Chris “BadNews” Barnes, a former Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, and Carol Burnett Show performer and writer, has made his mark in the blues community with his own brand of Hokum Blues — an often risqué subcategory of urban blues.
His third VizzTone release, BADNEWS RISING is also his first all-original album filled with satiric muses interlaced with honest, biographical stories. Grammy Award winning producer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Roy Buchanan, et al) co-wrote several of the tunes, and in addition to producing, played drums.
BADNEWS RISING was recorded at Sound Stage Studio in Nashville with top-tier musicians including Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton, Anson Funderburgh) on piano and Hammond B3, and Tommy MacDonald (Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter) on bass.
“When Koko Came to Town” turns the lens and takes more of an autobiographical approach, recalling his days warming up the room and introducing legends such as Johnny Copeland, Pinetop Perkins, and, of course, the late, great Koko Taylor at Tramps in New York City.
“A high end, Chicago-style composition with backing horns aplenty, it’s a Wang-Dang-Doodle time,” ABS’s JD Nash wrote in a review. Adding, “King of the Hokum? In this day and age, the crown fits squarely on the head of Chris ‘BadNews’ Barnes while he sits comfortably on the throne of BADNEWS RISING.”
We are proud to exclusively premiere the video for “When Koko Came to Town,” in which Barnes hooks ’em with the Hokum! Of getting started as a young comic, he tells ABS: