The Boss may cast a mighty, unshakable shadow over the Asbury Park music scene, but Rick Barry is just one artist set to prove that Springsteen may not have been an exception to the rule, but rather proof that the small, seaside town is fertile ground for serious talent. The singer/guitar player, who classifies himself as a “neo folk” artist, found success off the bat thanks to his thoughtful, well-crafted lyrics; “Graphic Narrative” and “Courage For A Rainy Day,” tracks from his debut record, Declaration Of Codependence, won the Grand Prize and second place in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. In the years since, he’s played at NYC’s Lincoln Center as part of the American Songbook Series, and picked up several other awards, but his latest album, Curses, Maledictions and Harsh Reiterations, has been a long time in the making. “I don’t know when or if I’ll ever be able to make a record this scale ever again,” he confesses in his PledgeMusic campaign, which fulfilled its goal at record speed. But his statement is less defeatist, and more a comment on the impressive array of artists he gathered for the effort, which was produced by New York Guitar Festival Founder and Artistic Director David Spelman and is set for release on October 21st. On horns, he recruited C.J. Camerieri (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens), on cello, Erik Friedlander (Alanis Morissette) and on upright bass, Chris Kuffner (Ingrid Michaelson). To round out the line-up, Larry Campbell himself lent his talents on guitar, fiddle, dobro and mandolin.
Today, Elmore is premiering “Hummingbird Song,” the first single from the upcoming release. Barry’s sweet, rich rasp roots the songs wry, intelligent observations on love and aging. “What’s better than a boy without a future and a girl with a past?” he muses. “Even if this is a mistake and my heart breaks, I won’t regret having tried.” Drums propel the bittersweet indie-pop shuffle, which is rounded out by a delicate touch of twee in the instrumental embellishments, from the twinkle of xylophone to the muted swell of trumpet.