Danny Barnes & Twisted Pine
- Folk Pop
“A good song has a way of speaking to everybody” Danny Barnes says. “I have faith that more people are going to hear my songs, which is really what I have to offer. I’m not one of those virtuoso instrumentalists, I can’t compete with those guys, but the one thing I can do is write really good songs.”
Part Southern gentleman, part humble artist, Barnes is being more than a bit self-effacing with this statement. Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and genre-bending artists of his craft, Barnes’ musical interests are both varied and adventurous, and he incorporates that versatility into a progressive approach to an instrument that is musically polarizing and steeped in tradition. Although he demonstrates an appreciation for the history of the bluegrass, country, and folk music from which the banjo’s reputation was born, his inventive take is what truly separates him from his contemporaries…using the banjo as his ‘weapon of choice’ to play non-traditional music like rock, fusion, and jazz with electronic percussion and loop elements.
Barnes frequently plays with artists such as guitarist Bill Frisell, Dave Matthews, and keyboardist Wayne Horvitz and has composed the scores to Richard Linklater’s The Newton Boys and (with Frisell) the documentary American Hollow. Today he is working primarily on his solo-project, and sometimes tours with a trio consisting of Joe K Walsh, Grant Gordy, & himself. His upcoming album features all his most recent original works that will feature musicians such as Dave Matthews, Bill Frisell, Matt Chamberlain, & John Paul Jones.
Praised by NPR for their “upbeat, poppy vibe; energetic, driving rhythms” and “virtuosic solos,” Twisted Pine has quickly become one of the most acclaimed young string bands in the Northeast. Steeped in traditional music, these musicians are also fearless, tuneful improvisers and passionate lovers of pop.
While it’s easy to celebrate each of the band members individually, Twisted Pine is more than a collection of talented musicians – it’s a unit that grooves together. Their intricate arrangements of swelling, syncopated rhythm and precise instrumental interplay bring the enveloping sound and hooks of indie pop to an acoustic instrumental setting. That’s why the Boston Globe calls them “a wider version of stringband, boundary jumpers akin to outfits like Punch Brothers, Nickel Creek, and Crooked Still.”