Formed in 2017, Barrel Bones is a brotherhood dedicated to bringing the original songs of singer and guitarist Michael Constantine (solo artist, collaborator and co-producer, Black McKenzie) from the studio to the world.
As Constantine began coalescing the eclectic songs that comprise the band’s debut album, Blues and Blood, he set off on a winding path of sonic and personal discovery that led him from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Los Angeles and back. Along the way, he kept in touch with his longtime friend and collaborator, former Black McKenzie drummer Greg Liceraga (Liquid Sun, Simien the Whale, the Odds Elite), extending an invitation to join him in forming a new band.
From fall 2016 through spring 2017, the two settled in to refine initial song demos and prepare them for a live audience. Seeking a bass player who would share a passion for bringing the songs to life, Constantine sent several demos to his friend Scott Garrison (Invisible Robot Fish, the Rhythm Roosters, the Fresh Three). Through a few rehearsals, Constantine, Liceraga and Garrison quickly established strong connections, both musically and interpersonally. Barrel Bones was forged, as a power trio.
Barrel Bones debuted live in August 2017, earning immediate attention from a growing fan base that included guitarist Pete Dunning (Papa Vegas, the JetBeats, White Rabbit). The trio played opening sets through fall and winter at Grand Rapids venues Tip Top Deluxe and Live Nation’s 20 Monroe Live, and convened at Planet Sunday Studios in January 2018 to record Blues and Blood with engineer and co-producer Joel Ferguson (Papa Vegas, the Verve Pipe). The album became available via streaming at barrelbones.com in April, and was released on CD, Amazon Music, and Apple Music in June. Thanks to generous support, songs including “Barrel Bones,” "Tell Yourself" and “Time” have begun receiving airplay on WYCE 88.1 FM in Grand Rapids, K-ROCK 94.1 FM in the Ludington area, and Valley 89.5 FM in Canberra, Australia.
While recording, the band had begun to consider adding a second guitarist to more accurately represent the recordings’ complexity live. Given Dunning’s support and enthusiasm for the band and its music, and his considerable experience and guitar chops, he was a natural choice. Following a flurry of sets in Grand Rapids and Ludington in July and more shows through fall and winter, the band has solidified as a four-piece.
With more live dates to come, the band is also hard at work on the songs that will form Barrel Bones’ next studio recording, Hell Or High Water. Keep up with the band at barrelbones.com, and on Facebook.
Barrel Bones is:
Michael Constantine – vocals, guitar
Greg Liceraga – drums, vocals
Scott Garrison – bass, vocals
Pete Dunning – guitar, vocals