A little over five years ago I moved to Rhode Island after spending my entire life up to that point in New Jersey. When many people, whether they are residents or exiles like me, want to conjure up the New Jersey that lives in their minds, they put on some Bruce Springsteen music. That was true for me too for a long time. But now, when I want to go back home for awhile I’ll just put on something by Rick Barry.
If you don’t live in New Jersey you might not be aware that the Asbury Park music scene did not come to a screeching halt when Springsteen entered the rockstar pantheon. To this day there is a vibrant scene in the shore town, led by a very talented corps of singer/songwriters. Most people would agree that Barry is at the top of the class of his generation of songwriters.
Barry’s new album, Curses, Maledictions and Harsh Reiterations, is his third full-length. It follows on the heels of his 2005 debut Small Town Politics, and his acoustic second album, Declaration of Codependence. There were also two acclaimed EPs, This Antedeluvian World in 2009, and This Postdiluvian World in 2011.
Career highlights for Barry thus far include a Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for his song “Courage For a Rainy Day,” and a second place finish in the Unisong International Songwriting Competition for “A Stupid American Song.” Barry has also been a five-time winner at the prestigious Asbury Music Awards.
Last summer Barry played his most high profile gig to date when he appeared at New York’s Lincoln Center as part of the institution’s American Songbook Series.
“Lincoln Center’s American Songbook is our celebration of great American popular songwriting and the people who sing it. The beauty of Rick Barry’s songwriting and the quality of his performances express the heart of what this series is all about,” said Charles Cermele, Lincoln Center’s Producer for Contemporary Programming, who continued; “We look for great American stories from across our country. Rick is a perfect representative of the deep cultural history of this city by the sea, Asbury Park.”
Curses, Maledictions and Harsh Reiterations was produced by David Spelman, founder and Artistic Director of the New York Guitar Festival. The cast of talented musicians on board includes Americana icon Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm); cellist Erik Friedlander (Alanis Morissette); upright bassist Chris Kuffner (Ingrid Michaelson); and trumpeter C.J. Camerieri (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens). They are joined by backing vocalists Allie Moss (Ingrid Michaelson), and Nicole Atkins, who emerged from the Jersey shore scene several years ago to become a star in her own right.
Popdose is pleased to host the exclusive premiere of the video for “Wanderlust,” one of the standout tracks on Curses, Maledictions and Harsh Reiterations. The animation is by Dan Matlack, and the art design is by Nick Keifer. The vinyl album is available at Rick Barry’s website, and in digital form at iTunes, and Google Play.