By Arne Sjostedt
To launch his blazing new single Come Turn Me On onto the globe, Australian Country music idol Casey Barnes focused on what lets him and his band blast live. Teaming up with powerhouse pair Kaci Brown and Sam Gray while writing his history making 2020 release, the ARIA #1 Australian Country Album Town of a Million Dreams, Barnes reconnected with the duo to pen some more hits.
“We just have a really great chemistry between the three of us,” Barnes says of his sessions with Brown and Gray. “We hit it off straight away. The first track that we wrote together was a track called Sparks Fly. Which ended up being my first number one here in Australia.”
Stomping Come Turn Me On was written during COVID, and gave Barnes an opportunity to lift the lid on the sparks ignited during their first writing sessions.
“We just felt straight away that it was the right single to kick the year off. It’s got such a really great energy about it and it’s got that crossover appeal. It’s a bit of country but it’s also crossed over into commercial as well.”
Hoping the track will continue to forge his own unique, blistering identity within that popular crossover sound, the four time 2021 Golden Guitar nominee draws on establishing his explosive live experience to set him apart.
“A couple of years ago we just made that decision to start creating a sound that I felt comfortable with,” says Barnes. “One of the things that fuels that, was we wanted to write songs that were going to be great live tracks as well. We wanted them to be songs that listeners were going to connect with and enjoy, and radio was going to like, but were going to be really great to play live."
It’s something he and his team have worked hard over the years to perfect. “We wanted to make sure that everyone who came to watch our gigs, they went away going, ‘That was great,’ he explains. “So with this new one, that was partly behind it. We wanted something that was going to tick all those boxes.”
Even before the success of Town of a Million Dreams, this focus paid dividends - if receiving the popular vote for best live act at Broadbeach’s Groundwater Festival is any indication.
“It was just a huge crowd at the time and it was one of the best sets we’ve ever done. Everyone was singing all the words back and the whole show clicked.”
Barnes is equally amped about the film clip he has put together with his wife and rest of his creative team.
“She plays a pretty heavy role in a lot of my music videos,” Barnes says. “She’s incredibly talented at that side of things.”
Filmed at Smoked Garage, an old warehouse come event venue in Brisbane, “Michelle came up with the visual concept of how we wanted to shoot it. And we went up there, blocked it out for a night and threw one big party.”
Quick to say this is not a personal story, Barnes has been happily married for 15 years, the track is a tale about a man who has travelled the world, and “had his chance at tasting the different waters out there,” and realised that nothing can compare to the lady back home.
With the track now out in the world, Barnes will be taking it on the road with a bunch of dates announced around Australia including a haul of some of Australia’s most respected country festivals and gigs.
“I can’t wait to add Come Turn Me On into the set for all our upcoming shows," Barnes says. "We’ve actually created a brand new live show for 2021, and it’s great to finally see some major festivals and events coming back after the pandemic, which we’re thrilled to be playing at in the weeks and months to come.”
CASEY BARNES AUSTRALIAN SHOW DATES 2021
SAT 24 APR | GIPPSLAND COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL , MOSSVALE PARK VIC | ALL AGES
FRI 30 APR | HIGHFIELDS TAVERN, TOOWOOMBA QLD | 18+
THU 26 AUG | GYMPIE MUSIC MUSTER, GYMPIE QLD | ALL AGES
FRI 27 AUG | GYMPIE MUSIC MUSTER, GYMPIE QLD | ALL AGES
FRI 1 OCT | SAVANNAH IN THE ROUND, MAREEBA QLD | ALL AGES