Album Reviews

Danny Barnes

Stove Up

Artist:     Danny Barnes

Album:     Stove Up

Label:     Wendell Records

Release Date:     03/03/2017


Are you looking for a new album to take you away from the world’s problems? This is the one you’re looking for. It doesn’t take an expert in bluegrass to know on track one that Danny Barnes is a top notch banjo player, and a quick internet search will prove it. Awarded the 2015 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, and Danny Barnes’ skill is obvious even to the most novice of bluegrass listeners.

Recorded in eTown Studios in Colorado, Stove Up is a loving homage to the great Don Stover. Barnes says, “After 45 years of practicing, this is the first acoustic bluegrass record I’ve ever made. Nick (Forster – guitarist/producer), Mike (Bub – bass), Jason (Carter – fiddle), and Chris (Henry – mandolin) are bluegrass royalty! It was a sure enough honor to be able to make Stove Up…”

One of Barnes’ banjo heroes, Don Stover, was the inspiration for this project and they highlight two of his songs, “Black Diamond” and “Rockwood Deer Chase.” Barnes delivers on all fronts here, with scorching banjo fiddle duets with Jason Carter on “Paddy on the Turnpike,” or an amazing Grandpa Jones tune “Eight More Miles To Louisville”, while slipping in a Rolling Stones the song “Factory Girl” or even his own originals like “Charlie,” and “Get It While You Can”, which feature Barnes’ vocals. Three vocal tracks are well spaced throughout the album, and the pacing is spot on. This set of music sounds like great musicians having fun playing music in real time. You can just imagine them playing and smiling on the front porch; the production is so clean and clear, it’s almost like you’re in the room with them as they record.

—Laura Sedor

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