Following the success of Dave Barnes’ 2010 release, What We Want, What We Get, featuring the GRAMMY-nominated song “God Gave Me You,” his newest album, Stories to Tell is sure to pull on heart strings as well — with the song, “Mine to Love,” which beautifully captures the emotion and excitement of this new chapter in his life being a first-time dad.
After you grab a copy of his new album, check out Dave’s tour schedule on his website (www.davebarnes.com) to see if the “Stories To Tell Tour” is coming to a city near you.
TSO: Tell about your background in church and how you got started in music.
My dad is a preacher, so my family laughs that all the kids were kind of ‘born into the baptismal.’ He’s been a pastor for as long as I’ve known him, and I’m 33 now. He started preaching before I was born, so he’s been preaching a long time. I grew up in the church, and every time the doors were open, we were there. We moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where my dad planted a church, and he and my mom are still there today.
We came from a tiny town in Mississippi that didn’t really have a music scene at all. When I moved to Knoxville, I played drums and started playing with some guys pretty regularly and we started a little band for fun. That’s what started me on this musical journey. When I got to college, I started playing guitar and writing songs, which was a completely new thing for me. That’s sort of what led me to where I am today.
TSO: Talk about how your faith in Christ keeps you grounded in the music industry.
With everything I do, my faith in Christ is the biggest thing that keeps my feet to the ground. It’s an interesting profession — playing music in mainstream. People live by different rules and values, so it definitely makes for interesting conversations. I feel so encouraged that God has continued to guide as I walk this road. There have been times that I’ve wondered, ‘Is this where I should stop?’ But He’s been faithful to keep leading.
TSO: What do you hope people will take away form your new album and from your concerts?
That’s a great question. This is probably the most versatile record that I’ve made subject wise — there’s fun songs, contemplative songs, encouraging songs. The album is called Stories To Tell, and I think the overall theme to becoming a parent was closing one chapter of life and starting a new one. My wife and I did some traveling and different things before we started this new chapter, and it kind of became the theme of the record — closing one chapter in life and starting a new one.
TSO: What’s your inspiration for songwriting?
It really varies. When there are new challenges, exciting things or even hard things in life, they often become great subject matters for songs. It was so fun writing for this record, because I got to tackle different subjects that I had never written about before.
TSO: What’s your favorite part of what you do?
Getting to create. Someone asked me back in college, ‘What’s the one thing you think that you would go crazy if you couldn’t do?’ I really think it’s getting to create. It’s a necessary part of my life, and the fact that I get to do this for a living, is just absolutely beyond me.
TSO: What do you feel like God has been teaching you lately?
How much time do you have? It’s a lot about this new season in life with our baby boy Ben. My wife and I had this lifestyle where we thought we had everything figured out, and it was awesome. It was like everything had settled in the snow globe. With Ben coming into our lives, it’s like God violently shook up that snow globe — it’s actually great, but it’s like nothing we’ve experienced before. We’re like, ‘How in the world do we do this? How do you adjust to this new life and schedule?’ The encouragement is that everyone I know has gone through this when they have kids. So there’s no new thing of me going, ‘What do you mean? It’s supposed to be easy and normal, like it was before…’ It’s a real struggle because time is so spoken for, but now even more so, I realize how important it is to spend time before the Lord, pray and just clear my mind to make decisions.
TSO: What are your upcoming plans?
We’re doing this tour which I’m super excited about. It’s always fun playing shows and getting to meet people. There’s two experiences with new songs. There’s the record version where people sit in their car or on the subway listening to it, and then there’s the live experience where it’s a kind of a different take on that song, so it’s fun to get out there and see how people react to the songs.