Blood on the Trees
After four years, John Barney is back with a new CD, "Blood on the Trees." Loaded with new songs full of fanciful tales ("Ain't No Doubt About It" "Whiskey Train), commentary ("Blood on the Trees") and love ("By My Side" "Time"), John adds a new twist by taking the vocal chores himself. He is quick to mention, however, how "glad I was to have former "Floor" members Lew Kerns and Eric Barnes back in the background to balance my gravelly box." John is a little more experimental in his music this time around, bringing more instrumental parts and eclectic grooves to complement his signature guitar. At his heart, however, is a singer/songwriter who enjoys rocking. "I did enjoy doing a couple songs where it's just me and the piano ("Daydream" "I Can't Feel You Anymore"). I always liked how Neil Young could rock hard - then sit at the piano and sing a heavier lyrical song for a change of mood." John's previous CD "Best of Days" was cited as "Best of the Year" by Here and There Ezine Magazine. It even had one song "Bible Blues" that was featured on "Cool2Style, Oto Gumi" - a Japanese car audio DVD magazine. John uses a background vocal style he call the "disheveled chorus." He explains it this way. "Right now we are in the age of the perfectly tuned pop vocal. So my response to that was to just go with a rougher style that isn't auto-tuned or in perfect time - let the organic nature rule. It really fits with my voice, which, admittedly, is a bit of an acquired taste." "Blood on the Trees" refers to the current fight with global warming - and care of the environment in general. "I'm not really a political type of writer - and certainly not naïve about the need to balance the care of our environment with economic reality. However, common sense tells me that you can't put millions of tons of garbage in the air, ground and water without detrimental effect. It's the cost of industrialization - but there are ways to incorporate new technology to provide the earth with a fighting chance of survival. And maybe create some new jobs in the process." John moves away from a detailed biography of his life. "So much of that stuff is nonsense and hyperbole - it's all about the music anyway. You like it or you don't. It shouldn't just be about how many tattoos you have or a stint in rehab. As musicians, we love to be cool - and we'll tell you anything to make it seem so. Listen to my music and lyrics - then you might know me a little better.' John was born in the Midwest but moved to southern California at age twelve. He began playing guitar at fourteen and soon after started writing songs. After high school, he attended Cal State University Long Beach and earned a couple of non-music degrees. 'I'm proud of my education - but mentioning it seems so uncool in the music world. It's kind of sad. It's as if you can't go to school and still be seen as authentic or passionate'. John received a songwriting contract for his catalog of songs from his first CD 'Stay the Night' in 1999. After taking a break from music for awhile, John formed his latest band, The Eleventh Floor, in 2004, culminating with his 2nd CD 'Best of Days.' John was fortunate to play live with songwriter and musician extraordinairre Luther Tatum in 2007. He will be reforming a new 11th Floor in 2010 in support of his new CD, 'Blood on the Trees.' John currently lives in California with his wife Amie and two children.