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The Underrated Genius of Danny Barnes

A Texas-bred, Seattle-based banjo and guitar player initially known as the front man of the Bad Livers.

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You have been hearing plenty about the surging and expanding world of Americana music in this paper and most every other music publication this side of Tiger Beat and how bands like Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers and, hell, even our own Larry and His Flask are changing our conception of traditional music.

A strong argument could be made that Danny Barnes - a Texas-bred, Seattle-based banjo and guitar player initially known as the front man of the Bad Livers - was one of the original musicians to pretzel Americana sounds into new ground. With the Bad Livers and as a solo artist, Barnes blended rootsy, acoustic sounds with alt-country, rock and even some funk to create a style unique to his name.


The impression Barnes has made on other musicians is no secret. In fact, if you head to dannybarnes.com, you'll immediately see a host of other artists commenting on Barnes' influence. Those artists? Legends like Bill Frisell, Dave Matthews and Phish's Mike Gordon, in addition to some of the next generation players who've also helped mold the changing face of Americana, like Keller William and Yonder Mountain String Band's Jeff Austin.
His latest album, Rocket, features the same innovative tones and inspired songwriting that has marked much of his career. You may have seen him at the 2008 and 2011 editions of Pickathon - the booming Portland alt-Americana festival - but Danny Barnes should be absolutely perfect in the comfy confines of McMenamins Old St. Francis School. Trust us on this one.

Danny Barnes
7pm Wednesday, January 25. McMenamins Old St. Francis School. Free. All ages.

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