Marc Friedman, Andrew Barr, Marco Benevento w. Brad Barr (solo) 7/13/2005: Higher Ground, South Burlington, VT

No matter where life takes you, your old friends can be the hardest things to leave behind. New jobs, new towns and new adventures can come and go, while the memories of your old friends can sometimes remain as the only concrete thoughts you hold dear.

Imagine going to a music school and studying with musicians who later would go on to form bands like The Slip and the Benevento/Russo Duo. What a crazy time it must have been for Marc Friedman, Andrew Barr and Marco Benevento when they attended classes together before they went on to form their revered bands. Their bond still holds strong, as was evidenced at their show to close out their brief mini tour billed as Friedman, Barr and Benevento at Higher Ground.

Opening the show was Slip guitarist, Brad Barr, who performed a rare solo set. His heartfelt and intoxicatingly beautiful set included a few covers and a bunch of Slip tunes usually heard in the full band format. Barr would sometimes set up boomerang loops and then play acoustic guitar over them and sometimes stick to the pureness found in a single guitar and vocal format. The big highlight came in the second song with a rendition of a song he wrote with Nathan Moore called “Before You Was Born,” which lyrically strikes a powerful set of chords that make you think about and contemplate what life and love really mean. The set was full of songs that were hinged together with back and forth feelings of what true love feels like and what it can do to you. One of Barr’s newer songs, “Vesuvius Fountains,” fittingly had the refrain,

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