by Al Barnes
I grew up in a small town in Minnesota called Elbow Lake. There wasn’t a whole lot to do in the “sticks” of MN, so I found love in rock ‘n’ roll at an early age through my older brother’s music collection. He moved out when I was young, joined the Air Force and was stationed in England when I was in middle school, so our family took a trip overseas to see him. When I got there, he showed me his electric guitar. I picked it up, and he showed me a couple of licks. I played that damn thing the rest of the time I was there. My parents heard me playing it the whole weekend and later that year, for Xmas, I got my first guitar. I was obsessed. I quit all sports and just focused on that.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
I then formed a pop-punk band with a couple of my childhood friends (Reid and Tyler), and we called ourselves Notwithstanding. We tried practicing in our parents’ garage, basement, and even in a church, but it was too loud. My dad owned a small little business center on the main street that had a few offices. He had a vacant office so I asked him if I could make a deal with him: let my band practice in one of those office rooms after hours and I will clean the building every week. He shook my hand, and a deal was done… we finally had a real place to practice!
We wrote, practiced, and played as many shows as we could. We recorded our first album our senior year and sold CDs and T-shirts to all of our “fans” in the surrounding towns.
The Music Itch
I moved to “The Cities” (Minneapolis) after high school and recorded a couple of albums with that band. We were also lucky enough to play The Mall of America and on the 2005 Warped Tour.
Then life hit, the band drifted away, and I thought I needed to make some money, so I got a day job as a manager. I wasn’t fulfilled and kept having the itch to play music, so I started an Americana band with some friends I met called Xerxes Palomino. We played shows around MN, ND, and WI until I decided to take a job transfer to Rancho Cucamonga, California in 2016.
The music itch was stronger than ever now because my job sucked, I had no band anymore, and I was away from all my family and friends. All I had left was my guitar…so I wrote every night.
Finally In Place
One Sunday I randomly met a musician named Glenn Andrew Walsh at a local bar I was hanging out at. (Glenn was Yankee great Bernie Williams’ guitar tech). Glenn and I were CA transplants, and we shared a love of rock n roll and baseball. Soon we became friends. When we hung out, we would jam. He would also listen to my new songs, heard me play & sing open mics around Rancho and encouraged me to pursue a solo career.
Within the next few months, I moved to San Diego, quit my unfulfilling day job, and recorded my first solo folk album called “Out of Place.” After two years of playing shows around southern CA and fine tuning my writing style, I released my latest album called “Northern Nostalgia.” It’s full of heartfelt and light-hearted folk songs.
I am now working on getting my songs placed in TV and Film and have met with a couple of music industry VP’s regarding my music as well. I truly enjoy storytelling within the music. It’s my therapy and my lifelong love. I hope you enjoy it.
Al Barnes, Category: Artist, Albums: Northern Nostalgia, Out of Place, Top Tracks: Rainy Day, Elbow Lake, California Punched Me in the Eye, Happy Birthday Momma, Neighbor, Biography: Singer/songwriter Al Barnes released his debut folk album “Out of Place” in 2017.