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The Tipping Point

Stuart Bailie | 09:34 UK time, Friday, 30 March 2012

Bob Dylan had no direction home but Gene Piney lost it a mere 24 hours from Tulsa. Glen Campbell's girl didn't figure much out when he'd got to Phoenix and it was only when he'd reached Oklahoma that the tears started. So whither Barry Tipping, he of the cracked vocals, the lonesome sound and the compass that points to the essence of heartache?
The answer is a project called Six Miles North and a set of songs that plot out an evocative trail. It's the sublimation of many years in pursuit of rock and roll. High times, bum steers and unfortunate timing. It might have tapered off altogether but a severe illness put the Armagh boy onto a new mission. No more big gestures. Instead a deal of introversion and pared-down tunes to compare with Paul McCartney's first solo record. Or maybe Elliott Smith, laureate of awful pain, sweetly defined.
There would also be a series of instrumentals, allied to the same notion, but additionally a gift to film soundtracks and the needs of the ever-demanding film synch business. So there's a forward facing element to Barry's new work. He may not make it to the top of an increasingly redundant record sales chart, but there are other ways to connect with the people. Way to go, fella.

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