A talented, hardworking artist of stature, this Peoria native plays steady all year, making a living making music, and he does it by making people feel good. A versatile, multi-instrumentalist on banjo, guitar (six and 12 strings, Dobro and high-strung), harmonica and mandolin, our man Barry does classic covers (Beatles, etc.), a treasure of Celtic standards (“Danny Boy” and “Finnegan’s Wake”), all kinds of blues, and on top of that, he’s written hundreds of originals. His most recent album, Southland, won the Akademia music award for the best Americana album in 2016. The company placed his song “Spirit Dance” on more than 90 internet stations in about 30 countries, with more to come. He’s an invited guest to the annual Dan Fogelberg Tribute Concerts, regularly performs on the Spirit of Peoria steamboat, and is a co-founder, along with Brian “Fox” Ellis, of Prairie Folklore Theatre. But mainly, he says, “I just keep on keepin’ on, totin’ my guitars, drivin’ from place to place and playin’ my music for anybody who’ll listen.” We’re down with that plan.
Thursday, Jan. 5, 6pm
James Armstrong Presents