Martin Barre, Merrilee Rush and Kevin Borich


Martin Barre on going solo after Jethro Tull

Lor During his 43 years as a guitarist for Jethro Tull, Martin Barre has played on his share of hit albums – two of which are considered among the best in rock history. Aqualung from 1971 and Thick as A Brick, released the following year, established the group founded in 1967 by singer Ian Anderson as one of the most commercially successful bands of the 1970s. When Anderson ended the Grammy award winning outfit in 2011, Barre was the longest serving member besides Anderson, who eventually reformed Jethro Tull and still leads the band today. 

Martin is currently on tour, celebrating what would have been the 50th anniversary of Aqualung.  He tells me about how his playing has changed, saying that for a lot of the years he was able to concentrate solely on his guitar – leaving the vocals to Ian. So has he had to reinvent some of the songs to fit the new format? He says he has because he has his own take on things. So many of those Jethro Tull albums – the riffs, the chords, the musicality, the arrangements – were all centred around guitar parts – so he’s happy that he’s able to replicate and enhance as necessary. In terms of the flute, it’s no longer needed because those parts are played on guitar. In saying that, he carries a flute in his back pack – just in case.

One of Martin’s most famous pieces was his solo guitar work on Aqualung. For the guitarist, the album could have easily been ‘just another album in the pipeline,’ but with the right sound at the right time, the record achieved critical acclaim. He also revealed that the dynamics of the album worked out well with live performances and this also encouraged the album’s commercial success. So how did the album manage to resonate with so many? According to Barre, the answer is more with the fans because they’re the ones that made it what it is. It could have been just another album in the pipeline. It could have been an album that people didn’t take to, but they did. It was the right thing at the right time. There’s always an element of luck or circumstance. He doesn’t analyse it himself. He likes the music. It really works great as a live performance. 

Check out my full interview with Martin on this week’s show.

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Merrilee Rush - Angel of the Morning

The timeless single “Angel of the Morning” brought Merrilee Rush instant fame and enduring name recognition in an industry where so many are here today, gone tomorrow. It hit the top spot on the charts in the U.S. and six other countries, and its success brought Rush a nomination from the Grammy Awards in the category of Female Vocalist of the Year.

Rush resides in the Seattle area, where she is still involved with music as part of Seattle Women in Rhythm & Blues. She also performs solo with a backing band. The Northwest Area Musicians’ Association Hall of Fame inducted her into its ranks in 1989.

Merrilee Rush was the singer of the original 1968 hit version of ‘Angel Of The Morning’, a song later popularised on two separate occasions by country singer Juice Newton and ragga singer Shaggy. Rush joined a band called the Aztecs at the age of 13 and the following year started her own band, Merrilee And Her Men. For a number of years she worked with numerous other bands and recorded several local singles, finally forming another band, Merrilee Rush And The Turnabouts, in the mid-60s, comprising guitarist Carl Wilson (brother of Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson), saxophonist Neil Rush, bass player Terry Craig and drummer Pete Sack. With this band, in 1968, she recorded ‘Angel Of The Morning’, written by Chip Taylor and released on Bell Records it went to number 7 in the US charts. She continued to record throughout the 70s and early 80s but was unable to follow up her lone hit. This week we meet Merrilee to learn all about her life.

And the version by Juice Newton

Australia's own killer guitarist, Kevin Borich

With a professional career spanning 56 years, Kevin Borich has done it all. Beginning with the LA-DE-DA’S in New Zealand, writing the classic hit ‘Gonna See My Baby Tonight’, to his KEVIN BORICH EXPRESS and The PARTY BOYS, Kevin has performed at some of the biggest rock events Australia has seen.

SUNBURY and the ROCKARENAS in the 70’s with 60,000 people, New Years Eves at the Sydney Opera House with 170,000 people,  numerous support shows for international acts, ELTON JOHN, STATUS QUO, JEFF BECK and BUDDY GUY to name a few. From local to the big events, he has carved out a revered reputation in the Australian Music Industry, performing his music with a youthful exuberance, – giving extra meaning to the word LONGEVITY. Well known for his high-energy electric guitar style, his performance is hailed throughout the music industry as world class. In recognition of his contribution to Australian music and blues culture, he was inducted into the Australian Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2003

Latest 3CD set - LEGACY - career spanning collection

Kevin Borich recorded his first single with Astor Records at age 12. He is a quintessential stalwart in the Australian and New Zealand music scene. Kevin Borich is a founding member of New Zealand’s hit band the La De Da’s, The Kevin Borich Express & Australia’s legendary The Party Boys. He has recorded on and released over 20 albums with major labels & independently under his own publishing & has performed countless thousands of live shows during his career.  Having toured, performed with or supported names like Santana, AC/DC, Taj Mahal, Living Colour, Joe Walsh & Elton John, ‘KB’, as as he is known to friends & fans, holds his own to this day and still delivers high impact live performance with the same intensity as he did with Carlos Santana in the 70’s. Don’t miss my interview with Kevin in this week’s show.

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