Jethro Tull’s Barre gets up close and per­sonal

New Haven Register (Sunday) (New Haven, CT) - - A+E - By Mark Zaret­sky

OLD SAY­BROOK — You could say Martin Barre knows his way around a stage — and if you grew up in a cer­tain era, you’ve likely seen him up there be­fore.

Barre will per­form with his Martin Barre Band on Sun­day at The Katharine Hep­burn Cul­tural Arts Cen­ter. But if his name — and some of the ma­te­rial they’ll play — sound fa­mil­iar, there’s a good rea­son for that.

That’s be­cause for 43 years, he prowled some of the big­gest stages in the world as gui­tarist for one of the big­gest bands in the world, Jethro Tull — play­ing some of the most mem­o­rable guitar licks in rock and roll.

Show­time is 7 p.m. Tick­ets are $48, avail­able in ad­vance at or 860-510-0453. The Kate is lo­cated at 300 Main St.

For decades, Barre per­formed at some of the most pres­ti­gious venues on the planet and shared the stage with Jimi Hen­drix, Paul McCart­ney, Fleet­wood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zep­pelin, to name a few.

That un­mis­tak­able in­tro to “Aqualung”? Martin Barre.

The driv­ing guitar be­hind “Lo­co­mo­tive Breath?” Barre again.

Ear­lier clas­sics such as “With You There To Help Me” and “To Cry You A Song”? Barre on guitar.

“Thick As A Brick,” “Liv­ing in the Past,” “Skat­ing Away,” “Bun­gle in the Jun­gle” and “Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young To Die?” You guessed it: Barre.

Barre, 71, played foot­ball sta­di­ums and hockey rinks all over the world from 1969 and the re­lease of Jethro Tull’s sec­ond al­bum un­til the band’s dis­so­lu­tion in 2014.

For the past few years, it’s been a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. Barre has toured on his own,

play­ing shows with his band at much smaller venues.

Jethro Tull clearly was a sta­dium and arena band — and Barre still plays in that kind of at­mos­phere some­times, per­form­ing at fes­ti­vals in Europe and larger shows with other bands.

But “if I’ve got a club and it’s com­pletely full ... as they usu­ally all are,” that’s just fine, he told the New Haven Regis­ter a cou­ple of years ago. “I like to do big gigs and make big money, and then I like to do clubs.”

Be­sides, while Tull front­man Ian An­der­son con­tin­ues to tour with “Jethro Tull: The Rock Opera,” “The band Jethro Tull doesn’t ex­ist and I’ve got to cre­ate a new one,” Barre said.

Jethro Tull al­ways played blues-based rock ’n’ roll — even more so in its ear­lier days — and Barre’s lat­est al­bum, “Back To Steel,” gets back to that, even in­clud­ing a cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Light­ning,” as well as The Bea­tles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and a new ar­range­ment of Jethro Tull’s “Skat­ing Away.”

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