With Get Myself Together, Danny Barnes - America's irreplaceable alchemist of acoustic razzle-dazzle, open-borders ecumenism, and downhome chutzpah - gets back to basics. Or so a record of lively blues and old-timey-tinged songs, played on banjo and guitar with occasional fiddle and bass guitar accompaniment would seem. Coming on the heels of the widescreen epic Dirt on the Angel and a magic-barrel profusion of experimental-edge side projects, Get Myself Together sounds at first like a return to the earlier, leaner aesthetic of Bad Livers, the Texas avant-hillbilly visionaries whom Barnes steered through seven records from 1994 to 2000. But his fans know to listen more than once. When Barnes is driving, there are no entirely straight routes, forward or back, and nothing slips off the back of the truck. "One of the themes that interested me in the writing of this project was the law of cause and effect," Danny says. "How people basically cause their own misery and happiness. It's always amazed me how people, myself included, volunteer for misery." Threads of continuity bear out Danny's assertion that Get Myself Together "is set up like a modern film, various stories get woven into the fabric in disjointed ways, little lyrical themes that pop in and out across the selections, much like classical music." 13 stark jewels, all recorded in a small room (by Garey Shelton/Seattle, WA) and unfussily presented. This music breathes between the notes as it maintains an amiable give-and-take with dead masters - the student holding his own, neither showboating nor allowing the exchange to flag
TBR Featured Albums
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