Ken Barney can usually be seen on any given weekend playing PJs, The Coachmen's Lodge or Pepperoncini's. Ken opened up to WMRC's Ray Auger about sports, his mixtape of life and some of his favorite types of rooms to play. Here's 10 Questions with Ken Barney...
Who was Ken Barney in his 20s?
I was very carefree. Exploring my love of music and performing. A weekend visit with a friend in Portsmouth NH lead me to quit my job, break up with my longtime girlfriend, pack my guitar and take up residence on his couch while playing full time in the local pubs. What followed was a succession living and playing in such amazingly beautiful towns including, Newburyport, Plum Island, Bethleham NH (Cannon Mtn, Bretton Woods). Eventually meeting my future wife and together we enjoyed the life of Cape Cod in the summers and Steamboat Springs Colorado for the winters. Music was my living. I was not banking a ton of cash, however, I woke up every day and looked at my surroundings and would think “people work 355 days a year to come spend a week where I get to live! I was immature and short sighted in many ways.
What are three songs from a typical setlist that you enjoy playing?
Father And Son by Cat Stevens.
Sister Golden Hair by America.
Hard To Say by Sister Hazel
You write your own songs as well. When will we see a Ken Barney CD?
By Memorial Day!
What kind of rooms do you enjoy playing?
Tough question. Much like what songs I like to play, I like variety. I enjoy rooms with a wide age group where I can bounce all over my play list. I love the quiet rooms where I may have the audience attention and can talk and connect. However, a room like the Sand Dollar that I just rip up the old happy hour high energy stuff is a blast! I may be on the fence, but the truth is I need the variety.
What band or song do you enjoy that is the complete opposite of a typical Ken Barney acoustic cover?
Blondie. Parallel Lines is a great album that I can crank up and enjoy. I also can get carried away to the music of Les Miserables’, and a few other select Broadway shows.
Do you have any secret talents?
I don’t know if it secret but I’m passionate about sports. I used to coach high school baseball. Some of my proudest moments are when I could recognize and break down a kids struggle, work with him on it and get to see him have that “moment” where it worked out for him.
What’s your take on today’s music industry? What’s thriving and what is suffering?
Tough question to answer honestly without sounding jaded or like a “hater”. The “industry” is such a machine. The same handful of writers write virtually 90% of the “hits” you hear on the radio. It is the formula for cooperate America and what most people have come to expect. The majority of the performers fall into the “Johnny Bravo” category. Meaning they fit the look. I’m not saying they don’t have talent….but it is a shame that no one that looks like Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, Stephen Tyler would ever get the same opportunity today. I wish we could see the days of bands like the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac that had multiple people writing and singing their own songs.
What do you want for Christmas?
Of course the important things like good health, happiness and security for my wife in kids. But selfishly for me. I would like a couple gift cards so that I may buy the necessary start up home recording gear so that I can work on my songs and have a clear understanding of what I want to do when I go to lay them down for real.
What breakfast cereal do you most relate to?
“Ken Barney’s Mixtape of Life” – What are the first 5 songs?
Wow! So many parameters this could cover.
Roll Me Away - Bob Seger
The Killing Of Georgie - Rod Stewart
Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen
Tangled Up Puppet - Harry Chapin
Forgiveness - Don Henley/Eagles.
See Ken Barney at
PJ's in Bellingham Friday the 13th
The Coachmen's Lodge in Bellingham on Saturday the 14th.
Ken Barney on Milford TV's Coffee House Concert Series...