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Josh Barnhart--all by his lonesome 


If you’ve hung out in this county over the last 20 years, you’ve probably met the humble Josh Barnhart. Whether you were his high school English teacher, the customer who bought a record from him at Boo Boo’s, or an old Port O’Brien fan, you probably know him as a very talented percussionist. But for the first time, Barnhart is stepping away from the drum set and performing a solo show.

“I’ve always been a drummer and harmonizer, and on the collaborative side of songwriting, but this is the first time on my own,” the musician told New Times.

Barnhart has played in the local folk rock band Sparrows Gate ever since leaving Port O’Brien, giving him the free time to write and work on home recordings. Now, he finally feels confident enough to share that work with the public. In previous shows, Barnhart hid behind a drum set, so for his first time front and center, he’s bringing his talented confidence and a full band.

“I want to include people I have played with in the past … who I have musical history with,” he said.

Barnhart describes his musical style as still evolving, and divulged that he finds much inspiration in the harmonies that defined the ’60s, such as from The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

 He’s excited about the show and about Sally Loo’s as a new venue: “People want things to be happening here and are tired of stagnation; part of this [show] is just to keep events happening, to inspire more local music, and to get people of all ages to do something together.”

Barnhart is the second man in the acoustically rooted folk-rock lineup. Santa Barbara’s Watercolor Paintings, a brother-sister duo, open with their happy tunes. Winnie Byrd of Oakland headlines, finishes the night with an upbeat, experimental folk sound.

Put your dancing boots on and come support our local indie music scene—and Barnhart at his debut show—at Sally Loo’s Wholesome Café on Jan. 12 from 7 to 10 p.m. It costs just $5 at the door.


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