Danny Barnes
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Danny Barnes

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Bluegrass


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Danny Barnes: Pizza Box"

As the name suggests, Danny Barnes' latest effort, Pizza Box, offers a delicious mix of country, rock, and banjo-infused blues. With college-crowd favorite Dave Matthews on backing vocals, how can this ex-Bad Livers frontman be refused?

From the first track, Barnes amplifies his best asset: genre-bending. The aptly-titled "Caveman" expertly—and infectiously—mixes the down home and the honky-tonk with its "Ain't no different than the caveman time" refrain. "The Road" and title track further that penchant. With driving drums and guitars, frenzied and muffled vocals, "The Road" quickly departs from its predecessor while barely preparing the listener for "Pizza Box" and its toned-down atmosphere.

It's clear that Barnes enjoys the back-and-forth. Whether indulging in a Kid Rock (the country Kid, that is) and Hank Jr. hybrid ("Bone"), acronyms ("TSA"), or the classic country outlaw song ("Charlie"), Barnes remains a masterful storyteller—and without question, ever-evolving.

Pizza Box is out now on ATO Records. - Honest Tune

"Review of Pizza Box"

Texas country rocker Danny Barnes likes to do wild things with his banjo — check out the explosive picking on his old band the Bad Livers' turbocharged hillbilly version of Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life." Barnes' seventh solo album, Pizza Box, is a collection of banjo-based songs set against big rock ("Road"), Memphis-style horns ("Sparta, TN"), barnstorming juke-joint blues ("Misty Swan") and even a shuffling, hip-hop-style beat ("Sleep"). Barnes is a clever lyricist with a punk-rock past who understands the raw simplicity of a good country tune: The album's title track is a wistful ballad in which Barnes confesses in his sweet, vulnerable Texas drawl, "Basically it's so elemental/Us Southern boys are sentimental." Enough said.

Link to article: http://tiny.cc/2UsJW - Rolling Stone

"SXSW 2010: Danny Barnes"

Link to article: http://tiny.cc/yBd8m - Interview w/ Spinner.

"NY Times Playlist: Roots Rock and the Funk of the Firmament"

Playing the banjo puts roots in Danny Barnes’ roots-rock, and so does a fondness for country and blues structures in his songs, which cheerfully name-check Southern towns. But his album “Pizza Box” (ATO) doesn’t backdate itself. Mr. Barnes, 47, tells contemporary tales that are wryly observant. “With her hair in a bun, her hand on her gun/We made love with the radio on,” he sings in “TSA,” an Appalachian-flavored tune about romance with an airport guard, while the lovelorn “Broken Clock” worries about credit-card debt. Some songs hint at the Band, but Mr. Barnes also cranks up to feedback volume on the stomping “Road.” Behind his down-home magical realism is an underlying benevolence: In “Overdue,” he sings, “I’m learning to forgive you baby/Would you forgive me too?”

Link to article: http://tiny.cc/5V78J - New York Times


Pizza Box (2009)-ATO

Barnyard Electronics (2007)-Self-released

Get Myself Together (2005)-Terminus Records

Dirt on the Angel (2003)-Terminus Records

Things I Done Wrong (2001)-Terminus Records

Blood and Mood (2000)-Sugar Hill

Danny Barns and his Oft Mended Raiment (2000)-Danny Barnes, Inc.

Minor Dings(2000)-Cavity Search



“A good song has a way of speaking to everybody” Danny Barnes says. “I have faith that more people are going to hear my songs, which is really what I have to offer. I’m not one of those virtuoso instrumentalists, I can’t compete with those guys, but the one thing I can do is write really good songs.”

Part Southern gentleman, part humble artist, Barnes is being more than a bit self-effacing with this statement. Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and genre-bending artists of his craft, Barnes' musical interests are both varied and adventurous, and he incorporates that versatility into a progressive approach to an instrument that is musically polarizing and steeped in tradition. Although he demonstrates an appreciation for the history of the bluegrass, country, and folk music from which the banjo's reputation was born, his inventive take is what truly separates him from his contemporaries…using the banjo as his ‘weapon of choice’ to play non-traditional music like rock, fusion, and jazz with electronic percussion and loop elements.

He has come to redefine the banjo’s perceived image in an eclectic career for which genre definitions have merely been a polite suggestion. From his early days as the driving force behind the impressive Austin-based Bad Livers, a band of pioneering Americana missionaries, through a prolific solo career and the development of his trademark 'folkTronics' project, a startling approach that incorporates digital technology and various effect pedals to stretch the tonal range of the instrument, Barnes has always listened to his proudly offbeat inner voice.

His skills as an instrumentalist and his open embrace and infectious love of music for music’s sake, have brought him to share the stage and record with a wide array of marquee artists that reads like a whos who among broad musical landscapes, ranging from bluegrass greats Bela Fleck, Del McCoury, and Sam Bush, newgrass stars Yonder Mountain String band, to Americana artists Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, and Nickel Creek, to Jam friendly Government Mule, Leftover Salmon, and Keller Williams, to jazz and blues instrumentalists Bill Frisell, Chuck Leavell, and John Popper, to members of the punk and metal Butthole Surfers, Dead Kennedys, and Ministry.

Yet, on Pizza Box (to be released on October 20th on ATO records), it is his uncanny songwriting voice that steps to the forefront. However, finding the proper medium for these songs and ideas to exist proved to be a challenge in the early stages. “I was just trying to create the best batch of songs that I could come up with. I worked on ‘em for about three years and I didn’t really have an outlet for it,” Barnes explains. “I really felt these songs were more like fractured pop than bluegrass or acoustic songs...so I didn’t really know what to do, I just kept working, and playing the songs live, practicing them and developing them...writing new ones and getting the poetry right and developing these characters and the overall story arch, figuring how to make the arrangements very simple and to my ear, powerful, chords that were boulders instead of pebbles, making a movie in my head where the songs were scenes and there were common elements that tied everything together to tell this one big story.”

Barnes found an ally in Dave Matthews (co-founder of ATO Records). “In the process of developing these ideas, one of the things I ended up doing a few times with my friend Dave, was to sit around and eat sandwiches and swap songs; new stuff we were working on. "Here's one..….(jam) ….now play one of yours! (jam)", it's a great way to spend a day.” Having played several shows with Dave Matthews Band in recent years, Danny was invited to perform on the band's latest platinum release, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. Throughout the process, the two had become friends, and Matthews’ enthusiasm for Barnes brought this body of work to light, with Matthews even contributing backing vocals on some of the songs (including lead single, “Overdue”) and the cover art illustration of the album.

Matthews introduced Barnes to acclaimed producer John Alagia (Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Jason Mraz). With drumming powerhouse Matt Chamberlin (Pearl Jam, David Bowie T-Bone Burnett), who Barnes describes enthusiastically, “the most bad ass drummer we could find,” the team were let loose in Haunted Hollow, Dave Matthews Band’s private studio in Charlottesville, Virginia. As Barnes puts it, "If you got good songs and a good place to work, and good people to work with, you just can’t lose you know?”

According to Matthews, "Danny Barnes’ Pizza Box is my favorite new music, my favorite rock record, and my favorite country record. From the first time he sat down and played me "Road", I new his next record was going to be great, but I didn't expect this. The music is smart and soulful, and the lyrics are profound. It is heaven and earth. It is Americana, from the back porch to the pulpit, s