Kevin Barker’s You & Me: Two Cent Review

Artist: Kevin Barker
Album: You & Me
Label: Gnomonsong
Release date: January 26

Some people have a lot to say. Of those people, there are the ones who should be talking – and the ones who should spend more time thinking. Kevin Barker, who has become pretty prolific while most of us weren’t noticing, fits snugly into the first camp. Instead of burning out the Vetiver guitarist, his varying partnerships with Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom and a parade of others have spurred him to finally answer the question, “Why doesn’t this guy have an album of his own?” You & Me may have been born out of necessity, but even if it wasn’t, nothing here feels superfluous. Cashing in on the favors he’s owed, Barker corralled Newsom, the Shins’ Eric Johnson and others to raise him on his chair during this eight-song horah. Lightly coated in folk and country, and optimistic almost all the way through, the LP sees Barker making a bid as the John Denver of indie rock on “Bless You on Your Day,” while the title cut comes across as a tweaked version of “You Are My Sunshine.” Take a sip, take a swig – anyone who doesn’t sound smug these days while singing “la-dah-dah” deserves a toast.


• Bad Penny MP3 download: “You & Me

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