Tara Novak London-based independent label Xtra Mile Recordings is heading to…
- Posted on Apr 16th 2012 11:30AM by Cameron Matthews
After riding rail cars for nearly 20 years, Barry set out to immortalize his illegal hobby with a heartfelt folk tune that embodies what it is to be a freight bum, a nomad in search of nothing but good views and solitude.
"I hide in boxcars, on grain porches and on intermodal cars to temporarily disappear," Barry tells Spinner. "I sleep in train yards, in woods or abandoned buildings. Often alone and always with nothing but a backpack containing just enough for me to get by.
"I ride freight to temporally escape reality or when I simply need to change perspective. I depend on trains like a surfer depends on waves. Or how a skydiver depends on gravity. We do these things to submit to a power that is greater than us, to live in a moment, to escape."
"Driver Pull" features mournful images of a desolate American landscape, interspersed with shots of graffiti'd engines and stockyards filled with unknown goods.
"This video was given to me by a railroad worker who goes by the handle 'Wooden Axle.' I do not know this railroad employee, as he prefers to remain anonymous," Barry says of the footage for "Driver Pulls."
"The undercurrents of railroad culture prevent many of us from knowing one another. Anonymity helps keeps our culture, its folklore and its legends alive. Thank you Wooden Axle -- with my heart -- for some of the most beautiful footage I've ever seen of trains. May I one day see you down the road."
The song itself is like a fright train, constantly pulling loaded verses toward a placid chorus while Barry paints the perfect picture of a train engine through the line "Haulin' ass at a snail's pace."
"I wrote this song while riding a loaded coal car for a short 120-mile stretch between two beautiful Virginia cities, the train line paralleling one of our country's most beautiful water ways. It was a perfect night to be alone. It was a perfect ride to gain perspective. It was a perfect night to ride home. It was the perfect night to keep going."
Watch Tim Barry's video for "Driver Pull" above from the album 40 Miller, out now via Chunksaah Records.