NPR : World Cafe

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The Barr Brothers On World Cafe

The Barr Brothers' self-titled debut is a powerful and moving folk record: It combines delicate harp arrangements with a rock 'n' roll sensibility and richly interwoven instrumentation. It's both a powerful record and a product of the uncanny series of events that led to the band's formation.

Brothers Andrew and Brad Barr were touring in Canada with an experimental rock band when a fire broke out in the Montreal club where they were performing. As everyone left to seek safety in the rain outside, Andrew offered his jacket to a waitress named Meghan Clinton. Clinton, now The Barr Brothers' co-manager, encouraged the pair to relocate to Montreal. Brad moved in next door to harpist Sarah Page, whose music he heard through the wall that separated their apartments and ultimately became a major influence on his songwriting. Page and the Barr brothers joined forces with Andres Vial, a talented multi-instrumentalist, and the band was complete.

The Barr Brothers, released three years later, maintains a rich variety in songwriting, from lullabies like "Cloud" to the toe-tapping likes of "Give the Devil Back His Heart." Here, the band performs on World Cafe.

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