Exposé Online banner

Sally Barry — Renditions
(Green Monkey GMR1056, 2019, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-12-31

Renditions Cover art

Sally Barry is a singer with a musical career that started in the mid-80s New York punk scene, but Renditions is a small-scale effort that might be called outsider art-folk. Like many outsider artists, she pursues her craft with a certain naiveté that’s far removed from the polished recordings of most releases. Barry’s unstudied voice takes on the songs of Mark Brunke, who also plays guitar and contributes and occasional vocals. The other contributor is Ruth Davidson, who was a founding member of the chamber rock band Moraine and adds guitar and cello. The overall feeling is of three musical friends getting together in a homey atmosphere and recording the results of their informal sessions. There are 22 songs, only three of which top four minutes in length. Sometimes the arrangements consist of just Barry’s voice and two acoustic guitars, but at other times there’s squalling feedback from an electric guitar, though it’s mixed in such a way that it doesn’t overpower the acoustic. Cello only appears on a few tracks, and provides a welcome added timbre. If I had to pick a single word to describe Renditions, it would be “intimate.” Listening is like sitting in their living room with them while they made it. I can imagine Mark saying, “Hey, I’ve got another one, let me find the lyric sheet… Okay, Ruth, the chords go like this…” And they’re off. This is a kind of Americana that doesn’t have some of the overt trappings of acid folk but has a similar attitude. Another way of thinking of it is (mostly) acoustic renditions of songs that in a different context would be avant-punk gems along the lines of Blonde Redhead or Xiu Xiu. Lyrical subject matter tends to the dark, with loss, tragedy, death, and pain evident… in short, ordinary life. Renditions may be far removed from the normal stream of art rock, but its simple directness has great power and sincerity.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Sally Barry

More info
http://greenmonkeyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/renditions

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Azigza - From X to Y – This three-song CD is intended as a sort of preview of Azigza’s upcoming full-length release, which should be out sometime in 2003, hopefully before too late in the year. I first heard this San...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues