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Greg Barnes
"Greg was integral to the development and creation of the sound on my mini album 'Natural High'. Finally I had met a Musical Director who shared my visions and could create the sounds locked in my head"
- Sharon Martin
"When it comes to getting the best out of our students, Greg knows the secret. He knows how to build on their confidence, to assist them develop their stage presence naturally."
- Scott Cowie, Senior Music Lecturer, Motherwell College
"Greg's the second hardest working man in show business."
- Steve Cheyne, Berkeley 2 Rehearsal Rooms
Find out more about...
>>  Radio & TV sessions
>>  Venues played
>>  Sharing the bill
>>  Live and stuido reviews
>>  Equipment used
Greg Barnes bio
What you need to know...
Greg "Digger" Barnes is a Scottish-born freelance musician with over 17 years of gigging experience and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Commercial Music. Through his father, Greg has dual U.K. / U.S. citizenship and in 2012 moved to Los Angeles from Glasgow, Scotland.

As a multi-instrumentalist, Greg is able to vary his role through Hammond Organ, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Percussion, Guitar, and Bass, as required. His understanding of each instrument and how their sounds work best within a band has led him to the role of Musical Director and Arranger for many artists including 'The First Charge of the Light Brigade', and Sharon Martin.

Musical Influences
Many artists have influenced Greg's playing style including Ben Folds, The Beatles, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Jimmy Smith, Paul Weller, The Wallflowers, Blood Sweat & Tears, The Killers, The Average White Band, The Who, Noel Gallagher, Jamiroquai, Tower of Power, Train, The Jayhawks, Booker T & The MG's, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Matchbox 20 and Ocean Colour Scene.

His unique keyboard playing style has been featured with the likes of The Eeries, The Walcotts, JJ Gilmour, Horse, Chris Devotion & The Expectations, GUN, Toy Tin Soldier, The Hussy's, Carol Laula, Zuba, The Sound Development Agency, Kirkintilloch Brass Band, and many more.
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Greg BarnesThe Early Years...
Greg's father, Glenn, was formerly a U.S. Navy musician, playing trumpet and piano. His mother, Mandy, was a singer and guitarist in a harmony trio called The Honeybirds (formerly The Country Girls) who sang in many of Scotland’s top theatres. Mandy also worked in Scottish Television for over 40 years. Both of her parents were stage artists who performed in theatres throughout the U.K., sharing the bill with the likes of Vera Lynn, Flannigan and Allen, The Alexander Brothers, and Johnny Beattie, as well as appearing in London West End productions such as Fred Karno's Army and starring in seasonal pantomime – one of the U.K.s favourite theatrical genres.

Greg’s earliest memories are all related to music, as his parents introduced him to as many different styles of music as possible. Diverse outings such as attending the Russian Ballet, to jazz festivals to seeing Stevie Wonder in Glasgow were part of the family routine. However, the first form of structured musical learning in Greg's life was piano lessons. His father wanted him to learn from a private teacher, rather than to pick up 'bad habits' from himself and it was through this that Greg discovered his love for the keyboard. Soon after, Greg was enrolled in a Glasgow dancing school, run by his "Aunt" Rita Crawford. The school taught all forms of dancing from ballet through tap to traditional Scottish Highland Dancing. As the only boy in the productions, he soon found himself performing on-stage as the male lead in shows at a sold-out Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, aged just 6 years old.

It wasn't until attending Gryffe High School, Houston, Scotland in 1991, however, that Greg found an outlet for his talent in the School's Music Department, where he immersed himself in all things musical - sometimes to the detriment of other classes, much to his mother's annoyance. At this time, Greg focused more on trumpet, working with School, Divisional and local Brass bands as well as competition orchestras. He was twice the winner of the School's 'Young Musician of the Year' contest at under and over 16 level, but despite going on to college (and subsequently to University) to study music with promotion, he found himself becoming disillusioned with music itself.
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Jools Holland "Later" with Jools Holland...
On the 25th August, 1994, Greg went to see Jools Holland in concert, at Edinburgh's Queen's Hall with tickets which had been given to his mum as a 'thank-you', for work related to STV. At the end of the performance Greg was invited back-stage to meet the band and spoke candidly to Jools Holland and his trumpet player, Jon Scott about his inexplicable disenchantment with music in general and piano in particular.

Jools suggested he try different styles of playing and experiment more with rhythm and blues / funk and soul. Unfortunately the advice fell on deaf-ears and months passed without anything changing. It wasn't until Jools released the 1995 album "Jools Holland and the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra live" that Greg had his 'eureka' moment... On every copy of the album was the line "The gig that you were at". This resonated with Greg as being a message directed at him, so he decided to seek lessons from his dad, and in doing so, follow a new musical path; one from which he has never looked back.

Having taken Jools's advice, Greg’s enthusiasm for music returned and he has since become one of the most well-respected & sought-after keyboard players on the Scottish music scene. Over the past decade, Greg has worked exhaustively with countless artists in, and outwith, Scotland, covering all styles of music including: Blues, Jazz, Rock, Indie, Northern Soul, World Music, Prog-Rock, Americana, Classical, Big Band & Country. During this time, he has played various UK Festivals, and venues including London's 100 Club, L.A.'s 'Troubadour' and 'Whisky A Go Go'. He is also renowned for having played Glasgow's legendary 'King Tuts Wah Wah Hut' a remarkable 43 times - three appearances away from the all-time record! He has truly gained an abundance of live experience.

Following in his Grandparents footsteps of "life on the stage", Greg was hired in 2011 as the Musical Director for the Kilmarnock Palace Theatre pantomime production of 'Cinderella' by 'Imagine Theatre'.

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Greg Barnes"Then & Now"

Prior to leaving the U.K., he worked as a tutor in several colleges throughout Central Scotland. Helping young musicians to develop their own talent and direction gives Greg great personal and professional satisfaction and his rapport with students of all ages has made him popular within the teaching ranks. This experience led him to join the teaching staff of Brentwood School in L.A., as a music teacher, in the summer of 2014.
Radio & TV sessions Venues played include... Shared the bill with...
TV appearances / work
Edinburgh Hogmany Show 2005 – STV
(Texas & Space)

Boxed Set – STV,
(Deacon Blue &
Ocean Color Scene)

Nochd Gun Chadal – STV

The Music Show – BBC Scotland

Late Night Social – Channel 'M'

The Big Breakfast – Canada

BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio Scotland
Insight Radio - Glasgow
Revolution - Manchester
Xfm - Glasgow and Manchester
America & Canada
The Whisky a Go Go - L.A.
The Troubadour - L.A.
The Viper Room - L.A.
Hotel Cafe - L.A.
House of Blues - L.A.
The Urban Grooze Jazz festival - CAN

King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (40 times)
The Barrowlands
Carling / O2 Academy - Glasgow
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Glasgow City Halls
Magnum Leisure Centre
The Queens Hall
The Iron Works

Purty Loft, Co.Dublin
De Barras, Clonakilty
The 100 Club
The Plaza - Stockport
Carling / O2 Academy - Liverpool
Engine Shed
The Roadhouse
The Shepards Bush Hall
The Sheffield Octagon
The Stables - Milton Keynes

Glastonbury Festival
The Loopallu Festival
Live at Loch Lomond
The Wickerman Festival
The Belladrum Festival
Darvel Music Festival

Coal Exchange
James Brown
Inspiral Carpets
Ian Brown
Chris Isaak
The Hoosiers
Eddi Reader
Martha Wainwright
El Presidente
Jill Jackson
The Levellers
Scouting for Girls
It Bites
Deacon Blue
Half Man Half Biscuit
The Christians
Hamish Stuart
Website designed, created and maintained by Greg Barnes