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Saint Solitaire is the brainchild of Andrew Barnhart – singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and artist. Barnhart took his first solo material to Sacramento in 2012 with a string of acoustic performances complete with drum machine beats and guitar loops that quieted audiences and earned him the respect of local musicians and music-lovers alike.
In March, 2013, Saint Solitaire became an entity, coordinated around the release of Barnhart’s debut EP, Full Artistic Control, but now defined by six individuals, each artist bringing a huge presence and offering to the project. Guitarist Peter Miller (of Ancient Astronaut), one of Barnhart’s long time collaborators, takes lead guitar riffing and experimentation to a whole ‘nother level while bringing a visibly huge energy to the stage. James Murphy (of Ancient Astronaut and ihabial), in the integral role of bassist, translates Control’s killer bass lines to the live arena and contributes new material of his own to the show. In a plot twist of the iPod Backtracking Blues, a DJ was added, James’ roommate Chris Karriker, who does what few can, using his tables like an instrument, spinning originality out of the sound palette put together by him and Barnhart. Later joined by Dave Jensen (of James Cavern) on drums, and Richie Smith (of Life In 24 Frames) on keys and vocals, Saint Solitaire was complete. Barnhart now takes center stage with a potent aura and passionate performance, worthy of the high regard he recently received in the Sacramento News & Review and Sacramento Bee. If you haven’t heard Saint Solitaire’s first single “Either You Love Me Or You Don’t”, it is not too late – download the whole EP for free while you’re at it. Begin to wonder how such a sound could be performed live and within a few moments you’ll be dying to see your intrigue become reality.
The debut EP from Saint Solitaire, written and produced entirely by Barnhart, appropriately titled Full Artistic Control, draws inspiration from a diverse set of musical tastes, leaving nothing to be desired except the location of the repeat button. Released in high fashion last March, with the debut of the full band and an onstage shaving of Barnhart’s signature beard, Blue Lamp was packed and subsequently intoxicated with the new sound of “indie dance rock”. 650 free EPs, 4 SAMMIES Awards nominations, and eight months later, Saint Solitaire had quickly made a name for themselves.
The second EP by Saint Solitaire, yet untitled, is looking at a mid 2014 release, and, if you’ve seen any recent shows, you know and have danced to half of it already. The new jams take on a more edgy rock and dubstep vibe, two words I’m surprised to be validating the compatibility of by writing them in the same sentence together. I didn’t think they were, at least, not until now.
Sacramento has yet to raise an act with such a rich sound and as much artistic integrity as Saint Solitaire, and with Barnhart’s dedication to his craft from his younger years, writing and touring with No Avail and Evolutia, to now, performing in groups such as Life In 24 Frames, Color THE Sound, James Cavern, I don’t foresee any drought in his musical output. Saint Solitaire is inviting us all on their journey. Buy your ticket, buckle in, and enjoy the ride. They deliver.