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Jonathan Barker: Press

Jonathan, George is right your new CD kicks ass.
Kevin Snow - Facebook (Jul 17, 2009)
Great cd my brotha! Good vibes :)
George Penn - Facebook (Jul 17, 2009)
Email from Tammy Smith - CD Baby
I love this music. Why hadn't I heard you before?
This CD was a real pleasure to listen to. I love a wide range of music and liked the way Jonathan was thoughtful and very melodic.I haven't got a favourite track yet, but will let on grow on me( although My Love isn't Shallow is doing well). How about promoting this in the UK?
Very good music and vocals as well as arrangement.
I have known the artist for several years but have not gotten the opportunity to hear him perform. The CD was very good. I could recognize the different influences especially Jackson Browne. The arrangement was well executed. I received the CD very quickly.
Electric Woodshed
As the sun begins to set over downtown Blacksburg on Friday, you better believe the Woodshed will escort in the night with some full-tilt rock 'n' roll reminiscent of Southern greats such as the Allman Brothers Band and Littlefeat. This is their 15th Steppin' Out and they'll play a special tribute to fallen percussionist Sterling Smiley, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2002.
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Who: Craig Counts (guitar), Dan Dunlap (guitar), Jonathan Barker (piano/organ), Greg Bump (bass), George Penn (drums)
Style: "We are a reminder of rock 'n' roll, a rock 'n' roll that still has its roots in musicianship, people playing their instruments and singing for a good time, " Counts said. "And Jonathan on the keys is a real treat. He can really blow your mind, and we're turning him loose for Steppin' Out."
On Steppin' Out: "It's great playing during an outdoor festival atmosphere, and it's a great slot with the sun going down," Counts said. "We always have a big crowd and [have] been a local town favorite. We live here and have roots here ... it's special."
This weekend, Radford After Five will welcome The Pop Rivets, a regional group that is becoming rather well-known for their diverse musical stylings and their high-energy performances.

"Our music is a blend of everything," said drummer Ted Grigorieff in a recent interview. "You are as likely to hear Elvis as you are the Kings of Leon. The music is very diverse. All the members have really different tastes in music and this certainly is evident in how we sound and what we play. The best way to describe how we perform is eruptive and active."

The Pop Rivets will bring their varied musical style into downtown Radford this Friday evening for the fourth installment of the Main Street Radford "Radford After Five" downtown concert series.

Despite their eclectic musical style, the group's love of performing ties them together and helps keep the relationship between the band members healthy as they try to juggle performing and their personal obligations.

"Like any other relationship, being in a band takes a lot of time and sacrifices," explained guitarist and singer Brian Holt. "I've always felt that if you want to do something, you will make the time to do it. I've always wanted to play in a great band, and I am willing to do everything I can to make it happen."

As the group continues to play and gain a local following, they look forward to performances, such as the Radford After Five show, that will help them introduce themselves to new fans.

"Radford carries a good energy and appreciation for live music," says keyboard player Jonathan Barker. "The crowd there is always very responsive to good music and we hope to provide them with something they will enjoy."

The group is also becoming well-known via the website, where the band has posted a profile and samples of their songs for all to hear and enjoy.

Despite all the hard work and juggling of outside obligations, the band has never lost sight or love of their original goal - giving the audience, whether one of diehard fans or newcomers to their sound, a great show.

"When the chemistry is there on stage and everyone in the band knows it," says Barker, "the music just flows forward with no effort, an unspoken magic. It drives us musicians toward the next show in search of reliving that feeling."

For the group, performing isn't just a job, but a lifelong love and dream that is coming true. "My first guitar teacher told me long ago, 'Keep playing, because you never know..'," says Holt, "that way, when the time is right, you're ready. You never know what might happen."

The Pop Rivets will play Main Street Radford's After Five on Friday, Sept. 15, 2006.
From: Jon Judah []
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 9:53 PM
To: Andy Jaspen @ Sam Hill Entertainment
Subject: Re: Two Dudes and Dickens follow ups

Andy -

Hope all is well - we're back from our honeymoon and slowly adjusting to the married life;)

Two Dudes were absolutlely amazing - you rock, bud. Two Dudes showed up at our rehearsal dinner and amazed all 120+ guests with their versatility and talent, including my father who must have asked them for about 30 business cards after they wrapped up their set. Fantastic, man. First class - showed up on time, were polite and courteous, and accomodated as much as possible given the time and setting. Couldn't have been better.

Again, thank you for everything, it was your insight and advice that led to such a great result, and I appreciate all your responses to my many emails and phone calls. You made me look cool....people were coming up time and time again asking "Where did you find these guys?" - and I dropped Sam Hill and your name at least 10 times. In fact, my best man just got engaged and I've already passed your info on to him, so you may get a call or two in the coming months.

Thanks again bud, and if there is anything I can do to further show my support for your efforts (send me your supervisor's name and/or any feedback info you guys have, if possible) please let me know!



From: jennifer mozolic
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 10:49 AM
To: Justin @ Sam Hill Entertainment;
Subject: RE: 6/23 - Two Dudes Acoustic Band

Hi Justin,

Thanks for following up, the two/five dudes were awesome at our wedding! They sounded great, they were fun to work with, and they had everyone dancing and having a great time. The song that they learned for us was fantastic, and they even played some songs that weren't on their song list, but that we had mentioned we liked. We really appreciate you helping us out getting them booked, it was a pleasure to work with you -- we've already recommended Sam Hill and the Two Dudes to several people, and we'd be glad to give references if they are ever needed.

Thanks again!!

Jen and Ryan

-----Original Message-----
From: Noelle Garner
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 9:17 AM
To: Justin @ Sam Hill Entertainment; Charlie @ Sam Hill Entertainment
Subject: Two Dudes

Good morning,

I just wanted to let you know we had a GREAT party! The Two Dudes band was just great and played the perfect music for David….everyone was dancing and having a lot of fun. I really appreciate your professionalism and you all were just awesome to work with. You helped us find the perfect band for our party!

Thanks for everything!

Noelle Garner

From: Terri McKinney
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 11:14 AM
To: Andy Jaspen at Sam Hill Entertainment
Subject: RE: The Other White Meat follow up

Hi Andy,

The Other White Meat was outstanding! Our guests had a great time.

I have some co-workers/client contacts who are interested in keeping the band name on file. Do you think I could receive some additional demo tapes? Thanks again for all of your help.

Terri McKinney
Account Manager
Swanson Russell Associates

From: Emily Metro
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2006 9:53 AM
To: 'Justin @ Sam Hill Entertainment'
Subject: RE: 11/4 - Two Dudes Acoustic Group

Hi Justin,

Thanks so much for setting me up with Two Dudes Acoustic Duo...the band was GREAT!!! They were perfect for our wedding and so nice!!! I will call you
soon and talk with you more. But they were just perfect.

Thanks so much!

Emily Phillips
Director of Annual Giving
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond
Susan Haggerty plays Roanoke's Blue Ridge Blues Fest with support from Hoppie Vaughan, Jonathan Barker, Tom Hearn, and Mark
July 2012: “Keeping up with the Runaway Joneses”

The Soundcheck, July 2012: “Keeping up with the Runaway Joneses”
By j. Gabrielle

There are two ways to look at the name "Runaway Jones". "Jones" is a fixation on or a compulsive desire for someone or something. In this case the "jones" is good music and a unique set list. It is the band's collective passion for the unusual that makes it a runaway. Also, there is the Middle America reference to "keeping up with the Joneses", striving to achieve or own as much as the people around you. The band sees themselves as running away from this catchphrase.

The "Jones" started innocently enough. Vocalist/keyboardist Jonathan Barker recalls, "RJ started one night when Mike Maycock and I were chatting. We were both looking for something fresh. He was a good friend with Will Henson and I had jammed with Will in the past on various projects. Shortly after that, I met Matt Holland in the church praise team. He was filling in at our church and I thought he laid down a good groove.
We all got together and threw a few tunes out and found out we had common musical interests and actually, quite a variety of musical tastes. Sometimes, one of us will start a riff and the rest of us easily jump in on it, so the potential for songwriting as a band is great...we just haven't fully capitalized on that yet. We do play several originals which Mike, Will, and myself have contributed and the band seems to gel on those pretty well.”

Will Henson is the bassist/vocalist of the group. He remarks about performing with Runaway Jones, “When I was a kid, I used to stare at the inside sleeve of The Beatles - Let It Be album cover, fascinated by all the pictures of cables strewn around, the amps and the drum set, and the four guys holding their instruments, debating what and how they should play next. All the while, seemingly having a pretty good time, too. Now I get to live that with these guys. I was very fortunate to hook up with them and it's too easy to get along with them. They are that cool! I keep waiting for some kind of drama to unfold, but it never does. That is worth gold.”

Drummer Matthew Holland acquiesces as being the youngest in the band. Much of the material they perform was written before he was born. Matt says, “Some of it I’ve never heard before in my life. But I like it AND not everyone is doing it. I think we’ve connected with a good niche.” Asked about his influences he jabs, ” most of ‘em bad...especially these guys I play music with! Seriously though, as a kid, I guess it would be most of the eighties stuff, mixed with an alternative tour during my college years, followed by my most recent long stint of various Christian artists who have heavily influenced my playing style and approach.”

The band’s material is what keeps fans coming back to the shows. Elton John, “Honky Cat”, “Benny & The Jets”, Little Feat, “Oh! Atlanta”, “Fat Man in the Bath Tub”, Paul Simon, “Late in the Evening”, Bare Naked Ladies, “It’s All Been Done”, Traffic, “Medicated Goo”, “Empty Pages”, Jackson Brown “Doctor My Eyes”, The Band, “The Shape I’m In”. Maycock says, “We love all of these bands but we want to pick fresh songs.” Barker says they try to choose nuggets, the B sides, and special gems to offer something not being done in town.

In talking about area venues, the band is partial to Blue 5, Jake Dempsey’s excellent sound and the appreciative crowd. Barker also says, “The Pine Tavern pavilion is also very, very cool. The people in Floyd are way into music and are so appreciative. They really make you feel special up there.” Guitarist/vocalist Mike Maycock chimes in about Schooners. “Tammy was very cool at getting us out to start playing.” Jonathan interjects, “When she first asked me about playing there, we hardly had enough material to play out...but we had been practicing in the basement for several months. Tammy kind of pulled and tugged and we all said ‘yeah, ok’ and now she has that great stage.”

Jonathan heads to the studio this month to start work on some originals. The band hopes to grow their audience and work toward an original set list.

“Jonesin’” for something different? Runaway Jones has the “fix”.

A Quiet Work That Will Stay With You a Long Time...
Absolutely stunning work! So very personal and obviously written from the heart. "Give in to Love" is such a beautiful and intimate song...feels like you're intruding into Barker's soul...reminiscent of Joel's earliest and best work...personal, accessible and beautifully melodic. Pour yourself a nice merlot and just sit back and listen...
Read less....

Keyboardist/Singer/Songwriter - Jonathan Barker has released "JB III," an 11-track effort with an all-star lineup from throughout the valley.  Craig "Catfish" Counts (guitar), the afore-mentioned Dempsey (bass), and Brett Reynolds (drums) get in the majority of rhythm section work on an album recorded at Blackwater Recording and Summitt Sound, as well as Hoppie Vaughan's basement (!!).  Good original rock and soul here. Check to preview.