The Quiet Faith of Man

Rik Barron

Maritime folk songs and tunes sung and played with gentle power.

Rik Barron was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The veteran musician has performed throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. A consummate performer, Rik entertains his audience with a seamless blend of great baritone singing, expert playing and irreverent humour.

It's perhaps best to see what other people say about the recording to get a better sense of what's inside.Two of the CD's reviews are reprinted below.

Rik Barron. The Quiet Faith of Man

Here is a recording that is a real pleasure to hear and to have out in the world! Included on this eleven-track CD are three equally represented categories: Canadian compositions, American-authored pieces and traditional material. Six of the tracks are songs (with vocals) and the remaining five are instrumental tunes featuring Rik on mandolin, mandola or 5-string banjo.

One thing that impresses me about Rik’s vocal presentation is that he places on each song a stamp of gentle power, whether it be on a light-hearted offering or on something quite serious. Barron has a voice capable of soothing the ears while at the same time holding the listener’s attention to the lyrical content.

The material is very effectively ordered on this recording, and the flavour of the title track, by Bill Staines (“The Quiet Faith of Man”) permeates most of the entire album. However, Rik does surprise the listener two-thirds of the way through with a powerful rendition of “No Place For Children” (by Daniel Master), which is a hard-hitting song about some of the world’s more serious social and justice issues. Following this track up with an instrumental version of “ Come Thy (Thou) Fount of Every Blessing” is a masterful way to carry the listener into some reflection time for the preceding song.

I was impressed by Rik’s use of the 5 string banjo on three of the instrumentals- another surprise; he features the banjo on the three pieces with slower tempos, and reserves the fast playing for the mandolin and mandola on the two remaining instrumental tracks. Barron’s respect for banjo player Tony Ellis is evidenced by coverage in the liner notes and inclusion of two of Ellis’s original compositions on the CD.

It was somewhat refreshing to discover a CD on which the artist did not write or compose any of the material, thereby concentrating the creative process on the arrangements of other people’s works. From this practise Rik Barron makes his musical statements, and this has helped him become a very effective song and tune agent.

This album features a good balance of instruments on each track, with none of the clutter that results from overproduced recordings. The instruments used on various songs and tunes are guitar, electric bass, mandolin, mandola, 5-string, tenor banjo and accordion. Barron’s side musicians include Dave Panting, Brian Bourne and Geoff Panting, and they are to be commended for tasteful playing and good backup singing.

I discovered that on successive listenings, the total package of music really grew on me as new surprises found their way into my ear. If one wants to hear terrific music by a talented music agent with great baritone power, Rik Barron’s Quiet Faith of Man is a sure bet. Barry Luft, Calgary, AB Canadian Folk Music Bulletin Fall 2004 Vol 38.3

Rambles: Rik Barron, The Quiet Faith of Man Rik Barron, The Quiet Faith of Man (independent, 2004)

Rik Barron's CD The Quiet Faith of Man is the kind of record that uplifts the spirit and renews one's faith in simple independent recordings. A simple yet

accomplished project, this collection of mostly-traditional folk songs is enjoyable from start to finish. Clocking in at just over 32 minutes for 12 songs, it never overstays its welcome and leaves the listener wanting more. Rik Barron comes across as a warm and genuine person, with a rich and weathered voice that's well-suited to simple love songs and traditional odes to his home of Newfoundland. He sings all lead vocals and plays guitars, mandola, mandolin and 5-string banjo with confidence and precision. Perhaps not a songwriter himself, he chooses to showcase the songs of others, including those of his colleague on guitars and mandolins, Dave Panting. Other songwriters represented on the album are Duncan Wells ("From Hopkins Wharf to Havenside," "Sittin' Next to You"), Bill Staines ("The Quiet Faith of Man") and Daniel Master, whose award-winning "No Place for Children" is particularly thoughtful and affecting. Barron skillfully combines songs and instrumental tracks on the CD, and the instrumental pieces are just as satisfying as the songs. Tony Ellis's "Cherry Blossom Waltz" and "Hand in Hand" are lovely. In addition to Barron and Panting, the band consists of Brian Bourne on bass and backing vocals and Geoff Panting on accordion. Barron's thoughtful liner notes provide more insight into the project and how it came together. The Quiet Faith Of Man was clearly a joy to produce and that positive spirit carries through to the listener.

Rambles written by Joy McKay published 13 August 2005

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