Where Poetry is The Point

Any Given Day

Any given day in Downtown Albany, on a casual walk through Turtle Park, you may come across a man playing guitar, and singing to his heart’s content.  And to yours, too.   If you have a favorite song from between about 1956 and 2011, he probably knows it and has already added his own spin to it.  Try him out.   You just might be surprised.  He goes by the name AcoustikMoney.   One of the cool things about the resurgence of art and culture in Downtown Albany is finding out that some of us have been at it for quite some time.  AcoustikMoney has been performing at open mic nights, weddings, and living room jam sessions throughout Albany since before the band had a wagon.

Over the past two and a half years, you could regularly see David Barnes performing his original music as well as a boat-load of cover songs at Wet Mic Wednesday, which was the premier Open-Mic night in Downtown Albany.   And now, you can find him performing at UnPlugged on first and third Mondays at Global Essence or just about any D’town Arts Coalition function.  AcoustikMoney has made a name for himself as the go-to-guy to set the mood for just about any occasion.   At UnPlugged he shines.  Playing classic favorites between his original compositions, you can see that music comes naturally to this young man from the old school. When we talked about the resurgence of art in Albany, AcoustikMoney mentioned the D’town Arts Coalition art show “BLAM!” where he met the talented and interesting piercing and scarification artist, Matt Hattaway of Heart and Dagger Tattoo Parlor and Fine Art Gallery.  “I like this because I get to roll in circles I normally wouldn’t.  Like Matt Hattaway, from the art show, who dresses like a skater and wears tribal earrings.  The art movement here makes it so that I can meet people who are completely different from me, but share my love of art.  It’s what Albany needs.”

When asked what inspires him, he talks about favorites like India Arie, Eric Roberson, Kem, Jill Scott, Floetry, Jamie Foxx and others in the R&B and Neo-Soul categories.  These artists motivate and inspire him because of their stories, as well as their exceptional talents.  “Growing up in Leary, GA, a musical career was not something you dream about.”  He recalls the first guitar that he ever had: “When I first got my guitar, I just wanted to be cool.  I let people think I could play, and would tell them:  ‘I just don’t feel like it right now’.”  This charade went on for almost ten years.   Finally after realizing that he was spending all the money from wedding singing gigs on musicians, David decided to figure out how to play that old guitar.

An A student at Albany Tech, David is working towards a career as a pharmacist.  He knows that few ever make it into the industry and become rich so he is working on ensuring a stable future for himself and his daughters.   While working on Plan A, his days and nights are filled with musical interludes; teaching himself new chord progressions and finding words to his melodies.  “I mess around on the guitar and sometimes chords come together and the words that belong with that music just come out.”  Most artists can relate to the sentiment.  But if you didn’t know any better, you would think that he spent all of his homework time coming up with lyrics like:

“Don’t let our love come crashing down because of what you heard/

Because what you feel when I’m holding you goes way deeper than words/

The whispers of all your fears telling you we should be apart/

But love calls…

Can’t be heard by ear, you have to listen with your heart”. ©2010

 He said: “I think I’m good at conveying my ideas in ways people can relate to them.”  I think he’s right. •

To learn more about AcoustikMoney and for Booking Information visit his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AcoustikMoney/266022003456960

By: Tannur Ali


Originally Published in the 1/4/12 Issue of The Albany Journal


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