The Bad Livers co-founder Danny Barnes is at it again with Pizza Box, his latest release that soothes our longing for John Hartford-style humor mixed with soulful banjo pickin’ and a fresh injection of inspiration.
Each character Danny sings about, each situation and every feeling is multi-dimensional with personality and meaning. The songs are short stories with beginnings, middles and ends.
Parts IV and V have just been posted. Check out Barnes' banjo channel at youtube.
Danny Barnes didn't have his own set (?!?) at the 2010 Summercamp Festival in Illinois last weekend but he sure did play around.
On Friday, Barnes joined Yonder Mountain String Band at the end of their set for 3 songs: "Ragdoll," a song Barnes and Jeff Austin wrote together, "Kentucky Mandolin," and "Boatman." Then he practiced with Warren Haynes and worked up the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses," which Barnes and Jeff Austin played with Gov't Mule that night. (you can download the set here at btree.)
On Saturday, Barnes played an afternoon set with Chuck (from moe.) as a duet. The set was in conjunction with the WhyHunger organization who also organized the moe./Barnes show in New York City earlier this year. They played some Barnes songs and some of Chuck's song.
That evening, Danny joined Keller Williams during his set. They played 2 Barnes tracks that Keller has recorded: "Get It While You Can" and "Cornpone Sally and Her Haybaling Wagon Wheels." Later that night, he joined moe. on their set and played "Punchline."
Danny will be appearing with moe. and Yonder Mountain String Band (among others) at the 10th Annual Summercamp Festival in Chillicothe, IL. Other artists on the bill include Umphrey’s McGee, Gov’t Mule, Avett Brothers, Keller Williams, STS9, etc. Tickets on sale now at www.summercampfestival.com!
Be sure to pick up the upcoming June issue of Relix (10th Annual Festival Guide with Wayne Coyne and MGMT on cover) to read an in depth feature written by Executive Editor, Dean Budnick.
The official Danny Barnes Facebook Fan Page is up and running! Visit for exclusive content, tour dates, and a full stream of Danny's new album, Pizza Box. Click the link below!
The banjo has country-music and bluegrass associations, but Danny Barnes is taking the instrument further: to jazz, punk and pop. His latest release is titled Pizza Box, and it features the banjo as it's rarely been heard before.
Barnes recorded the album at Haunted Hollows Studio in Virginia. The facility is owned by none other than Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band, who took notice of Barnes several years ago. Barnes played banjo with the group in the past, and now Matthews is returning the favor. He contributes backing vocals on several tracks from Pizza Box.
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Before this solo release, Barnes worked with musicians such as Robert Earl Keen, Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz. He also played in his own acoustic punk-rock band, Bad Livers. Pizza Box may be his most pop-focused work to date, but he says he's just playing the music he enjoys.
"I look at what I do as fractured pop music, and I love the way [it] delivers really profound music in a really simple way," he says. "It's a direct path to a lot of people's attention."
Barnes is known to scat while playing the banjo. He says he started doing it when one of his arrangement teachers told him that he should only play what he could sing.
"I practiced for 10 years, where I would try to sing everything that I was playing so that it wasn't just gratuitous scales," he says.
After almost four decades of playing music, Barnes still says he has a lot to learn.
"I've been at it 38 years," he says, "and I still take lessons and work on it."
We are thrilled to announce that Danny will be appearing this Sunday on NPR's Weekend Edition with Liane Hansen! Tune in to hear Ms. Hansen's musically enlightening conversation with Danny and be sure to visit www.npr.org for an online extra including video footage of Barnes' live performance. Check local listings for details.
Danny will be a special guest performer at the 10th Annual Summer Camp Festival in Chicilothe, IL over Memorial Day weekend (May 28 - 30) with moe., Umphrey's McGee, STS9, Gov't Mule, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mounain String Band, Keller Williams, and more. Tickets on sale now at summercampfestival.com
Danny will also be appearing at Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival August 9 - 14th as both a performer and instructor at the camp. Other artists include Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, and Keller Williams. Tickets on sale now here