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#38 Rick Barry: Declaration Of Codependence

By Gary Wien

originally published: 01/26/2012

Rick Barry is a bit of an enigma.  He’s got an uncanny ability to win over a crowd’s attention with even the quietest song, yet that power has rarely shown in the studio. Personally, I think this brilliant songwriter from Point Pleasant is often guilty of trying to dress up his recorded tunes too much.  Maybe that’s why I love this particular release.

Declaration of Codependence contains 13 songs stripped down to their bare essence.  For a songwriter who lives and breathes through his words, this format seemed to fit Rick’s songs perfectly; it also best represented the marvel of his solo shows.

Several songs on this collection are among Rick’s best.  One is “Stupid American Song,” the wonderful upbeat tune that kicks off the album.  It’s one of my favorite songs from the era of the George W. Bush presidency.  The song showcases Rick’s ability to blend folk and pop/rock to bring the best of both worlds together and still get his point across.

“Graphic Narrative” is a beautiful tale of a man who realizes that he’s fallen in love with the woman he’s just spent the night with.  Rick’s lyrics here would make Bob Dylan proud; an amazing array of words and sylables that partner to add a melodic resonance to the steady guitar playing besides them.

And then there’s “Courage For A Rainy Day,” the best of all of them.  Simply put, this may be the greatest song ever written about the Iraq War.  Period.  The song is a chilling tale of one that doesn’t believe in war searching for a way to support their friend whom he’s just learned is heading to battle.  Full of heroism, regret, sadness, and cynicism; the song would go on to be the 2005 Grand Prize Winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Folk category. 

Highlights include the three mentioned plus “Necessary Sonnet,” “The Human Canonball,” “Little Boy Big World,” “Good Things,” and “Recondite Recollection.”


From the book Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists by Gary Wien

 






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Event calendar
Friday, Mar 22, 2019


MUSIC

East Coast In Lullaby @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

LIONEL RICHIE @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

Swingadelic Featuring Rob Paparozzi @ Roys Hall (Blairstown), Blairstown - 8:00pm

Carolyn Messina at Table 42 @ Table 42, Dover - 7:00pm

Tom Chapin with Dan Pelletier at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

Finding Neverland @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Music of Cream @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

Summer of Love IX @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

WARRANT @ Starland Ballroom, Sayreville - 6:00pm

Selwyn Birchwood @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Mamma Mia @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Native Gardens @ Eagle Theatre, Hammonton - 8:00pm

The Source by Jack Canfora @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm

Sassy Mamas presented by Dunbar Repertory Company @ Middletown Arts Center, Middletown - 8:00pm

CURIOUS GEORGE: THE GOLDEN MEATBALL @ The Growing Stage: The Childrens Theatre of New Jersey, Netcong - 7:30pm

Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 7:00pm

Ken Ludwigs The Gods of Comedy @ Matthews Theatre @ McCarter Theatre, Princeton - 8:00pm

Theo @ Marion Huber Theater @ Two River Theater, Red Bank - 8:00pm


COMEDY

Comedy Night at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


FILM

Hairspray Sing-Along with host Jeremy Grunin! @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 8:00pm


KIDS

Celebrate Holi @ iPlay America, Freehold - 4:00pm

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