Barnaby Weir – Tarot Card Rock – Native Tongue (records)

Tarot Card Rock

Tarot Card Rock

I once discussed packaging with Black Seeds front man Barnaby Weir, on the impending release of the 2nd Fly My Pretties album. Weir was adamant about the need to build a strong brand and to deliver a product “that people would want to treasure”. Which is what he’s delivered here, with a gorgeous set of CD sized Tarot Cards replacing the usual liner notes – a tradition that harks back to classics like the Faces’ Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake and other albums of that era. Apt, given the folky, sometimes twee, retro roots nature this new project and light years from the electronic sample mish mash Flash Harry (2003). This one’s a nostalgic, easy-listening Cadillac ride down a hassle free country lane, the eight track blaring and a comfort at Memphis’s Sun Studios.

Penned by Weir and longtime sparring partner Craig Terris (Cassette), these songs are honest and unpretentious. Opening the album, the title track unashamedly rips Springsteen’s ‘84 hit Dancing in the Dark before moving through to darker, bluesier, numbers (Let Me Slide). There’s dalliances with gypsy tinged, pastoral odes (Replay in My Heart) and a grainy, true rocka I’m Coming Home to sign off. Toss in FMP relic Old Friend and some heartland collaborations with Dutch country outfit Rootsclub and you’ve got one satisfying blend, immaculately packaged. Definitely a keeper.
Published in NZ Musician – Mar 2011

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