Things I Done Wrong – Danny Barnes and Thee Old Codgers

Terminus Records 0103-2

I dont know if you saw "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" You know, the movie?
Well if you haven't, you should, by all means. I mention it because what
came to my mind immediately upon putting on this Danny Barnes CD was that
these guys are the Soggy Bottom Boys. If you don't know the movie, what I
mean is that they're a nicely updated version of the bluesgrassy country
swing trio. With their irresistible rootsy sound, clean arrangements and
honest songwriting these guys are just right on, and right on time. Danny
Barnes and Thee Old Codgers (sic) fit nicely into the growing Americana
genre, sounding comfortable next to Wilco or Steve Earle, but with a bit
more down-home goodness to them. Make no mistake, this Danny guy looks
insane in the liner photo, but the music goes down easy.

Some of the easiness lies in his sardonic, lightly toasted lyrics, which
simultaneously evoke genuine Appalachian folk and Ween's "Golden Country
Favorites" album. The first lines to the title cut run like so:

Well I’ve done messed me up, got a raw deal when my head threw up

I sprayed a paint can in my face, till I got so high that I lost my place.

This is good stuff. Elsewhere on the album Danny hits that nice smooth Hot
Tuna vein, such as on Everything Fades. If there is any doubt these
guys are hiding behind relaxed arrangements, track five dispels that notion.
These guys can play. Devil On The Mountain is a classic, Orange
Blossom Special-style breakneck bluegrass festival of flying fingers.
Some red-hot banjo picking, some sweet fiddle playing, solidly underpinned
by the bass. Oh yeah, I should mention the other guys: Joe Parry on violin
and viola, Keith Lowe on bass. These guys are great; great trio. I'd love
to see them in a club with a couple of drinking buddies. Until I get that
chance, I'm tossing this one into the mix.