Preview: Murder By Death, Tim Barry
March 18, 2016 @ The Crocodile
By Andy Bookwalter
Murder By Death sound like they should be from Denver, but they’re not. They’re from Bloomington, Indiana.
Let’s see. Bloomington to Denver is 1068 miles due west on I-70. That’s a 15 hour trip across four states.
OK let’s forget about the MBD/Denver connection. There’s nothing there. Except that MBD play Americana in that sort of Gothic country style that a lot of Denver bands do really well. (Seriously Andy, shut up about Denver.)
Since 2000, Murder By Death have put out seven studio albums, often recorded with a unifying theme such as sin and redemption, booze, or the devil waging war against small towns. They also contributed “Comin’ Home,” a moody, stompy, Nick-Cavey song to an episode of Sons of Anarchy, the greatest biker gang soap opera there ever was.
MBD are touring in support of their latest, Big Dark Love, out last year on Bloodshot, including a March 18 date with opener Tim Barry at the Crocodile in Seattle.
Barry, former vocalist for the legendary Avail, has made the transition from scruffy southern punk guy to rail riding, folk singing, troubadour. The first time I saw him he was opening for Swingin’ Utters and Stiff Little Fingers at El Corazon. I was REALLY looking forward to SLF, and if not for SLF I would have been REALLY looking forward to Swingin’ Utters. Frankly, the only reason I was there in time for Tim Barry was because I was on crutches and needed to find a good sitting spot, and damned if Barry didn’t own the room and everyone in it, hypnotizing a venue full of drunk anxious punks with folk songs about trains.
Since then I’ve seen him a few times and he does it every time; just a guy with a guitar and a trucker cap and stories about hobos.
Murder By Death also plays Thursday, March 17 at the Tractor with The Builders and The Butchers.