Danny Barnes: New Album

By Team JamBase Nov 19, 2009 8:51 am PST


Danny Barnes
Danny Barnes, banjo pioneer and a founding member of the Bad Livers, a seminal Austin alternative country band, has digitally released his new album, Pizza Box, through ATO Records. Pizza Box can be purchased through all digital retailers, as well Barnes’ ATO page here. It is Barnes’ first release since being signed by Dave Matthews to his New York-based ATO Records. Matthews, a longtime fan of Barnes, also contributed the cover illustration for Pizza Box.

On Halloween, Barnes wrapped up an 18-date tour supporting the new album, spanning much of the Northeast and Midwest.

With Pizza Box, Barnes spins tales of American life like a latter-day John Steinbeck, wielding banjo and pen with equal effect, and the character of his voice as the perfect mouthpiece to truly bring these songs and stories to life. Pizza Box comes stuffed with sharp hooks and addictive vocal and instrumental melodies, but it’s Barnes’ storytelling skills that shine the strongest. He tells tales with the wry wit and humor of Garrison Keilor, the lyrical eccentricities and intellect of Randy Newman, and performs with the southern twang and swagger of Levon Helm. Barnes combines and blends all of these elements into a style that is uniquely his own.

“Overdue,” the lead single from Pizza Box and already receiving airplay, is a moving look at a relationship that’s endured some rough times. The track is one of three that Matthews sings background vocals on. The album was produced by John Alagia (Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Jason Mraz) and recorded at Haunted Hollow in Charlottesville, VA. It features Matt Chamberlain (Pearl Jam, David Bowie, T Bone Burnett) on drums and Rashawn Ross (a touring member of Dave Matthews Band) on horns.

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 knew 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, shattered dreams on angels’ wings. I can’t stop listening. In the haze of over produced, ‘perfect’ recordings, Danny Barnes spent less than two weeks banging out an album that may well save your soul.”

“The label ‘true original’ gets bandied about too often these days, but Danny Barnes deserves it,” said Paste Magazine, while the Austin American Statesman has hailed Barnes as “One of the most wildly imaginative musicians on the planet.”

The list of artists Barnes has performed alongside is as eclectic as his music and includes Bela Fleck, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Gov’t Mule, Bill Frisell, and members of the Butthole Surfers, Dead Kennedys, and Ministry. Barnes is prominently featured on two tracks on Dave Matthews Band’s latest album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King.

Pizza Box Full Track Listing
1) Caveman*
2) Road
3) Pizza Box
4) Sleep*
5) Misty Swan
6) TSA
7) Bone
8) Overdue*
9) Charlie
10) Broken Clock
11) Sparta, TN

* Featuring Dave Matthews on background vocals

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