Tom Barry is a Galway based singer songwriter. Tom has been immersed in music and writing from an early age. He is an accomplished piano and guitar player and has sung with acclaimed choirs Galway Baroque Singers and Cois Claddaigh for many years.
During the pandemic Tom undertook several writing workshops hosted by the legendary John Spillane. From these workshops Tom developed and mastered his own style of writing, inspired by simplicity, experience, nature and family.
‘Lighthouse’ is a collection of 10 original tracks and one cover of the iconic folk song ‘Little Musgrave’, made famous by Christy Moore and Planxty. Records of its origin dating back to 1670. Tom has given this beautiful drama new life. Piano, electric guitars, bass and synth combine to create a dramatic atmosphere bringing this story to the present day.
Hotpress.ie “Conjuring landscape is a fine trick of Barry’s, none more so than on album closer ‘Shores Of the Morning’, which paints the wilds of Connemara wondrously. An excellent record.” (https://www.hotpress.com/music/album-review-tom-barry-lighthouse-22917631)
Divide and Conquer Music.com “Barry and his fellow bandmates lock into a very atmospheric sound right from the start. From the opening to the closer, mood and feeling plays a huge part in this album. I think Barry manages to capture some truly rare moments in this set of songs he has released. The ambience of these tracks is truly great and as he grows in his sound, I definitely look forward to seeing more from this artist.” (https://www.divideandconquermusic.com/indie-music-album-reviews/tom-barry-lighthouse)
2. Circular Road
3. Lord Valentine
6. Little Musgrave
8. If I was a bird
9. Pale Moon
10. Shores of the Morning
‘Lighthouse’, the title track, is dedicated to those in Tom’s life who have guided him and kept him safe throughout his life, “when the raging winds and the rolling seas, come over”.
‘Asteria’ is inspired by Toms love of the sea, moon and stars. He swims every morning before sunrise. Asteria is the goddess of stars, and Tom lies in the water staring at the stars in “awe and wonder”, “waiting for the magic of the stars”.
‘Achill’ paints a picture of the journey “looking out the window, as the coast comes into view” of Achill and the impact it has, the energy, the beauty and the history.
‘Circular Road’ is the story of a journey a couple take in search of the solution to the crazy world they live in. They “walk the weight of worry down and talk their troubles through” in the hope of achieving a “stress free life”.
‘Derreighter’ is a place in Connemara where Tom and his family visit regularly to unwind, walk and experience the simple pleasures in life; freedom to roam and immerse in nature. It is spoken word accompanied by piano, synth, fiddle, flute, and whistle combining to create a mood that expresses the experience and the desire for his “children to return to this, away from the screened blinding confusion of competing information”.
‘If I was a bird’ is a song written for Tom’s children. It is a simple lullaby played on the piano that he sings to his 3 young boys each night before bed. H sings “if I was a bird I’d take you as far as the eye can see, over mountains and valleys and over the great blue sea”.
‘Lord Valentine’ is inspired by the tragic story of Menlo Castle where Lord Valentine returned to his castle on the banks of the Corrib to discover that the castle had been burnt and his daughter and a maid had perished, his daughter’s body never recovered. It is played on guitar accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Jon O’Connell.
‘Pale Moon’ describes the journey to the sea each morning for a swim. How the moon “lead me to the sea…just you and me” where you “dive through the mercury”. Blackrock is an iconic diving tower in Galway where people gather from the early hours to swim in the cold Atlantic waters. It is a pilgrimage for brave souls.
‘Shores of the Morning’ pays homage to the dawn chorus. Tom has created a chorus of harmonies with Jon O’Connell and Tom combining to deliver a choir of sound accompanied by the double bass, piano. It paints a picture of the birds in the area gathering to invite the new day in “to the shores of the morning”.