The Upshot: Instead of pursuing the roots rock route he took before, the Red Jacket Mine man opts instead for a set of songs with a vintage jazz sound.
BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Best known for his efforts on behalf of the exceptional Americana band Red Jacket Mine, Lincoln Barr strikes out on his own with a solo album that marks a distinct divergence from his earlier outings. Instead of pursuing the roots rock route he took before, he opts instead for a set of songs with a vintage jazz sound more befitting late night coffee houses and a similar kinds of intimate environs.
Barr proves to be a convincing crooner, but the burnished melodic sway that comes courtesy of an exceptional supporting cast, one that includes Calexico drummer John Convertino, ensures the album’s supple charms. Several songs –”She Suits Me,” “Giving Up My Inheritance,” “Desperate Tormentors” and “Fond of Surprises” in particular — sound like they were plucked from the great American songbook. While Barr’s intention was to deal with such complex subjects as trauma and the instability, the results suggest a much more pleasant sojourn, one that shies away from darker designs and instead embraces an air of easy affability.
It’s a masterful effort to be sure, a sound never hinted at in his previous endeavors but which shows a sure confidence and competence regardless. Indeed, there’s a certain sparkle and sheen gracing these grooves, both loose and sure-footed all at the same time. With Trembling Frames, Barr’s created a certain magic and mystique.
DOWNLOAD: She Suits Me,” “Desperate Tormentors,” “Fond of Surprises”