Danny Barnes

Texas Platters

Record Reviews

Danny Barnes

& Thee Old Codgers

Things I Done Wrong (Terminus)

In a way, it's almost like standing by and watching a good friend cheat on another good friend. Sure, Danny Barnes, the banjo-pickinest son of Texas to ever tune his chops on punk rock, has put out a few outstanding releases apart from the Bad Livers. But that's solo, and mostly at his home studio in Washington State, cooped up and toiling with his gadgets and his brains. But this, this is an album with other people! Things I Done Wrong is as sophisticated and worldly a batch of banjo tunes as anyone's likely to make in this lifetime, and the contributions of Jon Parry on violin and Keith Lowe on bass are considerable and respectable. Barnes' knack for melodies that exist apart from time is still well intact, as the twisted-up "Funtime" and the absolute stomper "Devil on the Mountain" will attest. (Check out Parry's fiddle part on "Barnyard Soul" if you doubt the new pardner's skills.) Barnes also revisits "Love Your Neighbor" off his solo release Minor Dings and stomps through the classic "Better Times a-Coming." And it doesn't hurt that guitarist Bill Frisell sits in on a couple of tunes, either. Though the surprisingly pop-perfect T. Rex gem "Broken Hearted Blues" might shake you up a bit, Things I Done Wrong is Barnes at his best and getting better. As ever. (Danny Barnes & Thee Old Codgers play the Saxon Pub on Friday, Aug. 17.)

****

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