Barry composes music and performs in the Seattle psychedelic pop band Brother Bear. Taking up the challenge set forth by the likes of Brian Wilson, Rod Argent, Lennon/McCartney, Syd Barrett and the many others who pioneered the late 1960’s Psychedelic Pop sound, Barry Uhl and Co. are attempting to carry on their legacy.
Influenced by equal parts Pop Psych, Early Jazz and Ragtime, as well as the stories of Edward Gorey and the theatrical stylings of Kurt Weill, the songs are an extension of stories Barry writes before even considering the music. Once a group of stories is written, (generally 7 -10) and the concept fleshed out, Barry then writes the songs. Augmenting the story telling with first person perspectives and events only hinted at in the over all arc of the story line, the songs are then demoed with the help of Jeremy Wingfield before being brought to the band.
“Rarely, I go to a show and walk out thinking, “I don’t know what the hell that was but it was amazing.” The Brother Bear show was one of those rare shows. Mixing rag-time and folk melodies with upbeat story-like vocals, Brother Bear’s carefully planned details and constantly changing sound evolve into original arrangements that make you sway and swoon. I tried to get some steady audience-clapping going, but aside from the couples swing dancing in the front of the venue, everyone else was waiting patently for the next hat trick. The tight marching-band drumming was enough to wear down my heal. Steel-toed boots would have been the smarter foot-wear option for the night. Oohs and the heavy instrumental build-up to transitions had me wishing I knew the words to the songs, but I’m sure it won’t be long till I’m singing along with the rest of Brother Bear’s growing fan base. Mr. Piano man, may we hear another? I left the Tractor Tavern pleased but not surprised. A group of so much mind-blowing talent is bound to evolve into a creative force that will continue to change the musical style of the Northwest.”
–Marina Marina Orievsky, Indie Rock Reviews
“This Seattle band is an ambitious undertaking that marries Victorian literature with Kurt Weill cabaret, 70s pyschedelia with bowler hats, and 19th century chapbooks with modern indie pop. It’s a crazy concept, but they’ve got what it takes to pull it off. Honestly, their music reminds me a lot of The Beatles’ story movies, like Help! or the rare Sergeant Pepper movie (with Steve Martin playing the role of Maxwell from ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’). It seems like our age of irony has done away with the gloriously quirky concept albums of past decades, replacing them with dense, inscrutable epic albums that hardly anyone can understand. Looks like Brother Bear is here to put the fun back into the old acts.”
– Devon Léger, Hearth Music