The Slip’s Andrew Barr Appears On High Sierra Music Festival Podcast

The drummer discusses the band's long and fruitful history of performing at the event and more.

By Scott Bernstein Jun 1, 2022 1:18 pm PDT

The latest episode of High Sierra Music Festival’s podcast features an interview with The Slip drummer Andrew Barr. The trio has a long history of performing at the beloved annual event, which will continue when HSMF returns to Plumas County Fairgrounds in Quincy, California June 30 – July 3.

High Sierra organizers launched the podcast in celebration of the festival’s 30th anniversary. Grandstand Stage emcee and High Sierra Podcast host Tim Lynch talked with Andrew about The Slip’s first HSMF appearance, how Surprise Me Mr. Davis was formed, studying drums in Africa, performing unofficial sets in the campgrounds, coming back to the event this summer and much more. Episode 4 of the High Sierra Podcast also includes cameos from HSMF co-producer Dave Margulies and The Slip archivist Harry McQuillen.

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This year marks the 15th time the group consisting of Andrew Barr, guitarist Brad Barr and bassist Marc Friedman will perform as The Slip at High Sierra Music Festival. McQuillen discussed The Slip’s evolution before Margulies explained how the festival gave the band an open invitation to perform at the event throughout the years.

Dave Margulies first encountered The Slip at the inaugural Berkfest in 1998. Margulies liked what he heard so much that he invited the band to High Sierra, which was held in Bear Valley, California at the time.

“We had never left New England. So for us, this was the pinnacle of success,” Barr recalled. “I remember because that was the summer I traveled to West Africa for the first time to study drumming. Fresh off the plane, I think I landed at LaGuardia and then caught a plane to San Francisco without leaving the airport,” Andrew added. “It was so exciting being a young musician and feeling like somebody cared enough to bring you across the country to play a festival. We were really honored.”

Andrew went on to speak about meeting Nathan Moore and forming Surprise Me Mr. Davis. Barr credits Margulies with deciding to put Moore together for a set with The Slip. For the drummer, it was the late night sets that stand out most to him when thinking back to past High Sierra Music Festival experiences. “We’d be playing and two hours into a four-hour set Karl Denson’s on stage sitting in and you just look and there’s endlessly people sitting on the stairs that you can invite to come up,” Andrew told Lynch. “That’s such a beautiful thing that you do not get at most music festivals.”

The drummer also shared memories of meeting keyboardist Marco Benevento at Berklee in 1995. The pair developed a strong friendship that saw The Slip and The Duo tour together frequently. “After a couple of years of [Surprise Me Mr.] Davis, we just thought ‘well, need that guy in the band.'”

The Slip will perform twice at HSMF 2022. The trio will close out the Vaudeville Tent on Thursday from 11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. Additionally, the podcast includes word The Slip will be featured in the last Playshop of the day in the High Sierra Music Hall on Friday, July 1 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. “I’m really looking forward to it,” Andrew Barr told Lynch. “We have some new songs to play and we really dusted off some good old ones.”

Stream Episode 4 of the High Sierra Music Festival podcast below:

Tickets for High Sierra Music Festival 2022 are on sale now via Eventbrite. Find the full lineup by clicking the button below.

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