The Barley Jacks sing original vocals and play jaw–dropping instrumentals in a spirit of excitement and fun. They are masters of the fiddle, guitar, bass and drum who meld their divergent backgrounds of blues and bluegrass, classical and Celtic, R & B and bebop to inspire each other and create something entirely new. Front–man and fiddler Brian Wicklund is joined by Mike Cramer–guitar, Keith Yanes–bass, and Joel Arpin–percussion. Their 2010 debut recording Either Side of Night and 2011 recording The Lighthouse has been met with great praise by reviewers.
Virtuosity, magic and a little danger combine to make every performance unique. Audiences are struck with how much fun the Barley Jacks have when they perform. These Minnesota-based veterans of years in the musical trenches enjoy making music together so much that they sometimes giggle like little kids!
"THE BARLEY JACKS ARE MUSICIANS' MUSICIANS PLAYING SERIOUSLY GOOD MUSIC. IF YOU CAN SIT THERE AND LISTEN TO THESE GUYS WITHOUT SMILING OR TAPPING YOUR TOE, CHECK YOUR PULSE."
-Ron Arsenault, Rock Bend Music Festival
Lighthouse - album
The second release from a band who has hit full stride. The fiddle and voice of Brian Wicklund drives this band through realms of bluegrass, celtic, Appalachian and jazz. Awesome musicianship and clever writing.
"Amazing instrumentalists!" "Wicklund is a deft original writer with a firm grounding in traditional acoustic styles."
—Twin Cities Reader
"THE BARLEY JACKS HAD THE CROWD STANDING, CLAPPING, DANCING AND SHOUTING FOR ALMOST THE ENTIRE FINAL HOUR. THEY ARE ONE FINELY TUNED MACHINE. AN ABSOLUTE TREAT TO LISTEN TO!"
-Greg Schmitz, Sioux River Folk Festival
"I LOVED THE BAND... LOT'S OF GOOD FEEDBACK. THE BARLEY JACKS ARE DYNAMIC, EXCITING AND JUST PLAIN FUN!"
-Mary Doub, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED - "A DOUBLE THREAT... THIS EXCEPTIONAL FIDDLER ALSO PROVES TO BE AN ABLE COMPOSER AND APPEALING SINGER."
INDIE-MUSIC.COM - "WICKLUND'S FIDDLING RINGS IN PRISTINE TONALITY... SUPERB ORIGINALS."
INSIDE BLUEGRASS - "WONDERFUL ORIGINAL TUNES, GORGEOUS HARMONIES AND A LEVEL OF MUSICIANSHIP THAT FEW IN THE REGION CAN DREAM OF MATCHING."
CITY PAGES - "THEY RAISE THE NOTCH BY PERFORMING INTERACTIVE BLUEGRASS, ENGAGING THE AUDIENCE AND MAKING EVERY PERFORMANCE UNIQUE."
Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival–NY
Minnesota Bluegrass Festival
Porcupine Mountain Folk Festival, MI
Cedar Cultural Center–Minneapolis, MN
Sioux River Folk Festival, SD
Rock Bend Folk Festival, MN
Portage Center for the Arts, WI
Minocqua Performing Arts Center, WI Minnesota State Fair
Grand Opera House, WI
Mabel Tainter Theater, WI
Park Theater, WI Oconomowoc Performing Arts Center, WI Schauer Center, WI
(fiddle/mandolin) has been an integral part of the acoustic music scene for decades. As a teenager, he won dozens of fiddle contests and has toured internationally with
bands Stoney Lonesome, Judith Edelman Band,
Kathy Kallick Band, Chris Stuart Band, and with Brother Mule. He is a busy studio musician and producer with dozens of projects to his credit. Brian wrote the bestselling,
American Fiddle Method published by Mel Bay and is in constant demand as a teacher worldwide. Mike Cramer–(guitar) is a champion flat picker and jazz phenom. Keith Yanes –(bass) is as comfortable in a bebop combo or a bluegrass band. Joel Arpin–(drums)grooves on cajon and trap set. Together they are synergy.