Best known for his work as lead singer and songwriter with the Texas based band, the Hollisters, Mike Barfield has just released his first solo recording entitled, "Living Stereo." This new effort explores the connections of Southern Soul and R & B to Country music. Anyone who knows Barfield is aware of his fondness for these styles of music, which have been part of his growth and environment throughout most of his life.
With the Hollisters, Barfield was featured on two critically acclaimed recordings, which both reached the top 5 of Gavin's Americana Chart. The band also toured the states for about four years and was a headline act at Holland's Blue Highway Festival in 2001. Barfield's songwriting has been recognized with the inclusion of his song "Sweet Inspiration" on Charlie Robison's Sony Records release, "Step Right Up".
After key personnel changes in the original lineup, Barfield decided to pursue a solo project and began recording this past year at Fort Horton Studios in Austin. The new release is a departure from the Honky Tonk stylings of the Hollisters and showcases Barfield's inspirations and influences as a singer. Being raised in the Gulf Coast area, it is not surprising to hear how easily he fits into the various styles that are part of this new disc. "Living Stereo" starts off with a dance tune called 'Twist It" and ends up being "a country-meets-soul tour de force" as noted by writer and radio DJ, Dan Ferguson, of Rhode Island.
The first three tracks were cut one afternoon with Chris Miller (Marcia Ball, Wayne Hancock) and Dave Biller (Asylum Street Spankers) on guitars, Jim Christie (Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams) on drums, and Brad
Fordham (Billy Joe Shaver) on bass. The remaining cuts were done with the same guitar players, along with the addition of new sensation. Nick Curran, on one cut. The rhythm section on all the remaining tracks included Preston Hubbard (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Roomful of Blues) on bass and Eric Hughes and Nico Leophonte on drums. Miller, Biller, Hubbard and Hughes play with Barfield on the live dates.
With timeless originals and savvy covers, this new disc showcases Barfield's versatility as a singer who has a firm grasp on a variety of styles. When not on the road, the band usually can be found at their primary venue of choice in Austin — the "Continental Club."
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