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  • Bryon Harris

Todd Barrow – ‘Hot Southern Night’

Review by Matt Wong & Staff

“Hot Southern Night” begins with a doubled guitar riff and hi hat and kick drum before being joined by bass and full drums. The arrangement then scales back in intensity to just the guitars playing staccato eighths and light drums keeping time as Barrow’s vocals enter on the first verse. Halfway through the first verse, the bass and full drums re-enter along with the lead guitar playing fills as the song increases in dynamics. The lead guitar re-states the song’s signature riff and the song is once again back to full energy for the hard grooving chorus. The song’s second verse begins introducing rhythmic and textual variety as the guitars branch out from their driving eighths part, and begin playing more rhythmically and an organ is introduced, which nicely glues the arrangement together. A burning guitar solo with bluesey lines and sequencing runs follows the second chorus before the song enters a brief bridge before wrapping up with one more chorus.

The lyrics in “Hot Southern Night” paints the picture of partying in the American South. Lyrics such as “Got the bulldogs flappin, mud grips slappin, Yeti cooler shakin ice” and “Pioneers pumpin, hitting every bump on country road 49” effectively invoke imagery to listeners. Barrow ends the song exclaiming, “That’s how we do it in the south.”

“Hot Southern Night” by Todd Barrow is an excellently written, performed, and produced song. Barrow is without a doubt a major vocal talent in the country idiom, and this song is the proof. Shout out to songwriter Brock Burrell on a well crafted song, and producer Tanner Landry in sculpting a terrific production.

For more information on Todd Barrow, please visit his website.

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About Todd Barrow

A chance encounter at Cook Children’s Medical Center is all it took to set Todd Barrow on his mission to revamp classic country with his signature modern twist. One day, an American Idol contestant was slated to perform for the patients at Todd's place of employment, but the audio tech was nowhere to be found. When he heard the call, “Can anybody here run sound?” Todd answered.

In walked Texas Music Hall of Fame Honoree Sonny Burgess just as Todd was setting up the live rig, and the two musicians struck up a conversation. Sonny told Todd about his work with Charlie Pride and Randy Travis, and asked Todd if he might lend his technical skills to help build the recording studio sponsored by Garth Brooks and Troy Aikmanhe that had in the works. This serendipitous encounter yielded a coffee meeting to review the blueprints for the project, and before long, Sonny was meeting Todd for coffee weekly to discuss music. Eventually, he became Todd’s mentor, forever changing the course of Todd’s career.

Now, Todd Barrow is making a name for himself as a country artist to watch. The Texas singer-songwriter has racked up more than a few accolades, from a PRSA Award of Excellence, to an Akademia Award for Best Country Album, and an artist spotlight in Alternative Roots Magazine, American Pride Magazine and AVA Radio. He has appeared on television shows including Good Morning Texas with Jerry Matheny and Texas Music Café on PBS. He’s even shared the stage and studio with some of country music’s heaviest hitters, from CMA musicians in Miranda Lambert’s band to Fort Worth Producer of the Year Bart Rose. But it’s more than just Todd’s success to date that makes him such a compelling country artist. What’s most readily apparent in Todd Barrow’s music is his heart.

Todd’s music is no country for old men. While he undoubtedly draws his sonic influence from titans like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, his melodies skew modern. He plays almost every instrument, from piano to guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and drums, and the multi-instrumentalist doubles as a songwriter for himself as well as for other artists. “"If I can put a smile on someone’s face through song, well that just means the world to me,” he says. “I try to get to the real heart and soul of a song. To me, it's not just words but a story, and I do my best to portray that with every line. That’s my main draw to country music; the stories, the people, and the sincerity that comes from the heart."

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