Dear Dave Barnes,
I apologize if this sounds out of line, but I need to tell you something. I woke up to your voice every weekday morning for 3 years. “Until You” remained my morning alarm for 3 years of my college career. I never once got sick of it and pressed snooze not only to gain 10 more minutes of precious sleep but also to hear more of the song (ok, let’s be real, I probably snoozed 3-4 times each day). I still get text messages from roommates past when they hear Until You because they, too, got to experience the song each and every morning. One of the best concerts I’ve been to was your visit with Matt Wertz to the Canopy Club in Champaign, IL. This was before Blake Shelton got ahold of “God Gave Me You” and before “Until You” even had a music video. What I’m trying to say is I’ve been a longtime fan and I truly appreciate you waking me up every morning.
Somehow, I am just now getting to listen to Barnes’ “Stories to Tell,” and I’m shaking my head in disbelief that I didn’t keep this album on repeat from the second it came out in March until God knows when. “Stories to Tell” has a more playful feel than some of Barnes’ past albums but I love it just the same, and potentially even more. One thing, however, has remained consistent throughout Barnes’ career. He continues to write both the music and lyrics for all of his songs. In my eyes, Barnes encapsulates the meaning of being a musician. Flawless vocals, instrumentation, great songwriting and meaningful lyrics all in one, “Stories to Tell” does more than just impress. It has continued my respect for Barnes as a musician in an industry that has gone through a plethora of changes throughout the past decade.
Barnes’ music expresses human emotion, particularly love, and makes the listener want to experience these emotions right along with him. In Missing You, he sings about a past love and made me respect the end of their relationship as if they were my friends. I don’t know him personally nor do I know his past flame, but I do know that after listening to Missing You a couple times through, I’m convinced that he and this mystery girl had great chemistry but are mature enough to move on.
You and me together
I’d pick you up and we go
Some place only we’d know
Summer, whole life
Stay up dreaming all night
I started this post as a Song of the Day as soon as I listened to White Flag. Now that I’ve finished listening to the album in its entirety and eager to start it over, it’s turned into an album
gush review. After a great past few days full of friends, love and family (and an impromptu visit from my dog), “Stories to Tell” not only became my new go-to album, it made me incredibly grateful. Thanks, Dave Barnes; you’ve done it again. You’ve created a fan that will stick around as long as you continue to make music, and beyond.
Stories to Tell:
And the one that started it all: