Tag Archives: The Barker Band

The Barker Band – Dig Me A Hole

One of my favourite UK bands The Barker Band have kindly sent me a copy of their latest album Dig Me A Hole , the album is the bands fifth and given I’m a huge fan of the previous four albums, and I’m a glass half empty kind of guy – despite having already been able to listen to some tracks from the album on-line I was a little apprehensive before listening to the whole album fearing it may not reach the heights of the previous releases and would end in disappointment, my fears I’m pleased to report were totally unfounded as it’s a wonderful album and goes straight into the top drawer of 2012 for me.

The band have developed their sound and move further away from their earlier bluegrass leanings now drawing on a greater range of styles to produce their strongest set of tracks to date, several members of the band contribute to the albums eleven tracks and the strength in depth is evident throughout to the listener, twin brothers Sam (banjo, mandolin, guitar) and Jake (banjo, mandolin, sax) Barker contribute to seven tracks, life long friend and band co-founder Laurie Sherman (lead guitar) contributes to four and bass player Tom Wright adds another – one of my favourites from the album El Diablo, this is the second Barker Band album on which Nella Johnson takes the majority share of singing duties and again she steals the boys thunder with some great performances, the primary band line-up is completed by Dave Fretton (keys) and Rupert Shreeve (drums) and they are joined in the studio by a supporting cast of friends and musicians adding fiddle, horns, harmonica and backing vocals to fully flesh out the sound.

British Americana at it’s best – highly recommend.

The Barker Band – Song for Dio by BeatSurrender

The Barker Band – El Diablo by BeatSurrender

The album launch party is this Friday and there are a number of festival appeareances confirmed for the summer.

Album launch party 27th April, Club Fandango at The Bull And Gate, London, NW5 2TJ

Rickmansworth Canal Festival 19th May, Owlsworld Acoustic Stage

Fire in the Mountain Festival 1st-5th June. Saturday 2nd Sunday 3rd

Tingestock 2012 9th June, Tingewick Village Hall

Rhythm festival 25th August, Mansion House @ Oldwarden Park, Biggleswade

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Halloween Mix

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Beat Surrender’s Halloween mix-tape

Cat Power – Werewolf (BBC)  (buy)
Willard Grant Conspiracy -Bring the Monster Inside   (buy)
Rachel Harrington – Halloween Leaves   (buy)
Jon Langford And His Sadies – Little Vampires   (buy)
Halfway – Monster City  (buy)
Deadman – Ghost Story   (buy)
Eric Ambel -Vampire Blues   (buy)
Jolie Holland – Ghostly Girl   (buy)
Betty & The Werewolves – Werewolves   (buy)
Mekons -Big Zombie   (buy)
Buffalo Gospel -I’m the Ghost   (buy)
The Resentments – Zombie For Love   (buy)

And last but not least a track from The Barker Band you can get through Bandcamp.

The Barker Band – Dig Me A Hole

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I spent an hour or two last night trawling through the WWW trying to catch up on what a few favourite bands I’d not heard any news on in a while and lo-and-behold I find out The Barker Band are getting around to releasing a new album that they’ve being working on for sometime now – not on a Guns N Roses / Gilliam Welch timescale I should add, but it’s must be two years ago when it was first mentioned – anyway the goods news is according to a recent Facebook post the new record is due out in November and in the interim there are a few tracks to sample and one to download from Bandcamp.

For those not familiar with the band, Dig Me A Hole will be the bands fifth release, twin brothers Sam (banjo, mandolin) and Jake (banjo, mandolin) Barker along with life long friend Laurie Sherman started the London bluegrass-country band before the line-up evolved and expanded to the current seven-piece line-up with members Nella Johnson (vocals), Lenny Barker (guitar, vocals), Tom Wright (bass, vocals) and Ru Shreeve (drums).

The bands first album was a limited self-titled self-released CD back on 2004, it’s now out of print – maybe if you’re lucky a copy will pop up on eBay?  in common with the first album the next two Lonesome Waltz (2006) and The Night Ain’t Over (2007) featured lead-vocals from the twins Sam and Jake before with the fourth album, Sorry for the Kissing there was a swerve in the bands sound that was accompanied by Nella taking up the mantle of lead vocalist.

All four of the albums are golden and I’d heartily recommend them, I am really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the new album (that’s a less than subtle hint if there are any PR types reading this.)

From Sorry for the Kissing

Live acoustic set for Steve Lamaq at Camden Crawl 09

Station Session July 2011

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More Twang – Volume III

Mindful my twang output has being tempered of late thought I’d remedy it with Volume III of More Twang. Twenty hand picked selections culled from the Beat Surrender archives, some familiar names and I hope some new ones that’ll have you wanting more.

Caitlin Rose – Gorilla Man Pt. 1 (buy)

Joey Allcorn – Honky Tonkin’ Ramblin’ Man

Laura Cantrell – Too Late For Tonight (buy)

Cracker – The Bottle Let Me Down

Shannon McNally – Lonesome, Ornery and Mean (buy)

Bill Kirchen – Hammer of the Honky-Tonk Gods

Dwight Yoakam – Trains And Boats And Planes (buy)

Sally Timms – Dreaming Cowboy

The Gourds – Ziggy Stardust (buy)

Sara Petite – Doghouse Rose

Robbie Fulks – She Took a Lot of Pills and Died (buy)

Shelby Lynne – I Walk the Line

Chilli Willi & the Red Hot Peppers – Goodbye Nashville, Hello Camden Town (buy)

Zoe Muth – You Only Believe Me When I’m Lying

The Barker Band – You Ain’t Broken My Heart(buy)

Kasey Chambers & The Dead Ringer Band – Am I The Only One (Who’s Ever Felt This Way)

Mat Gibson & the Fallen Hearts – I Don’t Think I’d Ever Fall in Love with You Again (buy)

Buffy Sainte-Marie – Soulful Shade Of Blue

Jed’s Dead – A Girl from Texas (buy)

Arty Hill & The Long Gone Daddys – Church on Saturday Night

Get the whole thing here

Volume I and Volume II are still live.

The Barker Band


If you’re not familar with London based roots group the Barker Band you’re missing out on a treat, the band have been around since 2004 and have released four long players, the first “demo” album is no longer available commercially – but well worth tracking down, you can get details of where to buy two, three and four from the band’s website . The band started as a family bluegrass outfit with twins Jake and Sam Barker, their father Lenny and an old friend Laurie Sherman, they have since evolved and expanded their line-up and sound with the addition of vocalist Nella Johnson, drummer Ru Shreeve, bass player Tom Wright and Hanna Loftus on the fiddle.

All of the albums are worthy of your collection, my pick would be “The Night Ain’t Over” but the new album Sorry for the Kissing is really growing on me, I wasn’t aware before I got hold of it that the lead vocal duties had shifted away from brothers Jake and Sam Barker to Nella Johnson who had previously sung backing vocals for the band, Nella has a fine set of pipes and delivers some great performances throughout the album.



All of the tracks on the album are originals, blending the bands bluegrass sensibilities with more contemporary influences and a home-grown feel, here’s a couple and tracks from the bands latest release, the obligatory YouTube – featuring the bands single and a link to some more video footage from the Bandstand Busking.


Check the band out at Bandstand Busking

I Don’t Wanna Remember – Sorry for the Kissing (2009)



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