Clutch have digitally released their song “Run, John Barleycorn.” Previously only available on a 7” vinyl with Lionize from 2014, “Run, John Barleycorn” was released as part of their “The Weathermaker Vault” series. “The Weathermaker Vault” has the band going back and releasing old recordings which have not been part of an album.
Beginning with quick drums, a whining guitar reverberates through and underlies the track. Neil Fallon’s ragged vocals speak over the quiet instrumentals, the song rough around the edges as an electric guitar joins in. The electric rhythm weaves around itself, Fallon straining his lyrics underneath the guitar.
Fallon explained they had recorded the song for Record Store Day back in 2014, and was inspired to write the song from Traffic’s song, “John Barleycorn Must Die.” In 2015, he explained the meaning behind the song in a video on the band’s Facebook page.
“I wouldn’t know about the English ballad tradition of John Barleycorn had it not been for Traffic’s ‘John Barleycorn Must Die,’ which is a terrifying and violent and beautiful song all at the same time,” Fallon said in the recording. “And I suppose the idea of turning Barley into a man and torturing him and grinding him up, turning him into whiskey or beer, it was one of the first myths because as soon as people started drinking beer, I would guess they’d want to sing songs about that.”
Clutch’s drummer, Jean-Paul Gaster, recently joined Lamb of God’s Mark Morton and Stinking Lizaveta’s Yanni Papadopoulos for the song, “The Burnt Offerings.” Fallon recently appeared on Two Minutes To Late Night for a cover of AC/DC’s song “Riff Raff.”
Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz