Barry Mc Cabe
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Barry Mc Cabe

Band Blues Celtic


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"Barcelona Blues Festival"

Live concert review from “Barcelona Blues Festival” Spain

After some busy days, I've finally found the time to write about the Barry Mc Cabe concert in Barcelona. It was an important day for me because I'd just found a nice flat and I moved in there, "with the help of my friends" like The Beatles said.

When everything was in its place we went to Cerdanyola, a town 20 km. away from Barcelona. The Blues Festival of Cerdanyola has a great reputation - and a lot of blues loving fans!

The venue was the Ateneu, and the good news was it was full (around 800-1,000 people)!! We arrived just when Francis McIlduff began to play his particular version of "Burrenstone Sunrise", linked with "Pick a Bale of Cotton", as a way of beginning the show. I noticed by looking at the audience around me that they didn't expect this mixture of styles - but they liked it!

The first thing I've got to say is Barry's band is a band in every sense of the word. The arrangements of the songs are developing in a way so that Barry shares the weight of the soloing with Francis McIlduff on the pipes - succeeding in find a balance in the songs, IMHO. The songs off both "Absolutely Live Vol. 1 & 2" were included in the set-list and are adapted to this new band format, which reaches a higher level of sophistication!

The concert was really rolling along and then we got the acoustic part, when Barry and Francis play "The Emigrant". This is the third time I've listened to this piece of music live and it is always a (great) surprise for all the audience - from this point until the finale of the show the audience was really with the band. Barry also played a traditional song arranged for guitar (really nice) and "Talk to your Daughter". When he sang the first verse I could hear a harmonica doing some nice licks - but no one was on the stage with one! Then I realized that it was a guy from the audience! It sounded great!

When the band came back on stage the audience was really warm, and then we had "Full moon on Main Street"! Great interpretation, and the time passed really fast, until Barry said, "ok, this is the last one" - but the band did a great encore. Barry came out alone playing the first verse of "The Peace Within", and then the whole band launched into a very energetic version of the song!

We wanted more - but alas that was it for the night!

- Rafael Porcar

"Montreau Festival - France"

Montreau, France- Blues-Rock Festival with Status Quo & ZZ Top!
written by Robert Nestor

Wow people, I don't know what the rest of you have seen before now but I have just seen a top class rock star in action and his name happens to be Barry Mc Cabe! I kid you not, this was the real deal. I had no idea Barry was this good a performer.

I'll try to remember as much as I can of the trip/festival. The weather was glorious and perfect for an outdoor festival. There seems to be some sort of artist's strike or something like that going on in France at this moment. Some people tried to explain it to us but I didn't really understand it fully. They said it had affected the size of the crowd quite a bit as a lot of people thought the festival was actually cancelled. Some other festivals have been cancelled.

We arrived on Sunday in time to see Elliott Murphy perform. It was quite nice music, a little laid back. Probably more suitable to a club that a festival but it matched the mood as the weather stopped anybody from freaking out too much. Chris Spedding was next and he did quite a few well known cover songs. He played nice guitar and overall it was a nice set. However we were there to see Barry and could hardly wait until they announced Mr. Barry Mc Cabe and his band.

Francis came out first and played some slow music on his Irish pipes.

Very beautiful and haunting music and then the rest of the band walked on. The crowd cheered already, but where was Barry? Suddenly the music got louder and there he was, striding on playing his guitar already. The crowd loved it. The stage was so big that they all looked quite small, but they moved around a lot so Barry came over to our side of the stage several times. By the end of the first song he had the crowd on their feet and all waving their hands in the air. I felt so proud!

I can't remember all the songs they played (it went so fast) but Barry switched to acoustic guitar and just before he played the Emigrant he showed a picture of Rory to the audience. He then went on to explain that they had presented it to him backstage when he arrived, and the photographer who had taken the photo was taking photos of Barry & band that night as well. I think Barry was quite touched to have been presented with the picture. The crowd cheered immediately when he held up the picture but got really quiet when Francis started playing his whistle. Barry followed that with Adam & Eve (just himself on the acoustic guitar) and it was the most beautiful song of the evening. He explained beforehand what the song was about. The sound was immaculate and he held the complete crowd spellbound. This really was in the Bruce Springsteen league!!!!!

Then the band came back on and played a few more songs. All too soon it was over, but not quite. The crowd kept cheering and were rewarded with Barry coming back on with slide guitar at the ready. He had quite a long speech about peace in the world (and said how nice it was that both the French people and the French Government were at one in their opposition to war) and then he played the Peace Within. What a fitting song for the occassion, both lyrically and musically. It rocked, with Barry's slide flying up and down the neck like a rocket out of control. Barry was the first artist to get an encore and well deserved it was too. The crowd kept cheering but I think they had a tight schedule to keep because roadies ran on immediately and started changing over equipment.

ZZ Top were a bit disappointing the following night. I think they may have been expecting more people because they didn't really seem to care that much about the people who were there. What a contrast to Barry the night before. He really involved the crowd and I seen him and the band signing autographs for nearly an hour after his show!
- Robert Nestor

"Barry Mc Cabe's "Beyond The Tears""

Barry McCabe’s newest offering Beyond the Tears once again treats us to his knack for pulling wildly diverse musical influences into a cohesive work of art. The blues guitar we’ve come to expect is there, as is the Celtic folk element that surfaced most noticeably in The Peace Within. But the new disc adds subtle shadings of other genres as well; there’s much more to Barry’s music than his love for blues and his Irish roots.

Beyond the Tears is in the tradition of what we used to call a “concept album” back in the ’70s. The theme woven around the songs here is that of the quintessential misunderstood outsider, personified by “Johnny”; he is, as Barry explains in the liner notes, “the part of society and ourselves we’d rather not know about.” There’s plenty said within this set of songs about the travails of life and about how prone anyone can be to downheartedness under the right circumstances. But overall it’s a positive theme, urging us to look beyond the immediate happenings and come out the other side better and stronger.

The disc kicks off with a classic Chuck Berry riff on the Dave Edmunds-style number, “Johnny Nobody.” It’s hard to imagine anyone else being able to bring off a rocker like this while incorporating lyrics that deal with serious philosophical issues like the power of positive/negative thinking on one’s reality, but Barry handles it in understated style without ever sounding pretentious or preachy about it.

Strong Peter Green influences are evident on “In the Dead of Night” as well as “Trouble,” and both are good solid tracks with moody guitar riffs that stick in the brain long after the disc has stopped. The Celtic factor comes to the front on the instrumentals “Catch Me If You Can,” “Arthur” (my personal favorite) and “The Sunset Waltz.” There’s only one cover tune this time around (Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love”) which fits in surprisingly well with the rest of the tracks as well as giving us the opportunity to notice that Barry’s not just another guitarist - he can pull off beautiful vocals too.

The remaining tracks are more straightforward accessible rock that will likely appeal to a broad range of listeners. “Rollin’” picks up the pace on the second half of the disc; it's a freight train of a song reminiscent of some of Rory Gallagher’s high-energy numbers like “Just Hit Town.” And if the radio industry ever develops aesthetic sensibilities, the Claptonesque “I Wonder” will be all over the airwaves.

One commendable thing about Barry McCabe is that even though he’s clearly a masterful solo musician, he appreciates the nuances of ensemble playing. He's assembled a congenial group of musician friends and acquaintances to work with him on this recording, most of whom just happen to have a solid pedigree with one band or another (in this instance, Pat McManus, Horslips’ Johnny Fean, and Mark Feltham from Rory Gallagher’s band). This is in stark contrast to most solo guitarists whose egos take over the show in long, self-indulgent leads while other musicians are on the recording merely for back-up or window-dressing. You’ll hear excellent guitar solos on Barry’s discs, but they’re always tasteful and appropriate for the context; the songs are never just a showcase for his licks.

Overall, Beyond the Tears is a fine effort from an extremely dedicated and talented musician. Listeners who appreciate solid guitar work, subtly introspective lyrics, and an eclectic blend of musical styles should enjoy this disc.

The CD is available at CD Baby and Barry's website is
- The Gatewood Journal


The Peace Within (CD)
Absolutely Live Vol. 1 (CD)
Absolutely Live Vol. 2 (CD)
Everybody's Got The Blues [Live in Norway] (CD)
C'Est La Vie [Live in France] (CD)
For Fans Only [Live in Sweden] (CD)
High-School Queenie (45" single) Out of stock!
Too Late Now/Alberta (45" single) Out of stock!


Feeling a bit camera shy


Perhaps we should let the facts speak for themselves.

Barry Mc Cabe comes from Virginia, Co. Cavan, Ireland but has travelled all over the world to bring his music to the people. He has been working extensively on the European mainland over the past ten years and has also toured in such far away lands as Egypt and the US.

Barry's music can best be described as rock & blues with a Celtic twist!

Barry collaborated with Davy Spillane to release the critically acclaimed CD "The Peace Within". This was the birth of Celtic-Blues. Davy Spillane is the well-known uilleann pipe player who played in Riverdance. He has also played with Bryan Adams, Van Morrison, Chris Rea and many others.

Barry played support to Rory Gallagher on his last European tour, which included the Paradiso club (where part of the Rolling Stones "Stripped" CD was recorded).

He appeared last summer with Status Quo & ZZ Top at the Montereau Festival in Paris, France.

He also headlined the Waterpop Festival in Holland for 20,000 people.

Mick Taylor (former Rolling Stone guitarist) was Barry's 'special guest' for the release party for the "Beyond The Tears"? CD.

Barry's own composition "In The Dead Of Night"? [Beyond The Tears] hit the no. 1 spot on the US charts as voted by the radio listeners. "Johnny Nobody" off the same album was voted into the top 25 by student radio in the US.

Barry's composition "One Of These Days" [The Peace Within] was voted one of the top six blues songs in the world by the Backas Jazz Society in Helsinki, Finland in 2006.

Barry's version of the Fred James song "Full Moon On Main Street" [Absolutely Live Vol. 1] won the Sheheshe Music Award in 2005.

Last Spring Barry undertook an extensive tour of the Netherlands - playing 12 concerts in 12 days in all the 12 provinces. This was to help raise money for the "War Child" charity. Since then he has continued to collaborate with "War Child" on several other projects. He has also worked for the following charity organisations; The Irish Youth Foundation (IYF) and the Red Cross.

Barry has played on festivals/clubs with Status Quo, ZZ Top, Molly Hatchett, Mick Taylor (ex-Rolling Stone), Walter Trout, Stan Webb, Rory Gallagher, Dr. Feelgood, Roy Rogers, Canned Heat, Ten Years After and The Sweet to name but a few. Barry's music has been played on radio stations in Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Croatia, Australia, Japan, France, Spain, Finland, Ireland and the UK and is currently being played on over 250 stations in the US as we speak.

Barry's follow up CD to "The Peace Within" is called "Beyond The Tears". It features special guests: Mark Feltham on harmonica (Rory Gallagher Band), Johnny Fean on guitar (Horslips) and Pat Mc Manus on guitar (Mama's Boys & Celtus).

Barry sums it up quite simply - "I grew up in a small town and dreamed that one day I'd be in a music group, travelling all over the world and reaching people through my music. It's a dream that has come true many times over!"