Barry Jay Hughes - One Petal Down
Info: Following the huge success of his debut EP 'This Way Up', released in April 2015, Barry toured the length and breadth of Ireland; featuring in many radio and TV appearances, receiving critical acclaim from music blogs and comprehensive radio play. 'Tried and Treasured' is the second EP from the musician, which encapsulates his journey to date, documenting places he’s visited and how he’s felt along the way.
The first thing that strikes you listening to Tried and Treasured is how much Barry Jay Hughes has shifted his sound and added depth to his music and lyrics. Opener 'One Petal Down' announces this change immediately, whereas the emphasis on last years This Way Up was notably of the traditional singer / songwriter mode of stripped down vocals and acoustic guitar, on this track there are far more layers, it's reminiscent of Van Morrison's Veedon Fleece, the flute giving the song a Celtic air.
'Crying Shame' echoes Irish folk-rock of the early 90's, the song flows with great ease and is entirely listenable to from start to finish, it's melancholy hidden by Hughes' energetic vocal bursts and sweeping string arrangements. On third track 'Full Circle' we are treated to a gentle moment of calm, Louise Byrne's backing vocals adding considerably to the mood of the track. 'Medieval City' is Hughes entering story-telling mode, it's intro like Leonard Cohen's 'Famous Blue Raincoat', it's where we find the artist providing evidence of how he has confidently matured musically.
Barry Jay Hughes - Medieval City (Live)
The five-track EP ends on the Americana-sounding 'Ballad of a Troubadour' with Hughes signing-off on an upbeat note. In some ways you could see Tried and Treasured as an interim step on this musicians journey, although the change in style is notable, there is still a toe (as opposed to a whole foot!) in last years EP. He is determinedly moving forward and pursuing growth and successfully so, his next offering will find him truly at home with his sound which is something to very much look forward to.
Barry Jay plays Upstairs in Whelans on the 18th of May with support from Milky and Keenan Copas https://www.facebook.com/events/458697104318476/
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