Rick Barry enjoys working in his garden. Sometimes it seems that he’s happier getting his hands in the dirt than he is getting his hands on a guitar. And yet, he still manages to gift us periodically with some new music. The New Jersey-based singer/songwriter was a Grand Prize winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for his song “Courage For a Rainy Day” and he was also awarded second place in the same contest for “Graphic Narrative.” Both songs appeared on his debut album Declaration of Codependence. Rick is the recipient of several prestigious Asbury Music Awards and was a finalist in the Unisong International Songwriting Competition.

Rick experienced a career highlight in 2016 when he was chosen to perform with his band before a capacity crowd at New York’s Lincoln Center as a part of that august institution’s American Songbook Series.

”Lincoln Center’s American Songbook is our celebration of great American popular songwriting and the people who sing it,” said Charles Cermele, Lincoln Center’s Producer for Contemporary Programming. “The beauty of Rick Barry’s songwriting and the quality of his performances express the heart of what this series is all about.”

Rick Barry

On June 7, Rick will release his new album *A Sunk Cost Fallacy and the Enduring Mirage as a follow-up to his highly acclaimed 2016 effort Curses, Maledictions, and Harsh Reiterations. The album was recorded at the Farm Studios in West Chester, PA and produced by Rick along with keyboard player Mark Masefield (Remember Jones). Other core members of the band include guitarist Justin Bornemann (of the band Dentist), drummer Santo Rizollo, and bass player Zach Westfall, who also created the cover art (right). Maggie Rose, Emily Bornemann, and Tara Dente contributed backing vocals.

Rick says of the songs on the new album, “Most of them are break up songs I guess. I think that’s because it’s just an easy sad bastard topic to pull material from. I go to that well with relative frequency.” He cites Bob Dylan as an influence while acknowledging that there are very few songwriters these days that Dylan didn’t influence but Rick also lists less obvious artists like David Bazan and the band Frightened Rabbit as inspirations.

“Mostly when it comes to my influences, anybody who sounds and feels honest fits that description. Not that I try to emulate them, but in my mind I say ‘I want to make someone feel the way that song made me feel,’ and that’s really what keeps me doing this. Life doesn’t often inspire me to write anymore,” Rick added. “I wish it were that simple. I write because it’s what I’ve always done. I don’t know why. I just know that I have to keep doing it or I’d feel, I don’t know, ordinary.”

Remember what I said about Rick and his garden? Here’s what he had to say about promoting the new album:

“We will be celebrating the album release on June 8th at The Saint in Asbury Park. We have East Coast and West Coast tours in the works for the fall as well. I don’t like to tour in the summer. It takes time away from my gardening.”

See what I mean?

Popdose is proud to host the Exclusive Premiere of the first single from A Sunk Cost Fallacy and the Enduring Mirage, “No Such Luck (Surprise, Surprise).” Please be aware that the lyrics include language that may make the song unsuitable for a work environment.

*According to Rick, “sunk cost fallacy” is a behavioral economic term which states that the more you invest the harder it is to get out even if the investment is not paying off. The “enduring mirage” refers to the dream that one day the investment will pay off. The parallels to the failed relationships that Rick documents in his songs and the struggle to succeed as an artist are there for the taking.

About the Author

Ken Shane

Ken Shane lives in Narragansett, R.I. He is a freelance writer and far and away the oldest Popdose writer. In fact, he may be the oldest writer, period. He wants you to know that he generally does not share his colleagues' love for the music of the '80s, and he does not forgive them for loving it. (Ken passed away in November 2022. R.I.P. —Ed.)

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