Former Nuclear Power Plant Worker Trades Muddy Boots for Music Row
The perfect showcase for Barnes’ brand of authentic, honest Country music, “You Ain’t Pretty” was co-written by Barnes alongside chart-topping songwriters Jason Sellers (“Don’t You Wanna Stay” – Jason Aldean/ Kelly Clarkson) and Jimmy Yeary (“I Called Momma”- Tim McGraw). The song was produced by acclaimed music producers Mickey Jack Cones (Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett) and Derek George (Dustin Lynch, Randy Houser).
Heartfelt and empowering, “You Ain’t Pretty” reminds us that beauty is much more than skin deep, with lyrics that include:
“I’VE SEEN YOUR HAIR UP, GIRL, AND I’VE SEEN IT FALL
MAKEUP ON AND MAKEUP OFF
INSIDE OUT, I’VE SEEN IT ALL, BELIEVE ME
BUT I AIN’T EVER SEEN YOU GIRL,
WHEN YOU AIN’T PRETTY.”
“I don’t like seeing someone hurting or not feeling good. My friends, my family, or my girlfriend – no one,” says Barnes. “We wrote this song about how being a beautiful person is about inner beauty – everything that makes you uniquely you. And about how being a good partner – a good friend - is about building someone up instead of tearing them down.”
Hailing from South Haven, Michigan, Barnes is a young, blue-collar storyteller who writes and sings about God, family, hard work, heartache, love, and the simple joys of life. The former nuclear power plant worker spent years playing bars, coffee shops, small venues, and festivals in and around his hometown while juggling a grueling day job that included shoveling and digging trenches, laying pipelines, pouring concrete, and performing mechanical maintenance duties for the plant, often times enduring extreme weather conditions and 14-hour shifts.
The antithesis of many modern-day label signings, Barnes wasn’t discovered on YouTube, TikTok, or reality television but rather via a chance encounter with chart-topping songwriter Jason Sellers while passing through Nashville. A chance meeting turned into a conversation, which led to a song and then to a meeting with pioneering Music Row label head Benny Brown, whose legacy includes breaking multi-platinum superstar Jason Aldean. That meeting ultimately landed Barnes a record deal with Quartz Hill Records, helmed by Brown alongside Paul Brown and Jason Sellers.
Barnes was influenced by the music and stories of Keith Whitley, George Strait, Alabama, and Brooks & Dunn – as well as the Blues and Motown playing on his grandparents’ radio during Sunday gatherings. It’s those genres of the working man that can be heard in Barnes’ own music and in his vocal performances. At once humble and passionate, laced with both a textured grit and a calming smoothness, Barnes’ voice personifies the aching heartache of the blues and the determined perseverance of country music.
For more information about Nate Barnes visit: NateBarnesMusic.com and follow him on social media.