CHANGE OF TUNE
Teaming up with MSquared has proven to be an inspired choice for Casey Barnes, with his new up-tempo sound finding plenty of fans
What do Gold Coast singer/ songwriter Casey Barnes and Kylie Minogue have in common? They both found inspiration for their new records in Nashville – the hottest destination on the planet for musicians and recording artists at the moment.
After finally landing a “dream-come-true” slot on the bill for the sold-out CMC Rocks Music Festival at Ipswich next weekend, Barnes is pumped for what’s shaping up as his biggest year yet.
The 2018 Golden Guitar finalist will play the rebranded Groundwater Country Music Festival in Broadbeach in July and is currently on the road on a national PBR Australia tour to show off his new album, The Good Life, out tomorrow.
The toe-tapping contemporary country collection opens with Barnes’ country chart-topping single The Way We Ride, a radio favourite when it was released last year.
“I was brought up on country music,” the Tasmanian-born singer and songwriter says.
“I grew up listening to a whole range of country artists – from James Taylor to Keith Urban.
“I guess I’ve always been influenced by country so it was a natural progression – especially when I made that first trip to Nashville and hit it off with Rick Price and we wrote together for a couple of years.”
Barnes attributes his stellar recent run to his decision to partner with Melbourne songwriters and producers/ managers MSquared – Michael Paynter and Michael Delorenzis.
“Ever since that moment everything has changed – the songwriting, direction, production,” Barnes says.
“It’s all come about since I teamed up with them. All the stuff we’re bringing out with them is that high-energy country rock with a production vibe similar to Keith Urban.
“I can understand why I wasn’t doing those festivals (CMC Rocks) before. There were too many mid-tempo songs in my set. There are 97 million acts bringing out that sort of stuff.”
Barnes, who enjoyed a huge 2017 that saw him cement his status as a leading country music artist and perform on the PBR Australia bull riding tour, has hit the ground running again this year, making the Golden Guitar finals in Tamworth in January and enjoying airplay with new single Ain’t Coming Home, released last month before heading back out on the road with PBR Australia again this month.
While he’s performed alongside everyone from Mariah Carey to Bryan Adams and released numerous albums and EPs in the past 15 years, Barnes is keen to put the past behind him.
He has “pulled” his back catalogue from sale on his website, iTunes and streaming sites to avoid confusing his growing fanbase.
“You can’t get my old stuff anywhere any more,” he says.
Casey Barnes plays CMC Rocks, Ipswich, from March 16-18, the Gold Coast’s Bleach* Festival on March 31, Sirromet Winery on May 6 and the Groundwater Country Music Festival in Broadbeach from July 27-29
Country singer Casey Barnes’ new album, The Good Life, is out tomorrow.