Barley House Tabernacle Choir

Posters were missing, the kitchen had vanished and the girls' bathroom sink lay shattered on the floor, but the Barley House drunks kept the kegs, bottle openers and speakers working for one more night before moving to Yale Boulevard on Friday. Rather than end the bar's 12-year stand with a bang, the one-night-only "Barley House Tabernacle Choir" said goodbye without making much of a fuss. The half-rock, half-lounge sound of the night was provided by local swing band Mr. Pink, with Shibboleth's Rich Martin on keyboards, while a rotating cast of Barley regulars took turns on the mike to sing '70s pop covers in a set list written entirely by owner Richard Winfield. Not to say this was routine cover-band fluff, as Sorta's Ward Williams jived to "Strawberry Letter 22" and former LCC singer Peter Schmidt crooned "I Say a Little Prayer," but the unique show didn't quite bring down the house, aside from an entertaining take on "Viva Las Vegas" by Sorta's Trey Johnson. Years ago, Winfield organized a similar concert for his wedding, and its Sunday night repeat seemed like a reception, too: With friends and familiar music, the Barley House faithful celebrated the past while toasting countless times to new beginnings on Yale. The night was far from a farewell, and that bodes well for the new location. See you there Friday.
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sam Machkovech