© 2002 All rights reserved
Empire Moon is available at Treehouse Records on 26th and Lyndale, and the Electric Fetus, Minneapolis MN. For further information contact hijrecordings.
1. Empire Moon
2. Homeland
3. Don't Target Me
4. Goodbye Johnny Thunder
5. The Ballad of John Berryman
6. Antarctica
7. Dangerous World
8 . You're Killing Me
9 . Watertown
10 . Redemption
11. Washington Ave
Joan Boeser, Barry Thomas Goldberg, Steve Frederickson, B. Alden Burt and Michael Yonkers. Circa 1974.
Buy the CD online at
    or at Tower Records.    


From "Splendid-New Music Daily", www.splendidezine.com - by writer Brett McCallon.

If Barry Goldberg sounds like a throwback to the protest music of another era, he shouldn't have to apologize for it. He has, after all, been pursuing a musical career (largely in obscurity) for over three decades; any hints of Classic Rock that haunt Empire Moon have been come by honestly.
And hints there are: you're not going to hear much innovation in Goldberg's politically tinged tales of the downtrodden, the cast-off, the confused and dispirited. There are honky-tonk gyrations here the likes of which you probably thought you'd never hear played unironically again ("Goodbye Johnny Thunder"). This last is more a sign of Goldberg's skills with elegy than of anything else: his sassy tribute to the punk

  pioneer fits its subject as well as "The Ballad of John Berryman" does its own.
Goldberg's lyrical abilities are solid without being flashy, and while his band sounds as if it was recorded on a shoestring budget, they certainly get the job done. Still, everyone present has a certain tendency to rely on some hoary old rock staples, and eventually the stanza-end guitar licks and the by-the-numbers organ begin to grate. Additionally, Goldberg's voice is a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it affair, though its nasal, entreating quality can also serve to heighten the urgency of his lines.

While time and musical fashion may have passed Goldberg by, it's a testament to the tenacity of such independent artists that an indie music scene ever developed in the first place. Empire Moon, his first album in sixteen years, is the warts-and-all musical diary of a man whose music and experience certainly warrant your attention.
Barry Thomas Goldberg at the HOME BAR performing with BATCH in 1972.  

From "Ripsawnews.com" in Duluth Minnesota, by writer Timothy L. Fischer.

While his cohorts are busy with medical procedures and hunting down beautiful community college dropouts with movie of the week dreams of Ford Explorers and alimony, Barry Thomas Goldberg is still making albums. While he will never address the senate, model tight underwear or play stadium tours named after carbonated beverages, Goldberg still writes music and releases records at an ungodly old age for an unknown performer. If his most recent album, Empire Moon, is any indication of his talent, Goldberg writes pretty damn good music despite his chronological handicap and its popularity repercussions.

Using the cold streets and unfortunate, yet interesting, derelicts of Minneapolis as his subject and setting, Goldberg's fourth album--his first in more than 16 years--is a collection of well-crafted music guided by insightful lyrics. The title track opens the album with deep prose dropped with such a unique voice you double check the cover to verify that it is, in fact, not Leonard Cohen. Well, actually it sounds like Leonard Cohen if Cohen were to join forces with an organ and accordion player and tear up a local bat mitzvah like a bad rap video. This dark folk appeal continues throughout the course of this project. "The Ballad of John Berryman" reminds the listener of late '70's Dylan, and "Washington Avenue", the closer, closely

resembles Woody Guthrie. Goldberg recites the broken dreams of no charge hookers, drunks and smack addicts--all the while presenting such a soothing quality that its content could just as well be about bluebirds and sunflowers.
The finest parts of Empire Moon, however, are the selections in which Goldberg turns it up and kicks ass like a misunderstood grade-schooler. "Don't Target Me", "Dangerous World" and "Redemption" give birth to the image that he may actually be Eddie Vedder's fifth cousin's grandpa. Logical, dark and bitter describes this side of Goldberg. His finest moments come on "Antarctica" and "You're Killing Me", where the obvious influence of the Ramones transcends with the latent backbone of

methodic and cryptic flavor only comparable to that of Blue Oyster Cult. In other words, a fusion such as this is a pretty fucking cool idea, to say the least.
While his contemporaries will soon be paying attention to Wilfred Brimley's tasteless advertisements and joining gated communities in rural Arizona like gay teenagers join the Boy Scouts, Barry Thomas Goldberg will still be making music. It may not be a fast process, but page by page, and note by note, he will get it done. It took him 16 years this time and, truth be told, there are far worse Dylan, Cash and Neil Young albums to be bought.

From "Lost Cause"- Minnesota's Music Journal, by writer Nathan Hall.

Pop music has almost never been kind to the aged, be they fan or musician. Rocking out eventually melts into the background, following children, mortgages and careers. Before you know it, your leather jacket doesn't fit so hot, bald spots or greasy ponytails have sprouted and cheating on your lover seems more pathetic than daring. The point: Barry T. Goldberg is old enough to be my grandfather. But luckily for the Twin Cities, he forewent the ubiquitous midlife crisis and focused on

the songwriting craft, eventually leading to his masterful and gritty second solo output, Empire Moon.
Goldberg has a raspy delivery that's strangely soothing, akin to enthusiastically shaking hands with someone who has worked in manual labor his whole life and is damn proud of it. His prose is eerily haunting, drawing comparisons mostly to the mournful earthiness of Leonard Cohen circa the "Natural Born Killers" soundtrack. The accompanying music, credited to ex-Ironweeds bandmate Gary Paulak, serves capably as it does so often in most gifted singer-songwriter situations, as a some-

times-forgettable aside aside designed merely to prop up the wondrous poetry on display.
"Watertown" at times echoes the character development works of Vigilante of Love's founder Bill Malone, Goldberg's sarcastic, sorrowful visions of post-apocalyptic nightmares on the opening title track echo classic Lou Reed wordplay. The sprawling, long-winded closer "Washington Avenue" simultaneously channels the wheezy streetname-dropping and world-weary storytelling of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.

In Goldberg's wonderfully dreary world, suicide jumpers ballroom dance with right-wing columnists while cluster bombs burst overhead. His style is so cinematic, in fact, that it has lent itself to soundtracks to two independent films produced by ex-band mates, Flutterblast and Mystagogos.
Goldberg's twisted vision of our fair city is both hopeless and magical, Minneapolis seen through a beer stein. Lucky us that he ended up in a recording booth instead of another obnoxious muscle car, just another schmuck chasing nameless floozies and sporting a tacky earring.

Barry Thomas Goldberg in front of the gone but not forgotten Marigold Ballroom. Circa 1974.  
Misty Flats, Goldberg's first album produced by Michael Yonkers, continues to sell out at Treehouse Records. The album is a naked and raw acoustic look at war, death and greed. Produced in August of 1974 by the incomparable Michael Yonkers. This album is only available on vinyl. For more information contact hijrecordings@aol.com
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