Track x Track: Danny Barnes – Pizza Box

Pizza Box

This song is about all those weird artifacts that make up our lives and how, as you get older especially, they take on meanings of their own. Intertextuality. Like when you see an object and it reminds you of an experience. The character in this story let one get away from him. He sees something and it reminds him of her. The orchestration is very simple.

Sleep

This song is about a guy in the joint looking back on his life. You know how some folks have this happy life and stuff where they grew up? Well, this guy’s mom tried to kill him. She tells him while he’s just a little boy, “hey you need to get out of here and go do something else.” But he’s too young to understand and gets in a bunch of weird nightmares. He can’t relate to anyone except by trying to kill them or steal from them, this is normal for him.

Misty Swan

This is my own take on a Delta Blues. My older brother turned me onto this music when I was a kid and I love how the poetry on those records are profound even though they may be talking about farming or whatever. Again, the harmony and rhythm in the solo sounds right to me, where you play in different keys like that. I’ve decided I like the way every note sounds against every other note.

TSA

I spend quite a bit of time flying commercially. In the last few years, a team of folks showed up, taking great interest in my banjo case. You know how people can be kinda ectomorphs or mesomorphs? It seems there is kind of a body type that goes with the predisposition to want to peek inside someone else’s luggage. Which is fine with me, look all you want, just don’t lose any of my banjo picks. A guy that delivers soda waters falls in love with a lady that works for the TSA. Let’s tune in on our lovers. Later he’s pushing a shopping cart and wondering what happened.

Bone

This song is about a fellow that really wants to be with this lady who’s with someone else. He’s thinking about her all the time and he’s really dreaming of spending time with her, but reality is he never says a word to her. He thinks of all the ways they can spend time together and he obsesses over the details of how her hands look and her ears and stuff like that. The harmony in the solo kind of reflects some of the things i’ve been working on where keys can be superimposed onto other keys. A teacher once told me to never play anything i couldn’t sing, to discourage gratuitous musical tomfoolery. So I sing what I play anyways and we recorded it.

Overdue

This is a love song, pure and simple. This is kind of what I imagine good songs sound like. The poetry talks about loving someone so much you think about them all the time, and you light up when they come around, and you notice they light up when you come around. The horns and keys make this sound good to me; copying some of my fave records here. Rashawn sounds so good [horns]. The character in this song hasn’t told her yet, but he’s thinking about it really hard. I’m trying to capture what it feels like to be in love on this song. Dave Matthews singing with me on the chorus. I tried to do a Frisell impression on the guitar.

Charlie

This song is a very simple piece. Experimenting here with a dark theme against a bright background. The character here is a sociopath, every time someone tries to help them he always screws them with no remorse. He keeps going back to the joint – I think that’s where his stuff is. The bass part is a pitch-shifted banjo. This a modern stringbean song.

Broken Clock

This is my country and western type vibe. I grew up on the music and really like certain records, certain singers and writers. In this song, the character is getting dogged around by this crazy lady and she’s putting him down, but he’s a hard working, honest cat and he’s coming to the proper conclusion. “I may be slow but I ain’t that slow”, he says! He’s coming to the realization that getting rid of her would be really cool. He’s just about to tell her how the cow ate the cabbage.

Sparta TN

One of my friends told me that he married out of his league and how that was just fine with him, so I wrote this kind of about that. The musical structure is like those old, cool records that used to be on AM radio in the early Seventies. Rashawn [horns] here again – man, that guy is so awesome. I have some really cool people on speed dial, you wouldn’t believe it. My life turned out great. Had a few rough patches but avoided the morgue heretofore. This song is for when you realize something really, really great happened to you…and you were just standing there waiting for a bus, or something.

– By Danny Barnes

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5 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for the insight into your music. Once again it is refreshing to get the artists take on their collection.

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