Marc Barnhill

Marc Barnhill

BandPopAcoustic

Acoustic, literate, introspective songs.

Biography

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and growing up "between the Boardwalk and the Verrazano Bridge," Marc Barnhill was an avid Beatles fan at the age of nine and a belated classic-rock teen. In the 1980s, he wrote poetry and found his musical tastes drifting toward the introspective "singer-songwriter" genre.

Citing such artists as James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, David Wilcox, Tracy Chapman, Indigo Girls, Nick Drake, and Jules Shear as major influences, he began writing music in the late 1980s and collaborated with brother Scott on a collection of guitar tracks called CLOUDY SKIES.

In the early 1990s Marc was instrumental in the formation (and later the dissolution) of the rock band Fall Out, serving as occasional lyricist and backing vocalist. Other side projects included writing and singing duty for poststructuralist concept band Ontology and for experimental funk duo Urbal T.

Marc became an English teacher in 1993 and over the next decade worked at CUNY community colleges, New York University, and alternative high schools (including The Bronx Guild, which he co-founded). Meanwhile, he was writing songs that combined literary craftsmanship with personal exploration. Many of the songs written during this period were recorded as the CHASING AFTER demos and promptly shelved.

After performing live with Joey Figgiani at New York City's now-defunct Psychic Cafe in 2002, Marc began work on his debut solo CD, BLUE TIME, which was completed in November 2003 and independently released in 2004.

Another arrival came in February 2004, in the form of Marc's daughter, Liana, who attended many of her father's performances during the first few months of her life.

In addition to his participation in weekly open-mic events, Marc has performed at such venues as CBGB, The Listening Room, DT-UT, and The Bitter End.

Marc is currently working on his second album, CIRCLES OF SURPRISE, which is scheduled to be released in 2006. He lives in Manhattan with two cats.

Lyrics

Already On My Way

Written By: Marc Barnhill

i remember a charcoal rendering
of the room we shared
when neither of us would budge
and it was smudged beyond repair
and i remember one late night opening
waiting till the guests were gone
but galleries come and galleries go
and after the show the work goes on

frozen in stone, broken like bone
the careless things we did
somebody has to take a chance
somebody has to forgive
this is all i'm asking for
help me to save the day
you need only unlock the door
i'm already on my way

separation was a still life painting
a time of emptiness
when neither of us would call
a fellowship followed nonetheless
it took a summer of west coast wandering
pondering the pieces there
proudly displayed and dappled like jade
every one made with tender care

vows on the phone, broken like bone
the careless things we said
somebody needs to take the lead
somebody needs to be led
this is all i'm asking for
find me the words to say
you need only unlock the door
i'm already on my way

portrait of the artist
another work in progress
but the promise comes so slow
feeling out the collaboration
yielding to temptation
to scrap it all and plan another show

portrait of the artist
is just another work in progress
and the promise comes so slow
feeling out the collaboration
means yielding to temptation
to scrap it all and plan another show

some will languish in an attic corner
some are marked for sale
but neither of us would admit
we always quit before we fail
exhibitions are an easy alibi
standing by a masterpiece
but so much depends on patrons and friends
and evenings that ended incomplete

these moments alone can be broken like bone
by the careless things we do
somebody must open up
somebody must come through
this is all i'll ask you for
summon the strength to stay
you need only unlock the door
i'm already on my way
i'm already on my way
already on my way

Brother of Mine (Till Only Animals Remain)

Written By: Marc Barnhill

brother of mine i am all out of answers
we survived but it cost us the chance
to ford the river at sunrise
now we stand beside the wreck of our memories
summer wind ripped the veil from our vision
set loose the animals and left us both wishing
for the wisdom of children
uncloaked our celtic-cross menagerie

tonight we'll send our unrequited friendship up
into ashes and flame
we'll start again and speak of everything
till the morning kills our campfire
till only animals remain

brother of mine i'm prepared to be foolish
family pride can't persuade me when there is too much
ground to recover
and too little time for starting over
decades on and we're caught in the calling
rest you down and remember it all
until the bright bird of childhood
settles like a hand upon your shoulder

tonight we'll send our unrequited friendship up
into ashes and flame
we'll start again and speak of everything
till the morning kills our campfire
till only animals remain

brother of mine it was supposed to be simple
over time we have opened a window
into echoes and anguish
mom and dad could never have imagined
but this is just like the old way of living
shaking trees raking leaves making heaven
out of houses and highways
lying awake and lying about what happened

tonight we'll send our unrequited friendship up
into ashes and flame
we'll start again and speak of everything
till the morning kills our campfire
till only animals remain
till only animals remain
i am all out of answers
till only animals remain
brother of mine

Smoke and Rattles

Written By: Marc Barnhill

daddy drove me down to north carolina
trying to drive his dreams into me
children in the wilderness, smoke and rattles
choking in the shadow of the family tree
i was wrong to rebel i guess
eager to tell our ancestral shame
well i don't know if it really is so
but society is not to blame

meanwhile in my mind i'm still the shot-up
product of environments i once knew
living on a postage stamp in the city
standing in the video rotunda with you
too much highway wine i guess
maybe it's time to confess my sins
well i don't know if it really is so
but tomorrow i'll begin again

corporate advertising billboard sky
over the company cradle was my lullaby
i learned to sing and cry
while in the tropic of cancer my cousins died
daddy and me, we're a lot alike

i can look ahead and see tomorrow
following the rails, fathering my own
waiting for the train in paternal patience
burning in the station like a burial stone
i could keep driving down i guess
looking around at my successful friends
well i don't know if it really is so
but i've heard the cycle never ends

come hell or high water or black-eyed peas
whiskey or tobacco or white supremacy
blacktop or truck stops or buckshot
we were reenacting eden in a pentecostal county

daddy drove me down to north carolina
trying to drive his dreams into me
children in the wilderness, smoke and rattles
all choking in the shadow of the family tree
i was born to rebel i guess
eager to tell our ancestral shame
well i don't know if it really is so
but the answer's hidden in my name
smoke and rattles everywhere you go
and society is not to blame

Discography

BLUE TIME (CD): released 01/2004, tracks available on many music download sites.

WOMEN OF SAND (EP): released 05/2005

CIRCLES OF SURPRISE (CD): scheduled to be released in 2006.

Set List

Past performances have ranged from 15 minutes to two hours. A typical hour-long setlist:

Women of Sand
City Under Snow
All In My Own Good Time
Braver
Already On My Way
Ain't Your Baby
Eastern Rain
Hearts Have Walls
Parting of the Ways
Thirty Years
Smoke and Rattles
Voids in the Wreckage