Country Music and Quartz Hill Records recording artist Nate Barnes is an example of perseverance paying off and the benefit of hard work. Barnes has worn many hats throughout his past, a life of long days and hard nights, many of which have given this singer / songwriter more than his fair share of stories, good and bad, to sing about. Barns writes from the heart and gives it his all in his music and performances.
His latest video for the song “You Ain’t Pretty“ is an enchanting homage to the classic love song story imagery, but has a strong and supporting message of appreciation and respect for your partner in life. I would say in this video Nate Barnes has given us an honest and humble look into the way he see life and love, how it should be and how it can be. and the way he see at every opportunity.
“You Ain’t Pretty“ is a fantastic and magical work of elegant music, in creation and performance. At first, it would appear to be a song of a man’s love for a woman, but also so much more. He holds a rough job, has the world on his shoulders, yet makes time and every effort to show his love, devotion, appreciation, and prove that he knows she is more than “just a pretty face”, that for him, she is his everything, his life and his love.
In commentary on the set of this soon to be revered video, Nate said “no matter how lost you feel, no matter how low, don’t give up, no matter how far that dream is, it ain’t over”
From the bio on his website, we find that Nate was musically influenced by both of his grandparents, Barnes grew up singing with his family after Sunday dinners, during which “Motown was always playing on the radio.” Barnes and his family would gather around his grandmother as she played hymns or the blues on the family piano. Barnes recalls how, after those sessions, his grandfather would sit in his recliner with blues on the radio and a western on the television while he regaled his grandchildren of stories about growing up and working in the fields of Tupelo, Mississippi.
“My granddaddy was the most loving man I’ve ever met and also one of the best storytellers. He knew so much about music even though he never played. And the way he crafted his life stories – the life he breathed into them – I always knew that I wanted to tell stories like him. My drive to perform really came out of his storytelling,” says Barnes, giving credit to those that inspired him.
Barnes, at just 13 years old, joined the work force of America, his work ethic was heavily-influenced by his mother who worked three jobs, as well as his stepfather who worked double duty at both the local power plant and on a nearby blueberry farm to make ends meet. By the age of 14, Barnes was working on roofs and building houses with his uncle. By 18, Barnes had followed in his stepfather’s footsteps, landing an entry level job at the power plant cleaning toilets and driving buses. He worked his way up through the ranks of manual labor – building scaffolding, pouring concrete, shoveling and digging trenches, laying pipelines, and performing mechanical maintenance for sometimes 14 hours a day,
When he was 21 a close friend and mentor introduced Barnes to the music and stories of Keith Whitley, George Strait, Alabama and Brooks & Dunn. As he dove deeper into the well of country music, he realized that these were the stories of his own life – the lessons he’d learned, the people he’d loved, the sorrows he’d endured – stories articulated in a way that felt like home.
“I fell in love right then with country music. I think I really ‘heard’ it for the first time,” says Barnes. “Country music teaches you about life – about how to live, about how to be and about how to treat people. It made me feel things that I didn’t want to feel and that shifted my whole deal. It changed how I lived, how I thought and my whole perspective on life.”
Now, in his own special and powerful way, Nate Barnes sings his song, his life story, to all of us, in the true fashion of American Country Music, no sampled beats, not flashy stereotypes, just a real hardworking man, trying, and succeeding, in making a difference, in a world where we need heroes again.
Visit Nate Barnes’s website and follow him on social media.
Photos obtained on Nate Barnes Facebook page.
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