Red Jacket Mine

Older Press

Preview – REVERBfest at Hattie’s Hat – Lincoln Barr

Seattle Weekly ( – October 6, 2010

by Litsa Dremousis

Only a deeply talented or incredibly stupid band would enter the studio for their sophomore effort and record the whole thing live to tape in six days with the Posies’ legendary Ken Stringfellow producing. Red Jacket Mine, the four-piece outfit helmed by singer/songwriter Lincoln Barr, did just that last year, and the results place them squarely in the former category. Lovers Lookout builds on the momentum of Red Jacket Mine’s debut, Hello Old Cloud, and Barr has more chops than a butcher.

(Thanks to Litsa & the Weekly! – LB)

Fascinating Disguise: A Conversation With Lincoln Barr

West Seattle Funblog – August 11, 2010

by Luigi Linguini

WEST SEATTLE, Washington, August 12, 2010 (WSFB) – On occasion, you hear music from outside the boundaries of your music collection that sparks interest and lends itself an inclination of further study. Many times, the investigation leads to a musical cold case. Not so when it comes to Lincoln Barr and Red Jacket Mine.

Lincoln’s lyrics are lucid without being pretentious. Brief, provocative scriptural overtones make ones ears perk up slightly as you listen to the musical homily. The tunes are melodic and sweet with an often ethereal tone seemingly designed to draw the listener into a dream-like state, where words cascade effortlessly through the soul.

We first met Lincoln back in April when his band Red Jacket Mine played a gig with Nathan Wade and the Dark Pioneers at A Terrible Beauty in Renton. These musical brothers-in-arms delivered a memorable performance, including an astounding cover of Pink Floyd’s Breathe.

The evening was not without ample injections of humor. Lincoln and Nathan passed around witty tidbits, with each feeding off the others innuendo. If memory serves, there were even a few exclamations of “bukkake!” slathered about the latter, post-cocktail consumption set. You can’t beat that with a damn stick.

Recently, Lincoln took some time to oblige the ol’ Funblog with answers to a few questions:

WSFB: Where do you draw your inspiration and motivation for songwriting?

LB: This may seem pathetic, but my sense of self-worth is tied pretty directly to songwriting. When the songs are really rolling, you feel like a golden goose…and when they temporarily dry up, it can leave you pretty low. But they always come back around when you need ‘em. In my clearest moments, I like to look at songwriting more like a trade, rather than a mystical thing – though it can certainly feel that way at its best. It’s more about putting in the time and making space for creativity.

It’s an endlessly fascinating exercise…since my songs don’t have a “message,” or even many stories to speak of, lyric writing seems to be more about fitting the puzzle pieces together and playing with language. I went to school for English, so I’m no stranger to syllable-counting and internal rhyme schemes. While I’ve got no desire to write a sestina ever again, it’s fun to make your own set of rules and set about breaking them.

Musically, I think I’m usually trying to suggest a mood with interesting harmonic choices…for instance, juxtaposing pop or soul/gospel melodies over dissonant chords. Having a band full of great musicians and working with wizards like Ken Stringfellow and Eyvind Kang certainly helps.

WSFB: That’s not pathetic at all. Our sense of self-worth is directly tied to funblogging. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue the musical path?

LB: I’m still not sure I have much musical talent, but I’m so good at the between-song banter, I’ve had to cultivate a bit of musicality to accent my comedy routines. I first picked up the guitar at 13, and started tinkering with writing my own songs in high scool. In college, I finally bought a four-track and started committing my heavily Guided By Voices-influenced pop creations to tape, and shortly thereafter, Red Jacket Mine was born.

WSFB: What holy scripture do you derive your lyrical ecumenical references?

LB: I grew up in what they call the ‘mid-South,’ splitting my time between the Missouri bootheel and northwest Mississippi, where religion is an undeniable part of mainstream culture. I was raised in the Pentecostal church, and while I’m by no means a religious (or even ’spiritual’) adult, I can’t deny the influence the language and imagery of the Bible has had on me. All fairytales and dogma notwithstanding, it’s a serious piece of literature.

That said, my personal holy texts are Robert Gordon’s It Came From Memphis and Big Star’s Third/Sister Lovers.

WSFB: Aha! So you spent a little time straddling the Manson / Nixon line. That’ll build character! What’s are your top 3 Seattle live music venues?

LB: The Crocodile, the Tractor Tavern, and for pure divey splendor and unflagging hospitality, the Sunset Tavern. Neumos is also quite nice.

WSFB: Ah yes, those places on the other side of the bridge. Good venues all! If you could light an instrument on fire at the end of a performance – other than a guitar – what instrument would that be?

LB: I’ve always wanted to see Clarence Clemons playing a flaming saxophone. I’d also love to torch the Dave Matthews Band guy’s fiddle…at the beginning of a performance.

(Thanks to Luigi and the Funblog! – LB)

Off the Charts: Red Jacket Mine – Lovers Lookout

Billings Gazette ( – February 19, 2010

by Chris Jorgensen

With no clear rock revolution on the horizon, hip, young bands have had to rely on nostalgia, revisiting the glory days of country, pop or soul.

The Seattle-based Red Jacket Mine digs into a little bit of everything on its sophomore release.

“Lovers Lookout” retains some of the elaborate ornamentation of the band’s debut, “Hello, Old Cloud,” although it’s a little more settled and thoughtful, the songs a little more refined.

Band leader Lincoln Barr has the kind of sweet everyman voice that, with the help of R.E.M. and Big Star producer Ken Stringfellow, shifts easily between genres, whether it’s crooning through blue-eyed soul cuts like “Such an Easy Thing,” or jangly guitar rockers like “Childish Things” or the country-pop of “So Long, Radiant Flower.”

What “Lovers Lookout” doesn’t have is extra polish, and that’s a good thing. The record has a warm, intimate, live-to-tape feel with few overdubs.

What doesn’t work is Barr’s tendency to overreach lyrically.

The dark song “Deseret” is full of clunky lines like, “All the headiest of god’s own kind / Will gauge us upon ever-readiness for one sure sign.” In “Apricot Moon,” a lonesome road is “damp, dusky, and dolorous.” And this doozy from “Fascinated”: “The planets shudder when you cough / You held my universe aloft.”

(Thanks to Chris and the Gazette! – LB)

Up & Coming – Softly Now: Lincoln Barr, Michael Jochum, Norman Baker (Rendezvous, 2/3/10)

The Stranger ( – January 28, 2010

by Paul Constant

Softly Now is a semiregular theme night featuring performers playing quiet music. “Quiet” doesn’t always mean “acoustic”—at the last Softly Now, a couple of the acts plugged in, but played their electric guitars, you know, quietly. Tonight, Red Jacket Mine’s Lincoln Barr will rock the mic in a soft kind of way, and it should be a memorable show. Softly Now puts the focus squarely on the lyrics and vocals of the performer, and Barr’s compositions for Red Jacket Mine are beautifully put-together objects. The quiet composition should bring out the raw ache of each song to great effect.

(Thanks to Paul and the Stranger! – LB)

Q&A: Lincoln Barr Of Red Jacket Mine

Seattle Weekly’s REVERB blog ( – January 8, 2010

by Brian J. Barr

It’s a fact–digital is cold, analog is warm. And recording live in the studio creates a much more intimate and engaging album than any amount of knob-twiddling. Need proof? Listen to Lovers Lookout, the new album from Seattle pop group Red Jacket Mine. The brainchild of singer-songwriter Lincoln Barr (no relation to this trusty music scribe), Red Jacket Mine has garnered recognition for its mix of jangly pop, dreamy soul, and lonesome Americana. But on Lovers Lookout, those elements are wrapped in a vintage, fuzzy atmosphere resulting in powerpop that is as luminous and warm as a beam of morning sun in your kitchen.

Tonight, Red Jacket Mine will have the pleasure of sharing the High Dive’s stage with none other than Oregon’s Americana titans Richmond Fontaine. SW caught up with RJM frontman to discuss his band’s approach for this record and how living in Seattle has kept the Southern U.S. native from singing about fried chicken.

From the first notes of Lovers Lookout, I was struck by the tone and sound of the record. It sounds like it was cut live and recorded on tape. Can you tell me about the recording process?

You nailed it. We bought four reels of two-inch tape – just enough for an album – and cut the record live in one room (Ballard’s Soundhouse Recording) over six days. (We spent a couple of extra days on string and background vocal overdubs later.) Our buddy Ken Stringfellow produced and played keys live with the band. We didn’t have enough tape to keep extra takes, so it simplified our decision-making process immensely. Ken was perfectly attuned to this (somewhat outdated) philosophy, and got the best out of us…we couldn’t have done it without him!

If I’m not mistaken, your band is named after a coal mine explosion that happened in Virginia in the 1800s. How did the name come about? It does have a hell of a poetic ring to it.

Very astute! I originally encountered the name through a song on a Folkways anthology (“The Red Jacket Mine Explosion” by the Phipps Family). I don’t have a personal connection to the place, but I thought the name was incredibly evocative. An iTunes review recently pointed out that ‘our music does not honor the miners or their legacy,’ but I guess you can’t please everyone!

Local violist freak Eyvind Kang has contributed to both Lovers Lookout and your previous record, Hello, Old Cloud. What’s it like, working with someone as insanely gifted as Eyvind?

Eyvind is a true original, and an absolute pleasure to work with. I originally met him through my friends in the Stares, and he’s played on both of our records. He’s so far beyond our level, it’s ridiculous, but he always brings enthusiasm and spontaneous brilliance to the proceedings.

There is a confidence that makes Lovers Lookout explode and shimmer in an organic, un-digitized way. It seems like your band is really working together as a unit now.

Thanks so much – that’s the highest compliment I could ask for. After making Hello, Old Cloud, which was very much a ‘studio’ creation – heavily layered and perhaps a bit too ornate for its own good, I realized that what I really respond to in records is the performance. (I’ll take Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night over Steely Dan’s Aja any day.) I wanted to make a record that reflected the chemistry we’d developed as a live unit, so we did all the work in our rehearsal room, striving to make the live arrangement as complete as possible – little or no overdubbing required. Everyone involved rose to the occasion, and I’m incredibly happy with how it turned out.

Listening to Lovers Lookout, it’s obvious it was made in the Northwest. But I also pick up traces of Southern pop, especially Big Star. Since I know you’re from Tennessee and now live in Seattle, how much effect do you think geography has influenced your music?

I was born in southeast Missouri, but spent some very formative teenage years in northwest Mississippi, near Memphis. I still feel a powerful connection to the place, and some (or most!) of my favorite music – Big Star, Al Green, Stax, back to the Sun stuff and country blues – was created there. Despite the fact that my wife and I have lived in Seattle for five years, I still identify as a Southerner, and I think that sensibility comes through in our music. Fortunately, we’ve got some Northwesterners in the band to keep me from writing exclusively about fried chicken.

(Huge thanks to Brian and the Weekly! – LB)

Preview: Red Jacket Mine

Seattle Show Gal ( – January 8, 2010

by Jodi Kaufer

What a breath of fresh air it is to be introduced to a band that you had never heard of and after listening to a few tracks you’re left wanting more; such is the case with Red Jacket Mine (RJM). Seattle is full of great indie bands, but at times it can be overwhelming trying to find ones who deserve attention. RJM is more than just an indie-pop band; they are Americana, tinged with bits of R&B, wrapped with bluesy guitars, and a keen sense of pop. Front man, Lincoln Barr, brings his Southerner upbringing to his writing style and easily blends it with his Northwesterner band mates. The band’s second full-length album, Lovers Lookout, is a hotbed of blended genre goodness. Not only will you get your fill of power driven indie-pop, as found on “The Pose” track, but you’ll happily get your daily dose of bluesy R&B, courtesy of tracks like “Such an Easy Thing.” Did I mention it was recorded on tape? Yes kids, reels of two-inch tape still exist and there is an absolute purity to the sound of live music tracked to it.

Get over to the High Dive tonight and see why these guys are more than just a little deserving of our attention. They are playing with Oregon’s Richmond Fontaine, who carry a tad more twang with them but are definitely worthy of your time and attention. Plan on spending the entire evening at High Dive; you won’t be disappointed, in fact you may end up being a little better off because of it.

(Thanks, Jodi! – LB)

Review: Red Jacket Mine – Lovers Lookout

Blurt Online ( – December 31, 2009

by Fred Mills

(eight stars!)

The Northwest’s gonna rise again. Though Seattle and the NW region in general no longer generates the same level of excitement it sustained for a good while in the aftermath of the Nirvana goldrush – the Internet, with all its unfolding egalitarianism, ensured that practically any regional scene could enjoy its fifteen minutes or more, A&R hysteria and press hype be damned – there are always little breakthrough moments we indie rock aficionados look (listen) for. One such moment arrives with Seattle’s Red Jacket Mine, whose second full-length is bursting at the digital seams with pristine pop and luminous blue-eyed soul, with hints of psychedelia and Americana lining the seams.

Did someone just mention pop? Right from the get-go, Lovers Lookout is aglow: “Stay Golden” chugs along on a rich bed of guitar jangles and organ hums, while just two songs later, on “Childish Things,” the band builds up a jubilant head of powerpop steam that’ll have you reaching for your dB’s and Big Star (hold that thought) records. On the latter track, guest Eyvind Kang also adds a striking, almost cinematic, string motif. And soul? The band dips a foot into Memphis and Muscle Shoals territory via “Such An Easy Thing,” an organ-driven slice of R&B brimming with passion thanks to songwriter Lincoln Barr’s smooth yet vulnerable warble. Likewise, “Apricot Moon” is a smoky waltztime ballad with soaring vocal harmonies and Kang’s strings again lending an uncommon dramatic heft; another guest, Ian Moore, unleashes some appropriately bluesy guitar licks as well. And everything coalesces wonderfully with “The Pose,” a shimmering, thrumming marriage of Brit-pop and vintage college rock, sophisticated in tone yet with a raw, primal edge.

As produced by Ken Stringfellow, Lovers Lookout has instant cover-sticker cachet – and Posies/Big Star/R.E.M. fans will surely find the four young men of Red Jacket Mine to be kindred spirits – but the bottom line is that these guys have the kind of songs and chops that will weather any level of scrutiny. Come on up for the rising.

(ENORMOUS thanks to Fred and all at Blurt! – LB)

Review: Red Jacket Mine – Lovers Lookout

Americana UK ( – November 10, 2009

by Del Day

Big stars? Maybe.

Out of Seattle here is a quartet who manage to blend a rootsy easy listening sensibility with a dash of early seventies chiming guitar pop. It’s a good marriage and one that looks to still be in the honeymoon period. There is an immediacy to tracks like ‘Childish Things’ and the ever so damn catchy ‘Showponies’ that take very little amount of plays to lodge themselves in that part of the brain marked ‘constant rotation’ (even though at times it reminds me of ‘Rio’ by Duran Duran, weird!). ‘Nightcrawler’ is a thoughtful, imaginative ballad that slowly evolves into a moody, broody epic whilst ‘Apricot Moon’ arguably the standout of what is a pretty solid record, is a wonderfully realised tune that pits viola against guitar to enterprising effect.

The record is produced by Ken Stringfellow whose experience of working with the likes of The Posies and Big Star is clearly evident on Lovers Lookout. Jangling guitars, soaring harmonies, and sharp, precise production is the key here making for a good hearty listen. Add that to a pop awareness and all of a sudden you have a band that, given the exposure, could do pretty well for themselves. What’s not to like?

(Thanks to Del and all at Americana UK! – LB)

Just-Washed Honesty

Eugene Weekly ( – August 27, 2009

by Shaun O’Dell

There really aren’t any smoke and mirrors with Red Jacket Mine’s latest album, Lovers Lookout (due in October). Recorded almost entirely live on tape in studio, the band’s songs exhibit a naked honesty that implies exactly what they sound like on stage: clean rock/pop that’s only slightly sullied, as if the songs are being played by upstanding chaps who wandered into a rowdy Nashville roadhouse.

Singer Lincoln Barr produces thematic, high-octave vocals that have that just-washed Cadillac shine. His lyrics ring bell-like and clear above the loping rhythms provided by bassist Ryan Chapman and drummer Andy Salzman, who bridge the gap between 1970s honky-tonk and modern hipster rock transplanted to the Northwest. Patrick Porter, the guitar and pedal steel player, provides some of the album’s most interesting instrumental moments, including an intro to the song “So Long, Radiant Flower” that will have fans of country acts like Conway Twitty nodding their heads.

In fact, one of the unfortunate things about this album is how few and far between these “country” moments are. The production is so tight, it might feel a little anal retentive at times. The snare drum in many of the songs sounds like it has been muted all to hell, and Barr, although sounding confident, revisits many of the same melodic themes in his vocals. If these guys were to let it all hang out, they could provide the kind of sublime aural satisfaction that discerning home listeners crave. But overall, this album is a pleaser.

(Thanks to Shaun and all at the Eugene Weekly. – LB)

Red Jacket Mine, Aug. 29, VAC

Boise Weekly ( – August 26, 2009

by Amy Atkins

Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to move forward. Seattle-based Red Jacket Mine frontman Lincoln Barr knew that when he and the band recorded their second full-length album, Lovers Lookout due out in October. They recorded on 2-inch tape, something rather unheard of in the world of digital overdubbing.

“We’re proud of our first CD [Hello, Old Cloud], but we approached it like kids in a candy store,” Barr said.

On Hello, Old Cloud, if they wanted more keyboards, they added more keyboards; if they wanted more guitar, they added more guitar. This time around, though, they kept it simple. They recorded in a room together and, for the most part, kept the tracks as they were, mistakes and all.

Recording on tape gives Lovers Lookout and its American retro-rock sound an aura of authenticity. It also provides for a tonal quality and energy that’s more immediate and definitely reflective of where the band is musically. The result is church-organ pop and rock songs, rich with slow-burning slide guitar and lazy juke joint drums. And Barr’s Conor-Oberst-earnest voice and his emotive, intelligent lyrics on themes of love, life, death and even theology: “Perpetually wandering penitent / … From the parapet scream, ‘Thank my stars,’” (from the song “Deseret News”). When was the last time you heard the word “parapet” in a song?

(Many thanks to Amy and all at the Boise Weekly! – LB)

Better Living Through Music – Red Jacket Mine – Saturday, March 7

Weekly Volcano ( – March 5, 2009

by Chuck Dula

It isn’t often that you can go to a show and see a band at the genesis of a fairly prolific career. That is what awaits you Saturday at The New Frontier. Red Jacket Mine, fronted by the silky smooth vocals of Lincoln Barr, has created a darker American sound that they describe as twilit pop. Complete with steel guitars, crunchy drums, and a guitar that often soars into beauteous oblivion, this band will satisfy the country-pop hipster post-rock scallywag in anyone.

(HUGE thanks are due to Chuck and all at the Volcano! – LB)

Preview – REVERBfest at Lock & Keel – Red Jacket Mine

Seattle Weekly ( – October 1, 2008

by Brian J. Barr

Having lived in Seattle only since 2004, Lincoln Barr has already found a firm place in Seattle’s pop scene. With his band, Red Jacket Mine, Barr has gigged relentlessly around town, perfecting what he calls “twilit pop,” which really is a more poetic way of saying they sound like a mellow folk-informed pop band with a tinge of British psychedelia. Heavy on the layered harmonies and mournfully pretty melodies, comparisons have been made to that other local lite-pop concern, Grand Archives. I hear a lot more Downpilot in them, however, especially in Barr’s whispery late-night vocals. Fitting then, that Downpilot’s own Paul Hiraga is a guest on their most recent album, Hello, Old Cloud. Currently, Red Jacket Mine is at work on another album, being produced by none other than ex-Posie Ken Stringfellow.

(Big thanks to Brian and all at the Weekly! – LB)

Review – Red Jacket Mine – Hello, Old Cloud

Unfinished web zine ( – May 19, 2008

by Hugh Miller

If you want to be technical, Hello, Old Cloud is songwriter Lincoln Barr’s third full length under the Red Jacket Mine name. Barr’s first two albums were recorded via four-track and self released. When I reviewed The Daylight Moon (Barr’s 2nd effort) in 2004, a promising foundation was hinted at. That promise continued to build when Barr moved from Missouri to Seattle and acquired a full band for 2006′s Starboard Meets The Sound EP. The improved production values of that release take an even bigger step forward on Hello, Old Cloud. This is the true birth of Red Jacket Mine.

Hello, Old Cloud reveals how much Barr has grown as a songwriter in the last five years. His band, which consists of Ryan Chapman, Patrick Porter, and Andy Salzman (who has been playing with Barr since The Daylight Moon) deserve a share of the credit. They have helped bring out Barr’s broad influences, all of which are on display. Prior to writing this review, I learned that Ken Stringfellow of The Posies and Big Star would be co-producing their next record. This seems like a perfect fit when taking into consideration that I can hear the spirit and energy of both those artists on Hello, Old Cloud.

I’ve always appreciated Barr’s vocals and they are in strong form throughout the record. Bandmate Patrick Porter steps up on backing vocals, providing some excellent harmonies, especially on “Jesus’ House” and “22 Rose Petal Place.” An early version of the latter song appeared on Starboard Meets The Sound, but it sounds even better here. I also appreciate “Don’t (Settle Your Debts On The Phone),” a stripped-down track that recalls Barr’s early work. The confidence and general consistency of Hello, Old Cloud overshadows its missteps, of which there are surprisingly few. Although I believe that this is a very solid record, I am confident that Red Jacket Mine are just getting started.

(Many thanks to Hugh at Unfinished for kind permission to reproduce this review. – LB)

Weekend! Music – Red Jacket Mine (Doug Fir Lounge, 3/15/08)

Portland Tribune ( – March 14, 2008

by Barbara Mitchell

The golden twang of Laurel Canyon seems to be making a resurgence in modern alternative music, with bands like Grand Archives infusing their laid-back, summery pop with a slight country glow.

Add Seattle’s Red Jacket Mine to the list of folks to watch in this genre. With an excellent new album just about to be released, Lincoln Barr and company have been slowly generating a (much deserved) regional buzz.

“Hello, Old Cloud” drifts along languidly, buoyed by Barr’s slightly fragile voice and intelligent lyrics. Like spiked lemonade, it’s refreshing and intoxicating.

(Very special thanks to Barbara and the Tribune! – LB)

Up & Coming – Jonah, Chris Robley & the Fear of Heights, Red Jacket Mine (Doug Fir Lounge, 3/15/08)

Portland Mercury ( – March 13, 2008

by Ned Lannamann

Led by singer/songwriter Lincoln Barr, Seattle’s Red Jacket Mine plays thoughtful folk rock that’s vaguely tinted by ’60s British psychedelia. Rather than coming off as whimsical and baroque, though, their new album, Hello, Old Cloud, at times sounds ponderous and restrained. Barr’s vocals are confident, but never fully gain purchase; he keeps to a gentle croon throughout, which sometimes sounds just too darn nice. There are some flavorful pedal steel licks by Patrick Porter, particularly on “22 Rose Petal Place” and “Philistine,” and inventive organ and vibraphone parts skillfully interlock with subtle string arrangements. There’s not a lot to sink one’s teeth into, though, and one can only imagine that when the band takes the stage, they’ll drop the studied cautiousness of the studio, throw back a few slugs of whiskey, and get down to the business of having fun.

(Thanks to Ned and the Portland Mercury! – LB)

On the Town – Concerts (Crocodile Cafe)

Seattle Metropolitan Magazine ( – January 2008

Jan 4 at 9 | Red Jacket Mine | The local gang is on the cusp of releasing debut album Hello, Old Cloud, but their confident alt-country orchestrations sound like they’ve been around for much longer, as do songwriter Lincoln Barr’s mature lyrics and smooth delivery.

(Incidentally, this kind little write-up previewed a show that never happened! Our beloved Crocodile closed its doors suddenly in mid-December, and we ended up playing the High Dive the same night. But we appreciate the sentiment all the same! – LB)

Up & Coming – Red Jacket Mine, North Twin, the Cloves (Crocodile Cafe, 6/22/06)

The Stranger ( – June 21, 2006

by Kurt B. Reighley

Red Jacket Mine is the stage name of songwriter Lincoln Barr, plus whatever up-for-it folks he can rope into accompanying him, such as drummer Andy Salzman and pedal-steel player Patrick Porter. After two self-released albums and a 2005 relocation to the greater Seattle area, RJM has recently issued Starboard Meets the Sound, a delicate, but not precious, six-song EP that showcases Barr’s nimble, low-key guitar playing and hushed vocals, which occasionally waft into falsetto. The second track on Starboard, “Second Chance (For a Third Square Meal),” is low-wattage indie pop that recalls a young Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5)… which is a very fine thing for a newcomer.

(Thanks to Kurt and all at The Stranger for kind permission to reproduce this review. – LB)

Review – Red Jacket Mine – Starboard Meets the Sound

Unfinished web zine ( – May 8, 2006

by Hugh Miller

Starboard Meets The Sound, a six-song EP, is the first Red Jacket Mine release since 2003′s The Daylight Moon. That album, which Barr recorded by himself on a four-track with the help of Andy Salzman, displayed a strong allegiance to The Beatles, Big Star, and Elliott Smith. In other words, Red Jacket Mine is my kind of music. Since then, Barr has moved to Seattle and acquired a backing band consisting of Salzman and Patrick Porter. Barr considers this to be the first real Red Jacket Mine record. If that is the case, then he is off to a great start.

I can’t get over how confident Barr’s voice sounds on Starboard. Barr describes the disc as a “live-in-the-makeshift-studio EP.” The production, provided by Eric Daw, definitely adds to the fuller sound that Barr is going for, while still retaining a raw, lo-fi atmosphere. None of the songs are bad, with the melancholy title track standing as one of Barr’s best. “Every Time That I’ve Tried,” which contains a towering solo in the middle, also caught my eye. Barr has come into his own with this strong release.

(Many thanks to Hugh at Unfinished for kind permission to reproduce this review. – LB)