If you’re getting to know someone or testing the audiophile in them, typically one of the first questions you ask is “what kind of music do you like?” To which the response is undoubtedly “EVERYTHING!” Then you roll your eyes and dig a little deeper. Often times you’re standing face-to-face with someone who “Listens to everything…except country.” Then there is an uncomfortable pause because they don’t know why, but they assume all Country music is twangy stories of a lost dog/wife/truck – insert overused joke here – and they refuse to listen to it. To which they promptly change the discussion to how awesome the last Counting Crows tour was. Please, don’t hit them. Keep reading.
Well friend, the cure for the uneducated country-hater has arrived. Though loosely country, very loosely, Missouri’s own Barley Station embarked on a journey to span the genres; so much that even iTunes identifies the same album by three genres at the same time. The resulting After All is an unshakable twelve track Folk-Rock/Country/AlternRock experience.
After All can be summed up in just one song but can easily be appreciated throughout all of them. “True” is a profound stance representing the ethic the Mid-West trio embodies played out as a love song with infectious melodies. As the song sings “I have this thing about being true,” you can’t help but feel it is not only speaking to personal strength against a painful fizzled relationship, but also taking a stance about their music. Barley Station is noticeably true to themselves with each chord, beat and lyric. They effortlessly bleed honesty into each song.
Randy Wayne Belt, Brian Olen Kious, Nil De Silva and on occasion Casey Wollberg craftily constructed the album which dances unfazed between genres. Dishing out the country (“Last Nashville Rose”), playing to the independent folk/songwriter (“Can’t Sleep For Venus”) and floating on rock (“Common knowledge”) Barley Station doesn’t try to be any one genre, they just play Barley Station.
A win-win situation any way you look at it, After All makes a strong case to simply be yourself. The results, as seen here, will be worth it. So next time you have that conversation and the response you get includes “except country,” remind them 311 is from Nebraska and show them the light with Barley Station.