The Ghost Country, released in September 2009, is the sound of Clive Barnes at the top of his game as a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter.
His fourth studio album, The Ghost Country elevates Barnes to a truly unique sound having forged his style and delivery over years of touring the US and Europe with the likes of Eric Bibb, Taj Mahal, Jeff Beck, Alison Krauss, Seasick Steve, The Blind Boys of Alabama and many more.
As a musician, Barnes is highly regarded as one of the finest performers on the roots circuit, a reputation solidified by the lyrical and songwriting prowess on this new collection of songs.
From the rip-roaring banjo-fuelled opener of Shotgun Grin to the big sky foreboding title track of the album, right through to the closing track of Borderlines, this recording is populated with stories of characters running and returning, longing and dreaming, down on their luck and finally finding peace, characters so thick with realism you could feel them move right through you.
Out of the studio and onto the stage, Barnes is not to be missed as a live performer for this is where the sheer raw honesty and energy is each track comes to life.
RTE's Harry Guiren noted in a review of Clive Barnes performing at Vicar Street, Dublin, "Clive is a guitarist who can make one acoustic sound like six. Barnes transported the entire, hushed venue across the Atlantic to where the paths taken by the Delta Blues, Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen all led to his own special territory."
Thanks to Dave Hingerty, William McGlynn, Joe Ryan and Siobhan O'Brien, Dave Ferriter, Ken McGuire, Ross Costigan, Mick Crehan at The Crane Galway, Grainne, Mick, Sean at Dolan's Limerick, Colin Gillen at Barry's Sligo, Ray Blackwell, Gavin Moore and Ian at Debarra's Clonakilty, Eric Bibb Jeffrey Foucault, Peter Mulvey, Jeff Finlin, John Spillane, Mick Hanley, Shay Cotter, Jeff Lang, Grant Cummerford, Richard and Mary King, Declan O'Rourke, Nicky Aspell, Frank Morris, Niall Byrne, Nigel Martyn, Laura Murtagh, Noel Taylor, Philip King, Niall Toner, Johnny Lappin, Una Downey, Colm Mullen, Padraig Keaney, Freddie White, Rob O'Connor, Eoin Coughlan, JP Ryan, Paul Lee, Pat Conway, Larry Roddy, Sonny Condell, Paul Kelly, Garvin Gallagher, Aileen and KJ Mac, Johnny Holden at Cleere's, Paul Lee, Willie Meighan and Darragh Butler at Rollercoaster Records Kilkenny, David Murphy, John Cleere, Tom Stpleton, Malgorzata Siuciak, Dave Duffy, Lorcan Ennis, Eugene Donegan, Liam Merriman, Martin Bridgeman, Michael O'Toole and Dawn Kenny, Mo O'Connor, Paul Barrett, Pete Lamb, PJ Curtis, Shane Power, Margaret in LaCave Dublin, Walter Hennessy and Hiscox Cases, Keynote Music, Elixir Strings.
Extra special thanks to Gavin Ralston
This album is dedicated to Catherine, Michael, Darren and Graham Barnes and to Mary O'Neill 1922-2006
Photography by Colm Mullen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Album design by Ken McGuire at Event Media
Engineerd by Gavin Ralston
Shot on location at Silverwood Studios, Wicklow, Ireland
Mixed by Gavin Ralston
Mastered by Tim Martin at Windmill Lane, Dublin, Ireland.
Produced by Clive Barnes and Gavin Ralston
All songs written by Clive Barnes, Leander Music 2009
Copyright IMRO 2009