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Martin Barre: Away With Words

Resourceful Tull re-imaginings from their time-honoured guitar guvnor.

Jethro lull's linchpin guitarist uses that band's downtime to present his fourth solo album, and it's almost away with electrics, as well as words. Barre has taken an imaginative approach to his own past by readdressing many of his favourite, often more obscure, nuggets from lull's vast cache, chiefly on acoustic guitar.

He also adds new compositions of his own, often installing them alongside Ian Anderson’s original melodies. It’s a fresh means of appreciating the group from a new vantage point, and many of the pieces are almost unrecognisable after the transfusion.

Protect & Survive transmutes from the A album’s nuclear protest message to a reflective instrumental vehicle for his acoustic. One Brown Mouse is closer to the Heavy Horses original, but now wordless and augmented by his own Fatcat. Barre does get the electric out here, also playing flute, bouzouki, clarinet and sundry other utensils in a convivial band setting with Dan Crisp on occasional vocals. The faithful will also warm to the revival of Pussy Willow, From A Dead Beat To Avoid Greaser and other trusted friends. Enlightened recasting combines with engaging performances to win the day.