Barry Osborne feat. Olivia Shaw and Yoni Fine
Oct 3, 2019
Join Denver singer-songwriter and banjo player Barry Osborne in Quinlan Cafe at Swallow Hill Music on Thursday, October 3 at 7:30 p.m. as he presents the live premier of his song cycle What A Fool Might Suggest.
“What a Fool Might Suggest is storytelling through folk music. It’s the tale of two Depression-era strangers who come together and briefly take on the world as they try to figure out their lives.” Barry says. “There’s some magical realism and some hard truths.”
Olivia Shaw, well known in Denver for playing in bands like Avenhart, joins him on fiddle. Guitarist Yoni Fine, who’s played music with Barry off and on over the last few years, rounds out the trio.
"Both Olivia and Yoni are inventive musicians who’ve shown a great feel for these songs. Plus, they’re just a lot of fun to play with. I can’t believe I get to play with them and witness the incredible energy they bring to these songs firsthand."
Of the 16-song cycle Barry says "I wanted to create a world to explore - do some myth making. I read a poem by Lorrine Niedecker about two folks named "Jim Poor" and "Poor Jay" - I decided to fill in their story."
"Since it's a Depression-era poem from Wisconsin, I started there. I have family from not far from where Niedecker lived, they were dairy farmers. I started mixing in family lore and took further inspiration from tall tales, and WPA and other art of the era to create the songs."
“There is definitely a story there, and characters, but it’s loosely structured to keep it open to interpretation for each listener.”
“I’ve always admired albums like The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society or R.E.M.’s Fables of the Reconstruction for creating worlds that blur the line between fact and fiction, and for leaving things a bit unresolved,” he adds.
In the fall of 2018 Barry released his debut EP, Back of the Title Page. In its review, Marquee Magazine wrote, "With the same whimsical irreverence of John Hartford, Denver’s Barry Osborne takes the old-time clawhammer sound and blends it with his influences of early 1980s college rock." He played Denver’s Underground Music Showcase in 2018, and will do so again in 2019. This spring he was nominated for a Westword Music Award in the Folk/Bluegrass category.
Come all and sundry at the hour’s expense, and follow for once what a fool might suggest / For last night at this time while you slept nothing short of an entire lifetime was spent - go the song cycle’s opening lines.
“Come on out to Swallow Hill on Thursday, October 3,” Barry says. “We can spend a lifetime together in song.”