Mad River Union
BLUE LAKE – The June calendar for The Logger Bar shows the Friday, June 8 listing as a band called Bonfire. That’s a typo but it might be an apt one: Barn Fire, a band described by its members as “crunchy Western Honky Tonk” or “low down and gritty Honky Tonk Country” is blazing its way into Blue Lake’s summer heat.
Playing for the first time with new drummer Conor Bent, the band will throw a few covers on classics by Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard into a mix of originals by Turtle Goodwater and Damon Brooks who both play lead guitar and do vocal duty. Nick Falor plays bass and has helped write a few of their songs.
Barn Fire started life as Honky Tonk Nightmare but personnel changes have resulted in a new lineup and a new name. It’s a good fit.
Their music is “danceable” according to Goodwater, who said, “we’ve played a bunch of shows where people get so drunk and rowdy that they fall into the band.”
But do they get so rowdy that chicken wire is necessary to keep the flying beer bottles away from the players?
“Nobody throws bottles at Turtle,” Brooks joked. Goodwater is an imposing figure, made even taller by his familiar black cowboy hat. He bartends days and works as a bouncer on busy nights at the iconic Logger. Goodwater plays in Psychedelvis and The Rounders, Rinky Dink String Band and The Mad River Rounders.
Brooks has played in “lots of different bands including Beautiful Losers and Staff Infection with Ron Perry.” He’s been writing originals for the last five years. “I took some of my other songs and made them country,” he said.
Falor also plays with Dead Bird Son and Rinky Dink String Band.
Bent, the newest member, joked that “I’ve been playing with these guys long enough to forget who else I played with.” He did allow that he and his sister, Claire (Citizen Funk’s sultry lead singer) both sang with the Arcata Interfaith Youth Gospel Choir as kids.
The show starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, June 8 and there is no cover charge. All events are free at The Logger Bar where the back deck is always open. The Logger serves fresh-pressed juices and house-made mixers.
This band is true to its name, on fire. No need to bring your lighters. The Logger Bar is located at 510 Railroad Ave. in Blue Lake.