Danny Barnes

Get Myself Together

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Banjo-pickin' prodigy Danny Barnes has crafted another fine album in Get Myself Together -- one that explores the human condition as it crafts an inventive song cycle. Look no further than "Get Me Out of Jail" for a sadly amusing tale of a day in the life an alcoholic and prescription drug addict, or the superb, whiskey bar-addled depiction of love gone wrong in "Big Girl Blues." Barnes' lyrics are as wry as ever, as evidenced by "Wasted Mind," which observes, "Smell like turpentine/You'll be doin' time," (just one in a number of accurate albeit unflattering descriptions of life in America). They guy still has a knack for covers, be it the expressive, blues-picked tribute to friend and sometime collaborator Bill Frisell ("Big Shoe") or a dazzling acoustic ballad homage to Willie Johnson. While the idea behind a bluegrass bastardization of the Rolling Stones' classic "Sympathy for the Devil" seems misguided, Barnes not only pulls it off but triumphs in the process. Toss in a fiddle-and-banjo duel "Rat's Ass" and you've got a bona fide down-home classic, not to mention a frontrunner for the Americana album of 2005.

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