Key to the Highway: Danny Barnes

Interviews Key to the Highway Series

photo by Sarah Cass

Americana Highways’  Key to the Highway series 

Fans always clamor to learn more about their favorite, most beloved musicians and those who travel with them. There’s such an allure to the road, with its serendipity, inevitable surprises, and sometimes unexpected discomforts. This interview series is a set of questions we are asking some of our favorite roots rock Americana artists to get to know more about them and what they’ve learned and experienced on the road. We are sure they have key insights to share and stories to tell. Here’s one from Danny Barnes:

Americana Highways: How do you like your coffee or other morning wake-up beverage?

Danny Barnes: I drink a good strong espresso or something right off the bat around 5am.

AH: What’s the most interesting or strangest motel/hotel or place you have stayed (while on the road?)

DB:  Man, this is a herman melville length answer. I’ve played more than 2000 roadshows since the year 2000. The horrific-ness of some of the hotels can only be imagined.

AH: If one CD is stuck in the player in the van for the entire tour, what do you hope it is?  And why?

DB:  Well it would be stringbean. or one of the other great grand ol’ opry stars. They just made you feel so good when you heard their music. and they never let you down.

AH:  What’s one personal item you must have with you on your road trip?

DB: A banjo. In all my travels since I was a young boy there is always a banjo nearby.

AH: What is your relationship with food?   How do you handle this on the road, and what’s your favorite dish on the road, (or restaurant, and what do you order there)?

DB: I’m not really a food person and consider it fuel for banjo playing. I’m a vegetarian and eat a lot of burritos, tacos, Indian food, Thai, and so forth. Sandwiches and what not.

AH: If you could pause your life for a few weeks and spend some time living in a place you only have passed through, which would you choose, and why?

DB: Well it was pretty far out in Scotland, and that part of Queens me and Grant Gordy was in a few months ago was like being in Malaysia or something. but the greatest place ever is my couch and my own little yard.

AH: What quote or piece of advice have you gotten from someone on the road that has really stuck with you?

DB: When you first walk up to a venue, do so empty handed. in that case if you have to run, you aren’t carrying instruments.

Find all things Danny Barnes here:

See other Key to the Highway interviews here: (click here for:  Patterson Hood Jerry Joseph BJ Barham Rodney Crowell Todd Snider Elizabeth Cook Tommy Womack Eric Ambel, Dan Baird, Robbie Fulks, Malcolm Holcombe Jon Langford Steve Poltz, Lilly Hiatt  Sarah Shook & the Disarmers )

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