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John Barrell / Blog

Who's in "The Band"?

Reverbnation said someone had asked this question and now I see it wants me to list members of the band. The thing is, since this is a solo studio project that stands alone from my gigging with RELIX, there are no full time band members, but instead a conglomeration of brothers willing to help out at any given time, both in the studio and for the live shows coming up to promote the CD. So, with that in mind, I'll list the "Live" band first and then the extra studio musicians. LIVE; along with myself it is... Joey Wilson: Lead Guitar (also studio) Tracy Farrington: Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals Johnny Allen: Drums & Backing Vocals (also studio) Kevin Burns: Bass Guitar (also studio) Chad Montgomery: Bass Guitar Russell Stover: Harmonica & Backing Vocals (also studio) Danny Smith: Backing Vocals & "Stuff" (also studio) STUDIO MUSICIANS; JT Sober: Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals Ryan Sober: Lead Guitar Scott Hooter: Drums Aaron Links: Drums Steve Gallagher: Drums & Percussion Dweighn Secrist: Backing Vocals & Supplemental Bass, Clock Bill Conerly: Upright Bass & Trombone Ray Bloch: Clarinet & Saxophone Christy Barrell: Vocals, Handclaps & Fingersnaps GYPSY BLUE: Gang Vocals Ke Poloka: Additional Percussion & Waves

They say "it takes a village".... no kidding!!!

More More More!

A lot has happened recently in this house. My wife's Father lost a short battle with cancer (more the treatment than the disease) and it's just been hectic. As I tried to comfort her one night, she said that "she hurts" and wished I could come up with a song to either express for her that feeling or help soothe some of that hurt. At first I thought, maybe she should put down in words what she was feeling - but no, that wouldn't work. Instead, it hit me one night while she was gone helping sit by his side what needed to be done, and that turned into the song "She Hurts". It's a song from my perspective of trying to comfort her and she accepting my attempts to make her feel better, but deep down inside no matter what, that hurt is still there. It's a deeply personal and emotional song (made moreso by my first attempt at incorporating an ebow into my music) that when I first let her hear it - she cried. It will be on the new album. I hope you all like it for whatever reasons as much as she seems to.


"TRANSITIONS" yielded a variety of songs from a long period of years. Some I liked more than others, but the listeners opinion matters most, so out of curiosity I ask 2 questions; 1) there seems to be several people who've singled out "Plastic Foxes" as a favorite track - why? what is it about that song specifically that y'all seem to like? and 2) if not that song, what is your favorite track and why? which song (or songs) speak most to you the listeners? I need to know!!!

Where's the Beef?

Not literal "beef", but I've been asked more than a few times where are previews of the new songs from "REFLECTIONS". Well, to hopefully build some anticipation (and not spoil the finished product) I've chosen NOT to post any of the new material until it's ready to release. Kind of like Ernest & Julio Gallo; "I'll post no rhymes until it's time!"


Recently secured the assistance of a music teacher/string conductor to work on scoring the songs I was working up with strings. Possibility now exists that instead of just 2 people tracked multiple times he may pick some of his best students (along with my honorary "niece" who's mom I work with and brought this man on board) to record the orchestral parts. I might just have to hurry up and concoct one more song with some strings for them! Kind of excited! One song left to do basic tracks on and then get parts done... then the mixing process begins!!!!


As I keep closer and closer to seeing some light at the end of the tunnel on this project, I felt it was time to give credit where credit is due. The "Drum Corps" has been Johnny Allen, Steve Gallagher, Scott Hooter and Aaron Links... so far! The "Guitar Army" has been myself, Joey Wilson, JT Sober and Ryan Sober... again, so far! The "Bass Masters" have been (again) myself, Kevin Burns, Bill Conerly and Dweighn Secrist... need I say again, so far? Besides myself on vocals, I've had some help from Danny Smith (in too many ways to mention - like string arrangements, harmonies, engineering and co-producing), JT Sober and Dweighn Secrist... y'know the routine! Ukulele? Me! Guilty! And Strings? That announcement coming soon! A bit more eclectic, but made possible by all the above mentioned people!


Still out gigging with a slightly updated lineup of the band RELIX while also working hard on my follow-up CD which I hope to have released by May or June. Lot's of great guests contributing from all across the country - gonna be fun when we're all done! Stay tuned, Keep Rockin' and Spread the Word! ~ JB


Have played some festivals and other big dates along with smaller ones with RELIX since last we spoke (big or small we play the all!) and have sat in when invited with some friends. Currently hard at work on the follow up to my last CD and have had many very talented friends volunteer their time to come in and be a part of the project. We're taking a slightly different approach sonically this time and not concerning ourselves with "how will these songs translate to a live setting?" and simply going all out creatively. If and when any of the songs are performed live there will be ways to make them sound just as good live. SO STAY TUNED and I'll try getting on here a bit more frequently!

Working Hard, Hardly Working

Dates for RELIX keep on rolling in, in fact we've been prebooked for at least 1 or more date per month for the rest of 2011! Life is GOOD! Spread the word on both my stuff and RELIX! Hope to see some of y'all out there somewhere this year!


Some dates with RELIX; Just did 2 full weekends (Friday & Saturday nights) and have some stuff lined up - 9/10 at Wolf's Den Saloon, 9/11 headlining the Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival, 10/1 at the Wolf's Den Saloon, 10/30 at the Hog Heaven Saloon and 10/31 at the Pineville Convention Center (more dates will be added along the way!) Looking at a week off so drummer can rest from rolling his truck this weekend, then in late September another few weeks after the Festival to allow bassist to have back surgery. Also toying with ideas for a double disc release: May start Phase 1 (tenatively titled "The Calm Before") which will be a mostly acoustic project (guitars, bass, ukulele, light percussion, vocals) sometime during one of the band breaks so I don't lose my mind and get bored! Then next year Phase 2 (obviously the possible title would be "The Storm") and it will rock a bit harder. Trying to talk all of RELIX into being more involved this time around so we'll see what happens.