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Danny Barnes

Got Myself Together (Ten Years Later) – 2015 (Eight 30)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by Danny Barnes

Danny Barnes has an impressive resume. a founding member of the Austin cow punk trio the Bad Livers, he's since gone on to record well over a dozen solo albums while sharing his talents with the likes of Dave Matthews, Bill Frisell, Jeff Austin and others. Last year, he was awarded the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, no small accomplishment for a man whose wider recognition has yet to be realized.

Somewhat ironically then, Barnes takes a lingering look back with "Got Myself Together (Ten Years Later)," returning to an all acoustic album similarly titled "Get Myself Together," recorded a full decade previous. As Barnes explains in the liner notes, the original recording got only limited exposure, due to the fact that the record label that released it went out of business shortly thereafter. Seeking to revive the spirit of those original intents, Barnes opts for the same tact this time around, bringing to bear his considerable skills for a series of bare bones offerings that find him singing to minimal banjo accompaniment.

And while there's a certain implied authenticity as far as his folk and bluegrass intentions go, Barnes' irreverent attitude will likely keep traditionalists at bay. "Rat's Ass" and "Get Myself Together" toss a mighty middle finger to buttoned up crowd, an attitude mitigated only to a slight degree by the jaunty ramble of "Get Me Out of Jail" and the gospel shout-out that becomes "Let Your Light Shine On Me."

Ultimately, "Got Myself Together" bears out the truth in its title, the wail and moan of a song like "Big Girl Blues" notwithstanding. In going back to basics, Barnes proves he's ready to continue his trek forward and reap whatever rewards happen to come his way.