Rick Barron – or Sergent Rick Barron, if he's in uniform – has been playing with The Quavers nearly as long as he's been working for the Patrol Division of the Brookline Police.
A former educator from Raynham, Barrons moved to Brookline in the 1970s, joined the police force and began playing with a band. Thirty years and seven kids later, he's still doing both – while coaching on the site.
"The problem is trying to find time to do all this stuff," he said.
Barron and his band, The Quavers, will take the stage at Emerson Garden Wednesday night to kick off Brookline's annual summer concert series, which continues each Wednesday through August 11. The concerts are part of a Brookline summer tradition that dates back to the early 1990s, according to Gerry Kelly, a program manager for the Brookline Recreation Department.
Barron remembers playing some of those early shows, which started at Amory Playground just off Beacon Street. Though his band's notoriety peaked in the 1980s – when pop country was topping the charts and the Quavers were playing four nights a week, including a regular Sunday gig at the Tam O'Shanter in Washington Square – Barron still plays several times a month around Massachussets, often at O'Leary's in St. Mary's Station.
Barron describes his band's original music as "crossover Americana" and "bluesy," but he also plays classic rock favorites and Irish jigs when the gig requires it. He'll be joined on stage tonight by four other longtime band mates, including Water Department employee Paul Maroney.
Beyond the venues of Brookline, the Quavers have played around the country and oversees over the decades, earning Barren more than a few contacts in the country "haven" of Nashville and elsewhere. A few of those friends might join him for a showcase on stage tonight.
Barron recorded his first and only album – not including a few 500-run cassette releases – in a Brookline studio in the mid 1990s, and is looking to release a second one soon. Maybe after he finally retires from the force.
"Once I do that, I'm just going to give just one massive push and see what we can come up with," he said.