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Tim Barry - Spring Hill (Chunksaah)

Tim Barry-Spring Hill
5 March 2023

Though Richmond, VA’s Barry reunited in 2019 for shows with Avail, the punk band he fronted from 1987-2007, he still releases quieter folk albums; this is his eighth studio LP since 2006. Unlike 2019’s The Roads to Richmond and 2017’s High on 95, Spring Hill contains nary a whiff of drums. Yet it still commands attention, thanks to Barry’s authoritative, strapping voice, sonorous, twangy acoustic (and fuzz-drenched electric, on the agitated “Cab #13”), vivid, compassionate lyrics, and sporadic harmonica, banjo, mandolin, lap/pedal steel, and sister Caitlin Hunt’s violin. From the penitent, Bob Mould-esque cover of 1986-88 Washington, D.C. foursome 3’s “Swann Street,” to the side-splitting “Dad’s iPad” (which finds his pop’s new conspiracy theory/fake news-inundated tech toy inadvertently dumbing him down), to wistful, pining ballads “Bella & Charlie” and “Switch Key” (both featuring Sally Rose Monnes’s fetching harmonies), to Irish shanties (“Glorious”) and stomping hoedowns (“Cherry Isle”), Spring Hill is cogent and heartfelt. (


“Bella & Charlie”