Smart Barker is putting the finishing touches on its new record, Triumvirate—Falgie, Graybill, Robinson. The idea behind the record is to capture what we really sound like—especially since our last two albums feature pretty elaborate arrangements and songs that we can’t play. It’s a mix of songs from the MDP era (albums soon to be rebranded under the new name), with more from the first record, What Is All This Sweet Work Worth?, because we made that before Bob joined the band. There are a few surprising re-arrangements and a couple of interesting covers—including a tribute to another power trio (“triumvirate” get it?) The Police. The track listing is as follows:

  1. Heathen Eden
  2. Truth Hits Everybody
  3. Brain!
  4. Perfect Breasts
  5. My Head Is Bowed
  6. Only Son
  7. Nude For Satan
  8. The Gods Have Given Up On Immortality | We Belong Together
  9. Theodicy Club
  10. Have You Been Around?
  11. Coward Of The Conscience
  12. Not To Talk

No overdubs, warts and all, recorded in Bob’s basement, Triumvirate actually sounds great—like a band re-energized and ready to conquer the world!

Still mixing, but soon.

William Wordsworth in Context

During all this promotion for The Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth, I should give a shout-out to Andrew Bennett’s competing volume from Cambridge UP—William Wordsworth in Context. It has an impressive roster of contributors and not too much overlap. Buy both!

Here is the complete table of contents. I’m pleased that I was able to come up with some fresh commentary on the sonnet. Many thanks to the editor, Andrew Bennett, for inviting me to contribute. And be sure to read his excellent survey of criticism in The Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth.


Part I. Life and Works:
1. Biography Stephen Gill
2. The Wordsworth circle Susan M. Levin
3. Dorothy Wordsworth Judith W. Page
4. Composition and revision Sally Bushell
5. Prose Tim Milnes

Part II. Reception and Influence:
6. The critical reception, 1793–1806 David Higgins
7. The critical reception, 1807–18 Peter Simonsen
8. The critical reception, 1819–50 Richard Cronin
9. English poetry, 1900–30 Michael O’Neill
10. Wordsworth now Maureen N. McLane

Part III. Literary Traditions:
11. Eighteenth-century poetry Kevis Goodman
12. The ballad tradition Daniel Cook
13. The pastoral-georgic tradition David Fairer
14. The popular tradition Ann Wierda Rowland
15. Elegy Paul H. Fry
16. The sonnet Daniel Robinson
17. Autobiography Josh Wilner
18. Epitaphs and inscriptions Samantha Matthews
19. Sensibility, sympathy and sentiment James Chandler

Part IV. Cultural and Historical Contexts:
20. Revolution John Bugg
21. Poverty and crime Toby Benis
22. Europe Michael Ferber
23. War Simon Bainbridge
24. Nature and the environment Scott Hess
25. London Christopher Stokes
26. Family and friendship Anne D. Wallace
27. Education Frances Ferguson
28. Animals Kurt Fosso
29. Philosophy Stuart Allen
30. Religion Jonathan Roberts
31. The senses Noel Jackson
32. Language Alexander Regier
33. The sublime Philip Shaw
34. Walking and travel Robin Jarvis
35. Painting, spectacle and the visual Sophie Thomas

Further reading