About Artist / Band
- Artist / Band Name: jack barnes
- About Artist / Band: In a short two years Jack Barnes’ pop sensibility, saucy lyrics, and terse melodies have earned the South Carolina native a legion of devoted fans. Fans who, quite simply, can’t get enough of Sketchbook. The album, Barnes’ second release, is dominated by irresistible hooks and guitar virtuosity that listeners haven’t been treated to since Jack Barnes’ years with previous bands, New World Order, ESP, StrangeDayz and the Dead End Boys. Sketchbook is an exuberant mix of sure-fire crowd-pleasers, and thoughtful, moving ballads peppered with some new spiritual rants written late in 2008.
“Recording the new album was really exciting for me, in comparison; Feels So Right was just an introduction. After touring and playing these tunes for audiences night after night I really got a feeling of the rhythm required for a successful performance. And I feel that I captured that joy and freedom on this album,” Barnes says. “And it didn’t hurt not being alone.” The album’s buoyant mood is due to the fact that Barnes recorded the majority of it with his friends, Saxophonist Jersey Julie lends a hand on the recording along with several musicians Barnes met on tour. “We were just having a good time,” Barnes says. “I hadn’t had this much fun since New World Order.” Here are some of the album’s highlights:
“Here’s to us” — “I love to play this tune in front of an audience because it’s about reveling in enjoying one another,” Barnes explains. “And having Julie by my side made it that much more fun. I wanted to capture that, and make it even better so I invited some other amazing cats to come in and jam with us.”
“Cry to Heaven” — “That’s all about infatuation with a little bit of innuendo,” Barnes says, “We’ve all been there, you know? In love from a far, when you’re right up close.” Barnes says, “If you had the stones to say what you wanted to that certain someone what would you say?”
“Jesus Christ”— “One of the things that’s has always troubled me is that more often than not the most important things are completely off-limits,” Barnes says. “That’s a failure in communication that has to be rectified. That said, I always had this thought in the back of my mind about how people would to the second coming if it was tomorrow.” Barnes explains “how quickly would we dismiss Jesus as a lunatic or a vagabond?” Barnes recruited singer-songwriter Stan Jones to sing breathy back-up on the track. “He gave it more life,” he says. “I think He’s got a sensibility that is unsurpassed, he’s just so talented.”
“Feels So Right” — “Is a different type of love song in that its essentially about cheating,” says Barnes. “The characters in the song are in love with one another but each belong to someone else. So they cherish the moments they can steal until they can be together again.’” The emotional centerpiece of the album, “Feels So Right” features imagery taken from several instances in Barnes’ life.”
“Little Wing” — “I think it’s quite evident that I’m a huge fan of Hendrix,” Barnes chuckles. “But I never realized the nuances of this tune until I heard Stings rendition of it. In that I saw all the ways I could play with the changes, taking it from jazzy to rocker to ballad all in one performance.” “ I added it to the album because it always gets such a fantastic response from audiences, and I wanted to give some of that back to them.”
“Bitch” — “First off, I would like to point out that I didn’t play this song live for a very long time,” Barnes says. “It was one of those songs that I only played for close friends when requested. I never thought that it would have any merit as a pop song.” But singer/songwriter Mike of Purple Daughters convinced Barnes to add it the tune to his set list by requesting it at multiple performances. “I was amazed by the reaction, audiences everywhere applauded madly so I stuck with it,” Barnes says brightly. “It was just an angry rant I had written with Chris Morello back in New World Order that evolved into an incredible piece of musicianship and melodic artistry.”
Several things keep the mood light on Sketchbook: the sheer musical virtuosity, joyful melodies, the sense of humor, and Barnes’ devilishly angelic tenor voice. “We wanted to keep the live energy and camaraderie in the record,” Barnes says. As producer, Barnes was also tasked with getting everyone to stop playing and get to work.
“I didn’t want to squelch any of the creativity in the room,” Barnes says. “But if I didn’t set limits we would still be recording now.
Barnes has been going pretty much non-stop since the 2007 release of his debut solo album Feels So Right. Along the way, there have been numerous tours, and a new band project to be featured on Youtube.
Beginning in 2009, Barnes’ Million Dollar Band project will give the Singer/ Songwriter a new outlet to share his talents and love of music and performing.
“The songs have been getting a great reaction,” Barnes says. “It makes me look forward to having a new album out there because it’s been a while. This feels like a really free period in my life and I’m really enjoying it.”
Sketchbook will be released by Rocky Kat Records in 2009.
- Genre: Foreign Language / Dance/Pop
- Influences: hendrix,lennon and Sting; Duncan Sheik, Dave Matthews, Jeff Buckley, Alana Davis,
- Sounds Like: Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, Duncan Sheik,
- Record Label: Rocky Kat
- Type of Record Label: Indie