“Not only do we have Reinventing Jude, an incredibly talented local songwriter performing, we also have an emerging national act who brings so much energy and passion to his performance,” says KXT’s Program Director Amy Miller. “Barns Courtney is getting a lot of buzz right now and we feel fortunate to be able to have him play this show for us in such an intimate setting.”
Until last year, British blues rocker Barns Courtney was couch surfing and working at a computer software store in London. He had signed with Island Records straight out of high school, according to Paste Magazine, but the deal fell through and he never released his debut album. That’s when he took a 9-to-5 job at the software store, just across the street from his former record label. He slept on his girlfriend’s couch, and even in her car one night to avoid her landlord. But he kept working on his music.
And then his single, “Fire,” inspired by Kanye West, Jack White and The Black Keys, caught the attention of Harvey Weinstein, who played it for Bradley Cooper. Weinstein and Cooper chose the song out of thousands submitted for their new movie, “Burnt,” a comedy-drama about a top chef making a comeback. Burnt was released in Oct. 2015.
“It was absolutely bizarre,” Courtney told PEOPLE. “Considering I had thought my career was over, then I hear Harvey Weinstein has played Bradley Cooper my song… and the rest is history.”
Courtney followed “Fire” with “Hands” and “Glitter and Gold,” both of which will be on his debut album when it is released this fall.
Reinventing Jude, headed by Dallas-based songwriter Jude Gonzalez, will play alongside Courtney. “RJ blends soul, indie rock and blues seamlessly,” reads the band’s Facebook page. Genre? “Thom Yorke meets Billie Holiday.”
Gonzalez was born in Los Angeles, spent her adolescence in Tyler and moved to Dallas in 2007. After dabbling around in the open mic scene, busking and singing backup vocals, she joined up with Jonathan Jones and Emmy Robinson and put together the band’s first official record, “Shoulder Season,” according to the Dallas Observer. In 2015, she played on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”. Last March, she released her new single “Train Legs,” inspired by a train ride that left her legs shaking so badly that she thought there was an earthquake. The song is available online and on vinyl at Josey Records in Farmer’s Branch.
In addition to being a singer/songwriter, Gonzalez is also a licensed masseuse.
Gonzalez is relocating to Portland soon, according to KXT. Catch her before she leaves town at Sun Sets Thursday.
See the full 2016 Sun Sets lineup at kxt.org. Tickets become available one week prior to each show.