Barry Warsaw's Musical Biography
The following account is based on a fever dream.
Barry grew up in a musical household. His grandfather was best known as Dr. Blind Himilco, harmonica player in John Phillip Sousa's house band for the Taft Administration. His mother was a concert piccoloist in the National Symphony and his father invented the double-bell euphonium. His seven brothers and three sisters comprise the highly successful Elmo Fuhd and his All-Pennsyltucky All-Washboard All-Funktastical All-Star Review. Due to an unfortunate childhood hand laundering incident, Barry is not an adept washboardist.
Barry played bass in local DC bands for more than 30 years, which is really amazing considering he's only 35. It all started with his 5 year world tour as the second 'B' in the ABBA tribute band, BAAB. After a fallout with his girlfriend, bandmate, and first 'A', Abnorbal Weenis, he co-founded the mid-80's progrock band Picture This with guitarist Chris Boswell, and drummers Chris G and El Torro Gamble.
When the This broke up, Barry spent 7 drunken years hopping from one progrock band to another, culminating in the the late-80's early-90's band Arc of Ones. After their eponymous debut album, the accolades poured in, with one reviewer saying "Warsaw doesn't just carry a melody, he HAULS it". When the Arc broke up, he decided to maul the melody instead with his highly un successful chainsaw and bass project Oprah Grunt.
The Grunt was a critical, financial, and musical disaster, so Barry then joined friends El Torro Gamble and Tommy Derr, in the Georgie Jessup and Crazy Sacred Dogs band. From this point in his career, "dogs" would become a recurring theme, despite his severe and messy gag reflex at the mere mention of the word "puppy". CSD was a solid and powerful backup band to Georgie's unique brand of flashy and ballsy blues. This band had a successful run of several years, followed by several decades of unsuccessful attempts at being the halftime entertainment at the SuperBowl(tm).
Barry was also busy in the studio, cutting records for acts such as Venus Rising, as well as other bands who would have been huge hits had their record companies not buried their product out of jealousy and fear. Such bands included The Oxymorons, Giftpig, Plurp, Tight As a Weasel, and Fluffpole. It was through Venus Rising however, that Barry ended up in The Situation, a duet with guitarist/vocalist Sharon Gruber, and later with former Riser Nancy Dougherty, who's first solo record included a couple of Barry's songs. The songwriting bug did bite.
Barry then sold out, making huge fistfuls of money (not to mention all the booze he could smuggle out in his shoes) in his fabulously popular bar band Chemical Man. The band's repertoire included numerous originals and mildly out of date radio hits. When the band Chemical Brothers hit it big, they sued several bands for trademark infringment, including LA's Chemical Mommy, Boston's Chemical Aunt Emma, Vegas's My Grandpa's Leaking Chemicals, and sadly DC's own Chemical Man.
This heartbreaking development led to Barry's involvement in a spate of short-lived projects, including Doc Populi, Truth Groove, The Jimmy Crackcorn Addiction, Homebag, Monster Poppins Penguin, Captain Queef Naugahyde's Amazingly Damaged Moose Review, and Her Majesty's School for Heavy Needlework.
Yearning for a band with a name that could actually fit on a CD label, in 1995 Barry followed former Chemical Man bandmate John "Wally" Sablosky to the Cravin' Dogs, DC's premier roots rock band. Barry continued in the bass chair until is 2018 move to California.
Barry also appears on the 2003 self-titled release from Takoma Park rocker Billy Coulter. He's played on the CDs of several local singer songwriters such as David A. Alberding, Ann Blair, Jay Britton, Mary Shaver, and many others.
Barry played for many years with the U-Liners, a wonderful roots band from Takoma Park, Maryland. He contributed three original songs over two albums.