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Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre to Tour With ‘Lost’ Songs

Martin Barre
Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images

Jethro Tull‘s Martin Barre plans to take some of the group’s lesser-known music on the road with a band comprised partially of Tull alumni. The guitarist is in the final stages of assembling a group to tour next year.

Although Jethro Tull has toured behind such hits as ‘Aqualung’ and ‘Cross-Eyed Mary’ for decades, there are many other beloved songs that have been shelved, such as ‘Sweet Dreams’ which the band has not played live since the ’80s. Other songs have rarely, if ever, been played in concert.

“I want to play some of the songs that we haven’t done in a very long time,” Barre tells Ultimate Classic Rock of the plans to dip back into the band’s catalog. “I really am not tired of playing those songs. I enjoy them.”

As the lead guitarist in Tull for more than 40 years, Barre is the master behind the oft-imitated wizardry in ‘Aqualung,’ ‘Locomotive Breathe,’ and other rock anthems. Although he is tapping some past Tull members for the band, he said that such an association is not a requirement. Indeed, he plans to include a vocalist that doesn’t have the same styling as Tull’s frontman and founder Ian Anderson.

“You can’t imitate Ian’s vocals,” said Barre, who also plays flute and will presumably fill in on some of the parts Anderson would normally play on various songs. “I want something that’s really very different.”

Still, Barre promises that the vocals will work well with the instrumentation and satisfy the band’s ardent fan base. “I promise you a great show,” he said. “I am very excited and extremely enthusiastic!”

Barre is in the process of finalizing details of the project and will announce 2012 tour dates in the near future.

Although there have been myriad rumors that Tull is no more, Anderson’s publicist tells Ultimate Classic Rock no such decision has been made. Anderson and others challenge themselves creatively by playing with other musicians when Tull is on hiatus, she said.

Anderson is planning to tour behind ‘Thick as a Brick,” the first time he’s played the work in its entirety since 1972. The tour is a solo project for Anderson and will not include Barre or other members of Tull.

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