Barry Abernathy cannot remember ever not loving music. As a really young child, he loved Buck Owens. “My mom bought me a little red guitar just like the one Buck had,” Barry recalled recently. “I couldn’t play it of course, but she says when I was two or three years old, I would sit out on the porch and play and sing songs for all the neighbor kids.”
When Barry was around 11 years old he discovered he enjoyed singing in church, and soon after, he and his cousin started singing and traveling together as a duet. When he was 14 he began playing the Banjo and Mandolin. “I just fell in love with it,” he said.
In 1993 Barry entered the professional Bluegrass ranks playing with the group Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out for about a year before joining Doyle Lawson’s Quick Silver. “I got to start in this business playing with some of my heroes,” Barry said.
In 1999 Barry teamed up with Jimmy Van Cleve and Steve Gully to co-found the soon-to-be super group, Mountain Heart. He stayed with that group until 2015 before taking a break from the music industry for a few years for health reasons. It wouldn’t be long though before Van Cleve would coax him back into the fray in 2019 to help form the newly popular group, Appalachian Road Show, with friends Darrell Webb, Todd Phillips, and Zeb Snyder.
Throughout his career, Barry had been writing some great songs that just never got used, or fit into the band configuration he was in. But he didn’t want them to get left unrecorded either. So he reached out to music industry friends to help him get the tracks recorded while he was off the road. “I was thinking about something my kids could have one day,” He said.
Barry actually recorded this before the launch of Appalachian Road Show. “It just made since to hold onto it for a while until we had gotten the band established,” Barry said. “But with Covid, it seemed like a good time to get it finished and out to the fans.”
The 11 track, Barry Abernathy & Friends, released late February, features a veritable Who’s Who of great music artists and players. Sam Bush, Doyle Lawson, Vince Gill, Dan Tyminski, Rhonda Vincent, and Steve Gulley are just a few of the greats listed on this project.