Neil Barnes - Hyde and Seek

Laat ik maar gelijk met de deur in huis vallen, wat een geweldige album is dit concept album geworden. Het idee van Neil Barnes om een in gospel gedrenkte blues plaat te maken is meer dan uitstekend geslaagd. Met medewerking van tal van gasten als bijvoorbeeld Lady Bianca , Earl Thomas, Rev Smith en Ron Thompson blijft het niveau overal onwaarschijnlijk hoog.

Ondanks dat de gospel nooit ver weg is overheerst dit niet.

Dit album vraagt er gewoon om veel en luid te worden gedraaid.

Een hemels album in vele opzichten. 

Neil Barnes - Hyde and Seek


Which line/phrase on your album is your favorite and could you try to explain why?


Hi Rudolf,  one phrase that immediately comes to mind is "Heart Like A Locomotive".  I like the sound of the word "locomotive",and it evokes a strong mental image; power with a purpose, unstoppable.  That simple phrase says so much about determination and love. 


If you had to make a protest album today , what would you tell us?


Unfortunately, there is so much.  Too much.  I  have so many concerns and frustrations,  over the condition of my country; on so many levels, in so many areas.  Involvement in wars without end.  Our federal government in gridlock.  Our food, media, medicine.....
seems like everything is controlled by corporations.  The racial strife.  

I came of age in the 1960's with the VietNam War, Civil Rights, all of that, and it appears we haven't learned or made much progress. 


Which artist inspired you to become an artist yourself?


I've lived all my life in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I was a teenager in the early 1960's and there was so much music going on.
Friends of mine were in a band and opened for numerous acts including Albert King, Freddie King, Albert Collins, so I was exposed to a lot of  very good music, up close.
I heard the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and hearing Paul, that was it. That was the spark for me to transition from listening to music, to wanting to play music, and do it with the harmonica.  I know that it almost a cliche',  but it's true.
By listening to the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, I was then exposed to the music of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson(s), Charlie Musselwhite.... and the whole blues world.


What was the best show you ever played or felt the best vibe and what was the most embracing moment on stage?


Fun question.  A few years ago, I was playing at Lou's Blues in San Francisco.  It was a club located right in the heart of Fisherman's Wharf, a very popular tourist spot.  They featured three bands each Saturday.  The bands played upstairs in the bar, the restaurant is downstairs.
The bar and restaurant were very crowded, as well as the street.  We played the song "Hey Baby" (early rock n' roll hit by Bruce Channel).     A group of people were there vacationing from Australia and they started singing along.  Once they started,  the rest of the people in the bar joined in.  Then the waitresses and bartenders joined in.   The club had speakers downstairs in the restaurant and outside so the people on the street could hear the music.  So, the whole club was signing along, and I looked out the window by the stage, there were people dancing in street and a group of tourists on "Segway's" were swaying in unison to the music.  It was like a scene from a movie. I have  never experienced anything like that.  It was a very spontaneous, joyful moment.


What can we expect of your music  in the near future and what direction do you want to go with your music ?


I would like to continue to pursue more Gospel-Blues.  The next project will be primarily originals; I've already started to collaborate with Rev. Paul Smith on a couple of his songs.  The Bay Area has so much talent and I plan to reach out to a few other musicians that I know would sound good together.   Just know, that as I explore some other musical ideas, I do so with a firm footing in the Blues.


The  last question is perhaps the most important…… what question would you ask a performer if it was up to you  


I'm always interested in asking artists/performers on how they approach their songwriting,  what their creative process is.
It is surprising how much that process can vary, even with the same artist, from song to song.