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About Hank Barbee

Richlands, NC

Hank started playing guitar when he was 11 years old. He grew up listening to a wide variety of music. One music in particular “struck a chord” with Hank.  It was Appalachian folk music. His mother tells a story that when he was three years old they had taken him to hear Doc Watson perform. Throughout the entire show, Hank played the seat in front of him and kept up with Doc while he played through his repertoire of songs. Although it would be a few years before he started playing, he was a musician in the making even then. 
His first, and primary instrument since age 11 is still the guitar. When playing finger-style on an acoustic, he possesses an ability to define melody and rhythm simultaneously. On Dobro, he evokes an almost voice-like conveyance of emotion; and on electric, with a light touch, his tone can range from funky and growling to soaring and intense. Add to his family of stringed instruments a few 1950's Gibson console and lap steels, a resonator guitar and a mandolin. He performs styles on these old instruments ranging from primitive country and gospel to rock, blues and roots music.
“Every sound I have ever heard has developed my musicality in one way or another” when asked about his love of music.  Yet despite being such a talented player and multi-instrumentalist, what has truly come to set him apart is his songwriting. Touching and skillful, Hank’s songs speak with an honesty only capable of being measured with feelings. The all-encompassing rasp of his baritone voice can melt a heart and disarm even the most guarded listener, driving his message closer to home with each ensuing word.
Citing a far range of influences, from Johnny Cash and Jerry Reed to Mark Knopfler and Ryan Adams, Hank respects no boundary on subject-matter or musical style. The ups and downs of human existence, the deepest darkest depths and the heights of spirituality are some of the subjects commonly breached by his writing. Over the years Hank has performed in garages, recitals, music theatre, churches, clubs, porches, bars, basements, bedrooms, attics, stadium, ballgames, political agendas, radio, weddings, television and for fun in probably every type of venue imaginable (good or bad) in a lot of cities in the USA.


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