John Barney loves to tell stories. “I think songs are more interesting if there is a narrative rope to climb,” he states. On “Best of Days, John’s second CD, he combines the power of his lyrics with roots/pop/blues-oriented music to produce lively examples of good songwriting. While John claims all the songwriting, producing, and musical performance credits, he teams up with vocalists Lew Kerns and Reina Sanchez to provide the voice of his musical journey. “I’ve known Lew a long time – we’ve been guitar jamming partners for years, and he has a distinctive voice. Reina I met through work – and her more polished vocals add a nice contrast to Lew.” John does sing on one song, though – the fiery “Waiting for the Sun” where he gets a chance to tear up his guitar in a throwback to the guitar-demon songs of some well-known southern rock bands.
John claims many influences, from Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, Rory Gallagher and Johnny Winter to Bob Dylan, Counting Crows, CSNY, Tori Amos, and a zillion others. Unlike many of his peers, he distances himself somewhat from the “classic rock” that he was brought up on. “I still like that stuff but there is a lot of good music happening today that is interesting. Life is too short not to explore.”
He specifically steers away from a detailed biography of his life. “So much of that stuff is nonsense – it’s all about the music anyway. If you’re more interested in whether or not I have a tattoo – then maybe this music isn’t for you. It's a CD for grownups. But relax, Reina is the youngest – and she has multiple tats, OK!!”
He also isn’t afraid of tackling controversial subjects – often contemporary religion. “The hypocrisy and profiteering in religious circles provides so much fodder for song material – how can I not write about it. “Bible Blues” is a good example of this – although strangely it was chosen to be included in the soundtrack of a Japanese DVD about car audio – go figure!”