By Jillian Dawson
Marc Golde sent me on a mission to interview Augie Barnhart of the Liver Killers. Having not previously heard of this particular band, he described them to me as “bluegrass… but super crazy and they sing about beer.” Armed with Barnhart’s email address and a giant question mark in my brain, I took to google where I found their webpage boasting “THE LIVER KILLERS – Blue Faced Sh*t Grass.” If that doesn’t make you at least a bit curious to check these guys out… well, maybe you need to check your pulse.
The band recorded their first album, “World Famous,” this past summer live at Rock Garden Studio. Of the recording process, Golde notes, “It was their energy that I enjoyed capturing most. And they had me rolling on the floor a few times.”
All jokes aside, the band (Augie Barnhart, Roelke Thunderbolt, Patt Schorr and Dan Schrei) are the real deal. “I love the fact that they are extremely entertaining but have the goods to back it up. Each one of them is an accomplished musician. There's no slop but there's a whole lot of fun. They'll turn around and play the prettiest ballad after beating you in the face with their psycho-billy bluegrass.
Golde and Google were fine and all, but I wanted to chat with Barnhart himself.
You’re self –described as “blue-faced sh*t grass; how does your music differ from traditional bluegrass?
We take the ‘traditional’ side of bluegrass out to the curb. Not that we don't respect it; it's just not edgy enough for us "Killers.”
Who are your musical influences?
My family was a big inspiration for me to become a musician. My mother and grandparents have been playing music live ever since I can remember so I was always engulfed in music around the house and at music venues. We were raised with old country artists like Roger Miller, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed, Hank Williams, and of course Mr. Cash. Rock-a-billy, blues and swing have a big influence in our sound as well. For me, Les Paul and Chet Atkins are my biggest influences for guitar.
It’s been said the band’s live performances are an experience. What can the audience expect at one of your shows?
I'm not sure what the audience can expect at a live show because I don't even know what to expect! At any given time there might be one of us on someone's shoulders or on top of table or the bar - that’s the thrill itself. I know you can expect nothing short of entertaining.
Come check out the Liver Killers TONIGHT, Thursday November 10th at 7pm at Rock Garden Studio!
Dig the band? Tell your Minneapolis friends to head to Cabooze November 18th to see the Liver Killers with Useful Jenkins.