“I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to do this differently,” Barry Osborne says with a laugh. His debut EP, Back of the Title Page, is out now. “Who starts their music career in their early 40s - on the banjo?”
Back of the Title Page begins to answer that question. Over its five songs Osborne grapples with his kids growing up, parents getting older, and how he fits into this panoramic picture.
“These are the years of holding down the fort and trying to set a good example. It might look mundane on the outside, but there’s a lot going on just beneath the surface.”
Barry sings and plays the banjo, and though he has recent experience performing old time music, his songs borrow just as heavily from the indie rock and post punk he grew up on. In college and in his 20s he played in rock bands. This is also when he first took up the banjo.
“I always tried to keep the banjo stuff separate from the rock stuff, it took me a long time to realize it’s all part of who I am, there’s no need to keep them apart.”
After taking close to ten years off from music Barry relit the torch playing old time folk tunes in Denver. Initially, he resisted getting back into songwriting, but eventually the melodies and phrases could no longer remain suppressed.
“A few years ago I started writing songs again after a long hiatus. It’s a bit like getting reacquainted with an old friend and wondering why you ever lost touch.”
Getting back into songwriting also provided an outlet to emulate the people he admires.
“I want to be in league with friends from high school who’ve remained hungry and passionate in pursuing their creative endeavors. One recently published her first novel, another keeps songwriting and performing, and yet another remains a passionate activist. People like that inspire me and keep me going on this quixotic path.”
Writing the songs is one thing, putting them out into the world is another. With the release of Osborne’s debut EP Back of the Title Page, this challenge is taken head on.
Mutiny Information Cafe, Hooper, Slynger, Disinherited, Fables of the Fall, Barry Osborne, Saturday, May 4, 7pm
The Laughing Goat in Boulder, Barry Osborne, Tuesday, September 17, 8pm
Finnish Bistro in Saint Paul, The Falderals and Barry Osborne, Thursday, April 18, 6:30-8:30pm
Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse in Madison, The Falderals and Barry Osborne, Friday, April 19, 8-10pm
Riverwest Public House in Milwaukee, The Falderals and Barry Osborne, Saturday, April 20, 8-10pm
The Chimney Place, Thursday, March 7, 7pm
Mutiny Information Cafe, Wednesday, January 16, 6:30pm
Lion’s Lair, Tuesday, December 18, 8:30pm
Seventh Circle Music Collective, Thursday, November 29, 7pm
Tuft Theatre @ Swallow Hill Music, Barry Osborne and Marvel West, Saturday, September 29, 8-10pm
KGNU Kabaret, In-Studio Appearance, Tuesday, September 25, 7-8pm
The UMS @ Baere Brewing, Sunday, July 29, noon.