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Reviews & Quotes

"Big Red Barn is either a bluegrass band disguised as a fun-loving bar band or a fun-loving bar band disguised as a bluegrass band. Listening to their CD, Barn Again, it’s clear that whichever rings most true, they have eclectic tastes and adept musical imaginations.

Despite a mostly straight-ahead instrumental lineup of mandolin (Kevin Brown), banjo and resonator guitar (Charley Gurche), guitar (Ken Glastre), and bass (Patrick Klausen), joined on several tracks by fiddler Andrew Wilson, they tend to put a swinging bluesy vibe to their arrangements. So even when tackling songs like “I’m Just Here to Get My Baby Out Of Jail,” “More Pretty Girls Than One,” “Corrina, Corrina,” and “Why You Been Gone So Long,” they reconstruct them and give them a different life. One of the biggest strengths of Big Red Barn is that they don’t content themselves to follow familiar stylistic paths, but instead take everything they touch, especially bluegrass standards, and recast them in new and interesting ways.

Overall they have a loose, easygoing sensibility and a fondness for swing, bringing in numbers like Jelly Roll Morton’s “Don’t You Leave Me Here” and Bobby Troup’s “Hungry Man” and giving them all a casual vibe. Three of the bandmembers sing, all decently if not exceptionally, and the playing is consistently tasty without being flashy. The album’s two instrumentals, Gurche’s “Kick The Can” and Glastre’s “Mi Alma Viejo,” show a more serious side than is displayed in their novelty songs.

So while this Spokane-based ensemble might not color neatly within the bluegrass lines, they’re still an interesting unit that dares to gather unusual material and to give it its own distinctive stamp. In this era of musical cloning, standing out from the crowd is good, and Big Red Barn is worth giving their own indescribable musical niche."
- Bluegrass Unlimited, July 2012

"Currently burning up the Inland Empire and buzzing the world of bluegrass, Big Red Barn is pursuing the notion that uptown blues can fit the bluegrass oeuvre as successfully as downhome blues does.  It ends up depending on how narrowly or broadly bluegrass is defined, but BRB tackles it all with infectious good cheer and great (but not too fussy) musicianship.  The urgent nature of bluegrass loses to the more languid pace of the blues, but the tunes themselves are chosen with such care that the record maintains an excitement:  of anticipating the familiar (St. Anne's Reel or St. James Infirmary) done in a whole new way, or of reintroducing songs like Just Because and Honey It Must Be Love to the canon.  BRB's mando man, Kevin Brown, contributes a couple of his own tunes that fit right in, as do guitarist Ken Glastre and banjo picker Charley Gurche, ensuring this group a fine future.  The album shows big-league production and packaging, and the group has Pete Wernick in its cheering section, so expect to see and hear more from these northwesterners.

  - Victory Music Review, July 2006

"The sound that Big Red Barn produces on this CD is awesome! The CD is magnificently produced and the sound quality is outstanding, bringing out the very best in this groups’ enthusiasm and talent. Their selection of music for the project offers something for just about anyone who loves bluegrass from the standards of “St. Anne’s Reel” which they take in a unique direction and gospel favorite “I am a Pilgrim”, to the fun and funky “Honey, It must be Love.” This is the kind of music that you just keep tapping your feet to and singing along with while you listen to the disc. It just made me smile from beginning to end! All of the members of the band are deeply involved in the arts in Spokane, with Patrick Klausen (upright bass) and Kevin Brown (mandolin) involved with KPBX, the Public Broadcasting station in Spokane, Klausen as Production Director and Brown host of the weekly Front Porch Bluegrass, heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm. This is a wonderfully produced and performed CD and, as always, I urge you to support the talented musicians we have among us here in Washington. Who for? Almost everyone! This CD has something for everyone including fantastic instrumental work and crisp clean vocals. Add this one to your collection!"  

  - Washington Bluegrass Association's Bluegrass Gazette, Spring 2006 

"A wonderful cross between down-home and professional, studio & living room... this is one of those rare CDs that I regularly play for recreational listening because it's so much fun! It's a joyous celebration..."

- Dan Maher, host of Inland Folk on Northwest Public Radio

"If I were a festival promoter I'd hire this band in a heartbeat because this is a FUN BAND!"

- Pete "Dr. Banjo" Wernick

"The debut release from Big Red Barn, based in Spokane, Washington, reflects what is happening in bluegrass music with the jamband sound. Extremely talented musicians, who play traditional bluegrass instruments, their music draws heavily from blues, country and jazz and while it is definitely outside the mainstream of traditional bluegrass, the band will appeal to bluegrass fans who enjoy innovative picking."

- Bluegrass Now Magazine

"Old guy bluegrass with a hint of soul."

- The Inlander