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Jethro Tull's Martin Barre LIVE! at Somers Point


By Spotlight Central, Photos by Love Imagery

originally published: 07/10/2023

Jethro Tull

Music lovers of all ages enjoy the cool bay breezes at William Morrow Beach in Somers Point, NJ this Friday, June 30, 2023 evening as they ready themselves for a concert by guitarist Martin Barre. Best known for his work with the progressive rock band, Jethro Tull, over the past half-century Barre and his bandmates have sold over 60 million units including seven million for their best-selling 1971 recording, Aqualung.

As a guitarist, Barre was voted 25th best solo ever in the USA and 20th best solo ever in the UK for his playing on Aqualung, and his performance on the recording, Crest of a Knave, earned him a 1989 Grammy. In addition to appearing on numerous Jethro Tull albums, Barre has also worked with Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, and Joe Bonamassa, and shared the stage with Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin.

Jethro Tull

Barre’s performance is part of the 2023 Concerts On the Beach series of shows presented by producer Carmen Marotta. Explains Marotta, “This is the 30th year of concerts here in Somers Point, a town of only 12,000 residents, but which is steeped in music history.” Marotta’s father was the owner of the legendary Jersey Shore music club, the Tony Mart Café, a venue which featured sounds of the swing era through the golden years of rock ‘n roll, and which also served as the setting for the classic music cult film, Eddie and the Cruisers.

Recalls Marotta, “In its heyday, Tony Mart’s presented live performances by such artists as Bill Haley and his Comets, Del Shannon, Joey Dee and the Starliters, Duane Eddy, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, and Conway Twitty, not to mention a summer residency by Levon Helm and the Hawks, a group which was ultimately chosen by Bob Dylan as his backup group and became known as The Band.”

“These days,” continues Marotta, “the Tony Mart legacy lives on with a series of Mardi Gras AC shows presented every Wednesday night at Kennedy Plaza on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, in addition to the Somers Point Concert Series which was recently voted ‘Best Concert Series in the United States’ by USA Today.”

Jethro Tull



 
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Exclaims Marotta about achieving such national recognition, “It’s a tremendous feeling! It’s so gratifying because we’ve always known this venue was a magical one and that what we do here is unique in that we’re able to present so many original artists to the public.”

By way of example, in addition to tonight’s performance by Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre, for the 2023 concert season Marotta has put together an event lineup which includes The Weeklings featuring Styx and ELO musician Glen Burtnik, Gary US Bonds and the Roadhouse Rockers, guitarist Stanley Jordan playing the music of Jimi Hendrix, and Cyril Neville of The Neville Brothers.

Before tonight’s show begins, music lovers enjoy the seaside vibe of William Morris Beach where camp and beach chairs dot the sand and children play while families enjoy coolers filled with picnic treats. At 7pm, Marotta greets the crowd and thanks the many sponsors of tonight’s show prior to declaring, “We’re here to party — let the good times roll!”

Music lovers applaud as Martin Barre takes the stage along with his bandmates, lead vocalist/guitarist Dan Crisp, bassist Alan Thompson, and drummer Teri Bryant. Barre waves to the crowd as a fan calls out “Rock and roll!” Cymbals shimmer as the band opens with Jethro Tull’s “Cat’s Squirrel,” an upbeat instrumental which has Barre and Dan Crisp rocking out on guitars as Alan Thompson and Teri Bryant power through on bass and drums.

Jethro Tull

The crowd cheers and Barre and Co. continue with Jethro Tull’s “Back to the Family” where Barre rapidly solos with precision as the sun begins to set over the bay.

Jethro Tull

They follow up with “Nothing to Say” where Teri Bryant rocks out on a drum solo and music lovers move in their seats to the rolling beat supporting Crisp’s and Barre’s guitars.

Jethro Tull

Barre greets the crowd announcing, “Welcome to the beach! It’s a beach party! I’ve been waiting all my life for one of these!” Explaining, “Tonight we’re gonna play all Jethro Tull tunes,” Barre jokes, “At the end of the night, we’re all going to take off all of our clothes and go swimming!” prompting many audience members to chuckle while a select few shout out, “Yeah!”



 
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Moving on to the Aqualung ballad, “My God,” Crisp sings with an air of mystery, “You are the God of everything/He’s inside you and me” as Barre and bassist Alan Thompson rock out shoulder to shoulder.

Jethro Tull

A highlight of tonight’s show takes place during “My God” when Barre and the band segue into a hard rock interpretation of a classical piece — “Palladio” from Karl Jenkins’ Concerto Grosso for Strings — which some recognize as the soundtrack for the De Beers “A Diamond is Forever” commercials. Barre and Crisp play in harmony as concertgoers tap their hands and feet to the beat before they segue back into “My God” for the song’s bluesy “You’ll be praying ’til next Thursday/To all the gods that you can count” conclusion.

Jethro Tull

The crowd whistles and cheers and Barre and the band launch into the Jethro Tull staple, “Thick as a Brick,” before moving on to “Passion Play Ed. #9” where audience members can be seen happily playing air drums on the beach.

Other selections include “Black Satin Dancer,” where Crisp gives an emotional vocal performance as he accompanies himself on keyboard, and “Too Old to Rock ’n’ Roll, Too Young to Die” where music lovers react to the song’s “They’ve thrown away their blue suede shoes/Now they’re too old to rock and roll/And they’re too young to die” lyric.

Jethro Tull

Barre and Co. conclude the evening’s performance with two more classic tracks from Aqualung — “Locomotive Breath” and “Hymn 43” — leaving the audience on the beach cheering for more.

Jethro Tull

To learn more about Martin Barre, please go to martinbarre.com. For further information about upcoming free 2023 Concerts on the Beach performances in Somers Point — including The Weeklings on July 14, Gary US Bonds and the Roadhouse Rockers on July 28, Stanley Jordan plays Jimi Hendrix on August 4, and Cyril Neville on September 8 — please click on somerspointbeachconcerts.com.

For information on the free Mardi Gras AC concerts on the Atlantic City Boardwalk at Kennedy Plaza — including The Tito Puente, Jr. Orchestra on August 9, The Shemekia Copeland Band on August 16, and The Weight Band on August 23 — please click on tonymart.com.

Photos by Love Imagery

Spotlight Central. Your source for Jersey entertainment news and reviews

Love Imagery Fine Art Photography. all you need. peace/love/flower/power



 
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