Brad Barr Confirms New Solo Album ‘The Winter Mission’ & Shares Single

Stream "Ancient Calendars," the instrumental solo guitar album's lead single.

By Scott Bernstein Nov 9, 2021 11:26 am PST

On January 21, Brad Barr will release the new instrumental solo guitar album The Winter Mission through Secret City Records. The Slip and The Barr Brothers guitarist previewed the 12-track LP today by unveiling its lead single, “Ancient Calendars.”

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Brad wrote, recorded, produced and mixed all the songs on his first solo album since 2008’s The Fall Apartment. Barr’s The Winter Mission was initially commissioned by Michael Wolk, the Artistic Director at New York City’s All For One Theater. “I discovered a magic record a while back: The Fall Apartment by Brad Barr,” explained Wolk. “I knew Brad was one of the fabulous Barr Brothers – but this was something altogether different – this was Brad’s extraordinary solo instrumental voice. When AFO sought distinctive music to introduce and accompany our events, I thought immediately of Brad. Turns out, Brad was bottled up with brilliant but unassembled solo guitar masterpieces, and my request was all that was needed to uncork them!”

Barr worked on the album while off the road due to the pandemic. “[It] felt like a gift,” Barr noted of Wolk’s offer to create music for AFO. Brad added the following about new single “Ancient Calendars” in a press release:

‘Ancient Calendars’ is a solo guitar piece, a long-form improvisation where I explore a basic motif and progressively extend it outwards in two directions. I played it on an amplified 12-string acoustic guitar. There are no overdubs. That was the idea while writing and recording this music – one person playing music alone without any accompaniment. As with all the songs on this record, the title ‘Ancient Calendars’ is a reference to the number 216 – specifically, how in the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar, a single cycle, or ‘age,’ consisted of 2,160 years. It’s also believed that the entire calendar of five great cycles is equal to 2,160 orbits of Jupiter. If they could think that far ahead, you’d think I’d be able to remember my wedding anniversary.

Stream “Ancient Calendars” below:

“Ancient Calendars” arrives just days after The Slip released “Superterranean Onlyness,” the group’s first new original music in 15 years. Additionally, The Slip embarks on their longest tour in well over a decade starting this Thursday, November 11 in Burlington, Vermont.

The Winter Mission Tracklist

  1. 3,4,5…..6
  2. Your Dad’s Awake
  3. Cleveland, OH
  4. Ancient Calendars
  5. The Color Of Nine
  6. Baseball
  7. Two Hundred And Sixteen
  8. Magic Square
  9. Autonomie
  10. Untouchable Number
  11. Safe
  12. Prayer Beads
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