a quick reprise on the album solidifying and carrying the jazzy theme throughout.
“Be Easy on Me” – This acoustic folky love song features tender lyrics with hints of Spanish guitar. Defiantly another grab your girl and sway song, I could actually hear this as a high school prom song. A good song, and different direction than I expected from Barefoot Truth.
“Day I Die” – Starts out folky and slowly, about the struggles of life. The piano builds during the length of the track giving it an epic feel during the repeated chorus. Strings can be heard in the background for the length of the track and stand out during the outro closing the album with a somber feel.
A great album from top to bottom on first listen! Well produced with hints of folk, jazz, blues, reggae and pop. Encompasing such a wide variety of sounds “Threads” will entice many different listeners and could expand Barefoot Truth’s fan base drastically. Pre-orders of the album begin December 15th, so mark your calendars and check www.BarefootTruth.com daily for updates! This is my first attempt at a proper album review of any kind, I listened to each song once through with a few quick rewinds here and there, depending on the reception of the post I may make the Once Through a regular feature.
A word from Will Evans of Barefoot Truth: