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Danny Barnes

Get Myself Together – 2005 (Terminus)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Danny Barnes

Danny Barnes' latest has elements of traditional bluegrass and country, with touches of blues, jazz and at times a punk attitude.

The title track and "Cat To The Rat" incorporate the tuba in a manner reminiscent of Leon Redbone. "Cut A Rug" and the instrumental "Big Shoe" are pure blues, complete with simulated surface noise to recreate the feel of a Robert Johnson recording.

"Rat's Ass" has a traditonal bluegrass arrangement with quite non-traditional lyrics. Similarly "Get Me Out Of Jail" is a Hank Williams style drinking tune, aside from the references to Oxycontin and "piss stains on my britches." The most straightforward ballad is "Big Girl Blues," a song of lost love. "Wasted Mind" is a less sentimental ballad of a young loser who "smells like turpentine" and is a familiar face in police line-ups.

A pair of effective covers are the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil" and Willie Johnson's "Let Your Light Shine On Me," both of which display a strong John Hartford influence.

With this effort the former Bad Livers frontman delivers an impressive collection that combines an old time feel with an alt.-country edge.