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Gregor Barnett

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Gregor Barnett with Roger Harvey

 

Gregor Barnett

Barnett’s been finding release in music for most of his life now. Born and raised outside Scranton, Pennsylvania, he grew up learning to play instruments alongside his brother and fell in love with songwriting at an early age. After years of sweating it out on the local scene, he broke out internationally with The Menzingers in 2006, when the band’s self-titled demo began making major waves and helped land them their first record deal. In the years to come, the Philadelphia-based four-piece would go on to release seven critically acclaimed studio albums, tour with the likes of The Bouncing Souls and Rise Against, and rack up well over 100 million streams on Spotify alone. The New York Times hailed the group as “a shaggy punk band” that’s “honed an extremely reliable and almost romantic take on blue collar rock,” while Pitchfork described their sound as being “as rooted in Social Distortion and ska as Springsteen and Kerouac,” and NPR praised their songwriting as “intense and anthemic.” A seemingly unstoppable force of nature, the band toured the world relentlessly over the past decade-and-a-half and was in the midst of playing their biggest headline and festival shows to date when the COVID-19 pandemic brought life as they knew it to a grinding halt.
Though Barnett had written songs here and there during his time with The Menzingers that didn’t quite fit with the band’s sound, he generally considered them to be creative exercises rather than the groundwork for any sort of solo project. Even with the onset of quarantine, he didn’t rush into the idea of making a solo record. Instead, he treated his early lockdown writing sessions as something akin to therapy, a place to process his anxiety about his family’s health and wellbeing and the grief that came with the passing of his grandfather. Working out of his home studio in Philadelphia, Barnett began recording detailed demos that laid out a clear vision for the record. Sure, there would be the usual hints of Springsteen and Strummer that often surfaced in his work with The Menzingers, but this album would be even more vulnerable and stripped bare, tipping its cap to everything from The Mountain Goats to Leadbelly as it mined the last century of American roots music for a sound that could balance danger and menace with promise and deliverance.

Roger Harvey

Too often it seems we are searching for gold in all the wrong places.

On ,  looks beyond the blinding flash of all that seems to glitter and reconnects with the roots of song, reminiscent of a time when music was more folk tradition than commodity. The record feels like a spiritual descendent of the country and folk music that influenced its creation, while maintaining continuity with the electric-guitar driven style of his previous releases. The result is a conversation between the warm acoustic nature of country and the deliberate twang and richness of rock and roll, with a deeply emotive message and timeless delivery.

Recently returned to his home state of Pennsylvania, Roger has found his place in the burgeoning music community of Philadelphia. Although his history in punk rock is extensive, he continues to follow his love of folk and country songwriting. Recorded at Ronnie’s Place on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee, Two Coyotes doesn’t fail to evoke it’s heritage. Alongside a cast of close friends—including Mike Sneeringer of  and Adam Meisterhans of —he discovers a reverential yet fresh way of exploring the songs and their roots, though the most obvious connections lie more in the emphasis on craft, storytelling in song, and the subtle interplay between the music and message then they do directly within the album’s sound.
Please Note: Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required for entry.

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