I am, it must be said, a massive Danny Barnes fan. A big fan of the man's music, and the man himself.
I first heard him playing banjo with Bill Frisell on the album, 'The Willies' - I had no idea who he was, but it was my favourite banjo playing I'd ever heard.
Then at the end of last year, someone sent me a link to his blog post 'How To Make A Living Playing Music' - it is, to this day, the finest thing I've ever read on the subject. I point people to it almost every day.
Off the back of me spreading the word about that, I found him on twitter, and we started chatting, became facebook friends, and he bought some of my music too. Which lead to us meeting up in Cincinnati this past summer when we were both on tour and that was the town where we crossed. He's as awesome in person as he is online and on record.
I also started buying up his solo albums, and digging out a lot of (legitimate) live stuff on archive.org and youtube.
Danny's a deep guy. Big thinker. And the blend of bluegrass, country, rock, electronica and free improv that populates his music (with any of those elements being dominant at any one time) is utterly beguiling. It's playful, at times hilarious, smart and willfully unique. No-one else sounds like Danny Barnes.
Here's a gig of his from last week, recorded in Portland. It's awesome. I'm a fan.