Ian Anderson Pays Tribute to Original Jethro Tull

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Ian Anderson Band-2015-PORTRAIT

Anderson (c) and his band

Ian Anderson is presenting Jethro Tull in October on the West Coast in Las Vegas, San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Modesto, Folsom, San Jose, Portland, Spokane and Seattle. But this time it’s not the band Jethro Tull, which Anderson founded in the late ’60s, but rather the agriculturist after whom the band was named!

Written and performed by Anderson, the performance “celebrates the life and times of English agriculturalist Jethro Tull (1674-1741) with a narrative set in the near future,” according to a press release.

When the band formed, Anderson had a vague idea of who the real Jethro Tull was. The band’s agent, a history major, chose the moniker, saluting the 18th century agriculturalist. “I’d always avoided doing [research] in the past,” Anderson told Best Classic Bands in 2015, “not wanting to know too much about him, through the kind of embarrassment, I suppose, of having hijacked his name.”

Portrait of Jethro Tull (1674–1741), British agronomist

Portrait of Jethro Tull (1674–1741), British agronomist

Related: Our interview with Ian Anderson

Anderson discovered there he had surprising connections to Tull’s personal life, and they resonated. “When I read them I immediately conjured up songs I’d written in the last 40-odd years,” he said, “and suddenly I had about 20 songs I could make a list of that seemed, in some way, to be quite apt in touching upon a certain part of his life and times.”

The show thus presents some of the best-known songs from the repertoire of the band Jethro Tull.

In the show Jethro Tull, Anderson touches upon topical issues including climate change, intensive food production and population growth. New material specially written for this show includes “Prosperous Pasture,” “Fruits of Frankenfield,” “And the World Feeds Me,” “Stick, Twist, Bust” and “The Turnstile Gate.” Anderson will also include, from the classic rock catalog of the “other” Jethro Tull, songs such as “Heavy Horses,” “Farm on the Freeway,” “Songs From the Wood,” “Aqualung,” “Living In the Past,” “Wind-Up,” “The Witch’s Promise” and “Locomotive Breath,” as well as “A New Day Yesterday,” which originally appeared on Tull’s second album, Stand Up, which is being reissued with a Steve Wilson remix on November 18. Some of the older songs will have slightly rewritten lyrics to better tell the tale, the announcement says.

Related: More about the upcoming reissue of Stand Up

The show has already played in the U.K., Italy, Spain, Russia, Brazil, Argentina and other parts of the U.S. too. Anderson will be accompanied by David Goodier (bass), John O’Hara (keyboards), Florian Opahle (guitar), Scott Hammond (drums) and virtual guests on screen, including Ryan O’Donnell, who shared the stage with Anderson in recent tours for Homo Erraticus and Thick As a Brick, and Icelandic singer/violinist/actress Unnur Birna Björnsdóttir, who appears on screen throughout the show.

Watch Ian Anderson perform “Thick As a Brick”…

Tour Dates (Tickets are available here and here):

October 14: The Smith Center, Las Vegas, NV
October 15: Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
October 17: Balboa Theatre, San Diego, CA
October 18: Fox Performing Arts Center, Riverside, CA
October 19: Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA
October 21: Gallo Center for the Arts, Modesto, CA
October 22: City National Civic, San Jose, CA
October 24: The Harris Center-Folsom Lake College, Folsom, CA
October 25: Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa, CA
October 27: Keller Auditorium, Portland, OR
October 28: Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA
October 29: Northern Quest Resort & Casino, Airway Heights, WA

 

Best Classic Bands Staff
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