Best New Music of 2018: BACKTOBEFORE

BACKTOBEFORE       L to R: Evan Cole Barnes, John McLachlan, David Sparks, Michael Sparks, Tiffany Sparks

Music has been a HUGE part of my life from early childhood.  Growing up, I didn’t have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, and so my imagination and creativity were redirected to writing.  All was not lost, however.  My son, Evan Cole Barnes, is a singer/songwriter for BACKTOBEFORE.  He is multi-talented and contributed acoustic, classical guitar, piano, electric guitar, as well as vocals to their first album, which just dropped December 24.  His band members are a group of amazingly talented musicians:  David Sparks (Lead Guitarist/Writer/Vocalist/Acoustic), Tiffany Sparks (Bass/Uke/Vox), Michael Sparks (Writer/Percussionist/Vocalist/Acoustics) and John McLachlan(Drummer/Writer/Vocalist/Acoustics).  They started writing this record years ago with the hope that one day it would come to fruition.  To quote Evan, “This record had no rules, no producer, and is an honest reflection of who we are as artists.”  Not only are these musicians incredibly talented, they have a heart for human beings.  All proceeds from this album go to fighting human trafficking:

Update (2020)  BACKTOBEFORE has officially changed their name to A Place To Rest.  Check them out on Spotify.

Or as BACKTOBEFORE on YouTube.

Top Ten Songs of the ’70s

**NOTE:  This is an article I wrote 7 years ago and which has been reposted and reconstituted by other sites over and over again.  I found it the other day on my old laptop and thought it was worth reposting (with some corrections and updated links).  Though my musical tastes are constantly evolving and ever-expanding, I still feel the same way about these amazing songs from one of my favorite decades.

Forget about your traditional Top Ten Songs of the ’70s. I’m going to use this blog post to tell you about MY personal favorites from the ’70s. Everyone has their own musical favorites, and usually there is a memory associated with each one. I’m not sure if any of my all-time favorites ever made the “The Top 100 Seventies Singles”, but these songs sound as magical today as they did when I spent hours listening to my parents’ 8-track tapes looking through the latest issues of Teen Beat and Tiger Beat.

Me – Summer 1978 (wearing my favorite Shawn Cassidy t-shirt) and looking forward to listening to my new Grease album.

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