Continental is Rick Barton’s newest band. They are presently on the road and would like to crash at your house. It says so on their Facebook page. “We have sleeping bags, will need floor space.” Barton, father of three and sometimes a house painter between gigs, is possibly a bit long in the tooth for this manner of accommodation. He cofounded Dropkick Murphys in 1996 and played guitar and wrote material on four of their CDs.
Barton told a reporter that Continental came about as the result of he and his son jamming, with a few of Stephen’s friends filling in. They asked him to sing, and he taught them how to write songs. Barton liked what he heard, shopped a record deal, and Continental released Death of a Garage Band last year. The cover art is significant. Said to be a photo of the garage at 123 Centre Street in Quincy, Massachusetts, Barton says this was his childhood home and is the place where he schemed many of his younger musical ambitions (including Dropkick Murphys).
But don’t go to Continental expecting to hear the Americanized Celtic punk of the Dropkick Murphys, nor the politics. While DM is a friend of the blue-collar union man, Continental is laden with a younger man’s issues as seen through the retrospective of age. Continental’s energy is Lou Reed vs. Gram Parsons. And Barton, the eternal road warrior, has picked up right where he left off. From Continental’s FB page: “Waking up in one state and going to bed in another is what we do best.”
CONTINENTAL: The Shakedown Bar, Tuesday, July 19, 9pm, 619-487-0373. No cover.