How Martin Barre's Exotic Approach Made Joe Satriani 'Stand Up' and Take Notice

(Image credit: Kevin Nixon/Classic Rock Magazine)

I witnessed Martin Barre playing guitar with Jethro Tull at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island in July 1970. I think it was my second concert experience, and the venue was a “theater in the round” setup. They were in town on their Benefit tour. Martin’s sound and playing was just like it was on the Tull albums — exciting, earthy, stellar and unique. I was mystified by his perfect blend of electric blues, rock and some kind of British, renaissance-like folk style I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Being a kid from New York I found his entire approach kind of exotic. He was brilliant.

Jethro Tull were an unusual band to say the least, even in the context of the times, which were pretty crazy. Ian Anderson’s writing style was so musically adventurous but always solid. It was progressive stuff but with just the right amount of warmth and feel. Martin kept it real, gritty and grounded for me.

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