Born in the UK but raised in Seattle, Barns Courtney is not new to the music industry, even though many are just encountering the fist-full of his enthusiastic rock music that makes instant fans of all those who take a listen. Courtney was signed to Island Records before finishing high school and had his sights on a big, bright future in the music industry. But after suffering a major setback from being dropped by his label, Courtney regrouped and restarted of his journey, once more. His music has been featured on Bradley Cooper’s Burnt, a tremendous appearance on Conan and the inclusion of “Hobo Rocket” on the FIFA 2017 video game soundtrack. With a solid EP and an energetic drive, Barns Courtney promises a spectacular show wherever he may roam.
The El Rey Theatre was ground zero for a night of indie madness with local rockers Foxtrax, who are on tour with Courtney. Lead singer and guitarist Ben Scheid has a penchant for putting it all out there for everyone and anyone listening to their essential style of rock and roll and gives over 110% at every show. Joining Schied on stage were brothers Jon (drums) and Jared Stenz (bass) who were having as much fun as the audience. The crowd loved every minute of Foxtrax’s fearless tunes that had them singing along to tracks like “Underwater” and “Go It Alone.” The boys of Foxtrax have been touring relentlessly this year, gaining attention from every local media outlet including live performances on Salt Lake City’s Good Day Utah morning show.
After a climactic performance and incredible finish with Scheid’s daredevil jump off the drum set, the crowd was hot and sweaty for Barns Courtney. The crooner came to the stage joined by Leon Banks (bass) and Rob Ketchum on drums and kicked it off with the anthemic hit, “Hobo Rocket.” The constant energy output by his band pumped up the crowd beyond eleven and had them hooked. The witty charmer took time to entertain the fan with a jokey Christmas song he had been contemplating releasing, “It’s such a novelty for me to play piano on stage. I just mess around with this thing in my bedroom, making up songs about Christmas llamas.” The crowd laughs but Courtney reiterated, “No seriously, I really do. Hang on a second.” He began with a quick intro to the story of Jeffrey, the Christmas Llama form Guatemala before shutting it down. He regained his composure and showed off his raw talent for heartfelt slower piano songs like “Attractions of Youth” and topped it off with the brutally sincere ballad “Little Boy.”
The range and depth of this musician is unmatched as he makes no apologies for his impeccable lyrical idealism as he searches for the light at the end of the tunnel. No doubt Courtney will be a household hand in the coming months as he sets off on his current tour with support from Foxtrax. Barns Courtney is making the rounds with his latest EP, The Dull Drums, and will be stopping in the UK this summer. This is one artist to keep an out for.
Never Let You Down
Glitter and Gold
Hard to be Alone
Attractions of Youth