As a kid, Chris Barnes gave us the legendary Bad News Bear Tanner Boyle, now he is singing the blues.
Chris "BadNews" Barnes, a former Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock & Carol Burnett television show performer and writer, has made his mark in the blues community with this genre, even being hailed as The King of Hokum Blues by Elmore Magazine. His third VizzTone release, BADNEWS RISING is also his first all-original album filled with satiric muses interlaced with honest, biographical stories.
The album kicks off with "You Wanna Rock? You Gotta Learn the Blues," co-written by John Hahn. It's an evil sounding, treacherous track that would have fit right into the soundtrack of Crossroads with no problem. The Ry Cooder-esque slide guitar provided Pat Buchanan (Cameo, Hall & Oates) provides a perfect dark backdrop for Barnes' green-bullet enhanced vocal.
Grammy Award winning producer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Roy Buchanan, et al) co-wrote several of the tunes as well as producing the album and playing drums. BADNEWS RISING was recorded at Sound Stage Studio in Nashville, with a bevy of top musicians including Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton, Anson Funderburgh) on piano and Hammond B3, and Tommy MacDonald (Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter) on bass.
"When Koko Came to Town" is the first of Barnes' autobiographical tunes, recalling the days when he performed with legends such as Johnny Copeland, Pinetop Perkins, and, of course, the late, great Koko Taylor at Tramps in New York City. A high end, Chicago style composition with backing horns aplenty, it's a Wang-Dang-Doodle time.
I've followed Chris's career for decades, he is hilarious, wonderful, and I am glad to see him having so much fun.
Barnes has a voice and a soul for the blues.