Barrel Flash presents A Guide to Dancing Alone at the Urban Growler

Barrel Flash played to a very full room for their album release of A Guide to Dancing Alone in the Barrel Room at the Urban Growler. The night brought me back to a few pub nights in Ireland. The musicians are amazing, and you never know what they’re going to play next – a pub song, a protest or a cover of The Replacements. There’s something for everyone.

We got a chance to meet the members (Priscilla Thomas, Julia Brown and Ross Johnson) last week when they were guests on the radio show. The generosity I saw in the studio played out on stage with gratitude and collaborations. At one point they had a whole chorus on stage! Not only does that enhance the sound but the vibes in the room were welcoming and warming.

The album is melancholy. There are themes of travel and transition, such as Riding Away, which they wrote together as part of a challenge. It’s a slower song that comes with a visceral ache that stems from Julia’s voice as much as the lyrics.  Waiting on Train is the antithesis. It’s a bright and cheerful song with subtle lulling repetition that moves like a train on the tracks. The harmonies and the harmonica blend.

And the song for the week ahead was A Mighty Ocean. It’s a protest song that reminds us that while a single drop of rain falls in vain on dry ground, a million drops make a mighty ocean. There’s a quiet passion to it – and I’m a sucker for anything that promotes voting!

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