Dave Barnes - Andrew Ripp at Highline Ballroom
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Starting out by crisscrossing the country and selling vanloads of two independent albums -- Brother, Bring The Sun (2004) and Chasing Mississippi (2006) -- Dave Barnes had landed songs on television and in films and was well known to thousands who'd discovered his soulful, supple way with a melody, wrapping itself around a lyric that sneakily burrows under the skin. Those fans include Vince Gill, Amy Grant, and John Mayer, who said on his blog: "Go where this guy is taking you. My man's aim is true!" As an artist who embraces everything from Stevie Wonder to Steely Dan and seemingly everything in between, he creates music marked by both depth and groove -- songs that are both thought-provoking and dance-inspiring. Although Barnes is currently preparing to release his hotly-anticipated next album Stories to Tell (due out March 13th), it might surprise listeners to know that he never made a conscious decision to arrive where he is today. As he puts it, one thing just led to another, without much of a master plan. "I am thankful that many young singer-songwriters ask me, 'Dude, how did you do it? Give me the roadmap.' But the truth is, I don't know. I can't tell you that I've ever planned anything. And I like that, because it must mean I am meant to do this. Right?" Right.