Portland OR seems to be teeming with a unique breed of melancholic Americana and Mama Bird Recording Co. has been quietly amassing their talents for the last couple of years. TWD has previously written about both Denver and Sainseneca leaving us to address Barna Howard; the third artist represented on that label.
Missouri’s clearest voice since a certain steamboat pilot, Barna Howard is a meticulous craftsman. His are songwriters’ songs, weaving melody, narrative and gravity in ways only the best have. He comes to the listener like some overlooked great, reincarnated for one last shot.
As I previously mentioned, all of Mama Bird's artists fall under the guise of folk musicians. However, as opposed to Denver and Saintseneca who sound uniquely contemporary, Barna Howard's compositional voice is a throwback to the tradition of Arlo Guthrie and the folk musicians of that ilk. Listen below to the two track teaser from his 2012 full length self-titled released and take note of the way Barna slips in and around his vowel sounds while singing and uses his highly polyphonic guitar to lay out a three voice accompaniment in the traditional folk style.
His playing is clean, his voice is clear, and his stories are welcoming and well written. Barna Howard should have a bright future in the folk community where a talent such as his is surely to be recognized and sought after. Click here to purchase his full length album and then drop him a line on his facebook page and let him know that you dig it.