"...And I play every song like it's my Last Gift to God..."
That line from his "San Saba River" captures the essence of a Tony Barker show; passion, intensity, and dedication. He was voted "Entertainer Of The Year" at the first-ever Blues N Rock Gazette Awards, and "Musician Of The Year" following that. Interestingly, these honors came while he was a solo acoustic act. He has since formed a band, anchored by percussionist Eric Anderson (drum instructor at HippyKritz Music in Abilene).
The word "versitile" doesn't quite cut it when describing Tony Barker. As a three-piece, they headlined one biker event, shared another biker weekend with 7mary3, then played a quiet "cocktail set" at a high-end steakhouse. These days, the duo gets a lot of Stage time, with Eric either on bass guitar or drums, covering such diverse artists as James Taylor, Merle Haggard, Matchbox 20, Robert Earl Keen, Ian Moore, Guy Clark, and back to Johnny Horton. It boggles the mind.
When playing as a "Cover Band" (which Barker refers to as, "The coolest 'Day Job' in the world"), the only criteria is What The Crowd Wants To Hear, with a side order of What The Venue Needs For Its Customers.
A performer with Songwriter sensibilities. A Songwriter with great guitar work, strong vocals and a Stage Presence that has coffee with you the next morning. You should check it out.
Here's a cover of Guy Clark's song "The Cape" (Thank you, Rave Video and Unity Church of Abilene), and a montage of the band at different shows. Enjoy!