Friday October 5, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- This tour will be the end of the road for Barefoot Truth.

The five-man jam band, one of the most popular groups in the area, will be disbanding after one final tour. The tour kicks off next Friday night at the Colonial Theatre.

The band is made up of bassist Andy Wrba; keyboardist John "Way no" Waynelovich, harmonica player Garrett Duffy, guitarist Jay Driscoll and drummer/vocalist Will Evans. Wrba is a 2003 graduate of Pittsfield High School (and, if it must be said, a pretty good soccer player for the Generals), and all five members have New England roots.

In a phone interview, Wrba ex plained that the rigors of constant touring was the principal reason that this fall will see the termination of the band.

"We've been on the road pretty hard for the past seven years," he said. "And we love to play, but the pace we set was pretty tough. We had a lot of discussions about this, and we were all missing being home with our families.

"It's not easy," he concluded. "It's taxing. It adds up."

The band has its origins almost a decade ago, in 2003, when Driscoll and Evans began playing together as a guitar-bass combo.

In those days, said Wrba, the two would play in and around Mystic, Conn., and often play on the beach. When on the beach they would play without shoes. As the rest of the band came together, said Wrba, they began calling themselves "Barefoot.


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Alas, there was already a Los Angeles-based band called Barefoot, signed to Geffen Records, as well as a group in San Antonio called the Barefoot Band. The Geffen people took some offense, said Wrba.

"They threatened to sue us if we didn't change our name," he said.

Change it they did, albeit only slightly to Barefoot Truth, which Wrba said the members liked better anyway.

The band started out as a regional group, but their distinctive jam-funk-reggae-rhy thm sound, as well as a high-energy live show, began to expand their audience. That, and a near-relentless touring schedule eventually built them a strong national base.

If they were not touring, the members of the band were often recording. In their relatively brief musical career, Barefoot Truth has put out a total of six albums, the latest being 2011's "Carry Us On," which debuted at No. 10 on the iTunes Rock charts, a near-im possible feat for a band signed to an independent label. They have also released two EPs.

But the byproduct of this success has led to a desire to take it a little easier, said Wrba. He emphasized that the members of the band still consider themselves a "brotherhood" and that there has been no animosity behind the decision.

"No, there was no arguing, no hard feelings," he said.

And as adamantly as he insisted that Barefoot Truth will be no more after the fall tour, Wrba also did not discount a reunion at some point in the future.

"But right now, it's up in the air," he said.

He will continue to perform at Mission Tapas Bar and his bandmates all have other projects on which they are working.

"The bass," he said, "is not going in the closet."



Who: Five-man jam band Barefoot Truth

What: Final concert in the Berkshires

Where: Colonial Theatre, 111 South St., Pittsfield

When: Friday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $27.50, $17.50

How: (413) 997-4444;
www.berkshiretheatregroup.org;
at the box office