January 27, 2014
Whomever coined the phrase, “Silence is Golden,” must have never had kids. Dave Barnes is learning that the fun way. Within the last year or so, the first-time father has gone from the relatively controlled and, at least predictable life on the road, to a chaotic ruckus of baby cries and diapers and he couldn’t be happier about it.
“I’ve loved being a dad,” Dave says. “It’s been a real calling. He’s really starting to watch me and everything I’m doing and saying. It’s like there’s a little sponge living in the house.”
That’s one lucky little sponge named Ben. Not only is he lucky enough to grow up surrounded by his daddy’s music; he gets to grow up surrounded by his daddy!
Formerly on Razor & Tie’s roster, Dave is independent once again. Of course that means a lot more work on his part, but it also allows him to dictate his schedule and comings and goings.
“I enjoyed being there [at the label], but I am definitely excited to get back to being unsigned,” he says. “You can do things your way.”
For Dave, his way includes a schedule that allows him to be engaged at home and to appreciate the blessing his life has turned out to be.
“Sometimes I wake up and I can’t believe this is all real,” he says. “My wife and I are still in love. We have a home to live and share a life in.”
To hear more of the things that make Dave so appreciative, just take a listen through the new record, Golden Days. Inspired by his awakening to the precious moments and people in his life, it’s uplifting and thoughtful and gives the listener pause to take stock of their own blessings. Much like his hooky melodies and catchy, charming lyrics have always been, his optimism and gratitude are contagious.
The entire creative process behind this record is further evidence of a new chapter in Dave’s life. Recorded in a month and a half, while simultaneously recording a Christmas project, Golden reflects an artist who has come into his own.
“This career looks different in the second decade,” Dave surmises. “And it should be. Your story changes. You have different priorities. You have to figure out how you can be the most effective without taxing your family. There’s a lot more strategy involved than before.”
Part of his strategic redirect included a roundabout, of sorts. In his early career, he wrote with a range of different artists and songwriters—a luxury not always possible on a label. This album beautifully chronicles the return to his creative roots—in more ways than one. Not only did Dave revisit his previous writing strategies; he also invited an old friend to join him again in the production process.
“I went back and worked with Ed Cash,” says Dave. “ Ed and I did five records together. We’re getting back to the beginnings. I’ve always loved it when artists who are five or six records in go back to the person they started with.”
Fans are likely to jump into that same camp. Every bit of magic Dave and Ed created in the past is evidenced in this record, sure to become a new favorite. At least, that’s Dave’s hope…
“The most hysterical part about being on a label is that it’s easy to forget how much you need your fans,” says Dave. “When you’re on your own again, you realize the people who buy the records sustain your career. It’s a beautiful, symbiotic relationship. This has been a real reminder of how thankful I am and how much I appreciate and need them to buy it. When people buy a record it’s a big deal. I’m extremely thankful for that.”
There it is again—that golden thread of gratitude continues to be woven into the fiber of Dave’s world. And as that world continues to crank up the volume at home, online, at radio and in the chaotic masterpiece that is life, Dave’s singing his own song…and it’s solid gold.
Caroline Lusk is editor of CCM Magazine.