709 Washington Street, Durham, North Carolina 27701

Train of Thought: Tommy Hartley, Jason Barker, and Ken Smith

February 25, 2018  ·  Sunday * 5-7pm * NO Cover

Train of Thought combines seasoned guitarists Tommy Hartley and Jason Barker with bassist Ken Smith and transforms your musical expectations.  Hartley and Barker have traded guitar licks off and on for more than a quarter century, now meshing almost intuitively.  Believing in nuanced and tasteful execution of every note, they found a natural match in Ken Smith.  But It’s their vocal depth that sets Train of Thought on a different track.  Influenced by the Eagles, CSNY, Eric Clapton, James Taylor and other artists emphasizing vocals, Train of Thought revitalizes the songs you know and love – but didn’t realize what was missing. You’ve loved these guys in their different bands but you haven’t heard them like this.  All aboard – Join the fun!

Tommy Hartley has been at the core of the Triangle music scene for decades, perhaps best known for his tribute band Slowhand – a Tribute to Eric Clapton. This Lenoir, NC native has played with too many bands to count, including Sutter’s Gold Streak, Doug Prescott Band, Badge, Sherman and the Blazers and The Sheetrockers. His credits include co-production, guitar, and vocals for Nancy Middleton’s two CDs as well as time in Nashville. Tommy always lends an expert guitar hand to whatever project is underway, but he’s also impressive on the keys and vocals. It’s his combination of musicianship and vocal talent makes him memorable. Hartley’s at home playing blues, pop, country rock and folk – just what you’d expect since he counts his varied influences as Clapton, Hendrix, Zeppelin, Knopfler, Lindsey Buckinham, Doc and Watson and Tony Rice. He has shared the stage with such rock luminaries as Greg Allman and Ann Wilson. Hartley intends to keep on playing, always giving his audience a outstanding experience .

Jason Barker is a well-known guitarist and songwriter based in the Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill area.  He’s familiar to fans of The Tornado Blues Band, the Ron Davis Band, Blue Coyote, Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojos, The Help and the Ronda Robichaux Band. Barker’s original compositions are lyrical and instrumental, infused with styles ranging from Americana to rock, blues, rockabilly, country and pop. He embraces an improvisational spirit and channels his musical influences into an original statement while reflecting his influences  which include Jeff Lynne, B.B King, Albert Lee, Roy Buchanan, Johnny winter, Jimmie Vaughan, Tony Joe White and Billy Gibbons.  Barker enjoys steady activity as a session and live guitarist, working with many well-known and talented musicians. His attention to detail and intention to Be. Here. Now. keep his audiences coming back for more.

Ken Smith brings a new face to the local scene, but he’s brought decades of musical experience with him. In the early ’70’s he was the bassist for the 10-piece horn band, The Admirals, who electrified Georgetown, Wash DC with their Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears covers. Although counting Stanley Clarke, Francis “Rocco” Prestia and James Jamerson as his influences, his musical tastes later broadened from his R&B and funk favorites to many other genres, earning him some session time in Nashville for Melissa Etheridge and Lee Carroll, keyboardist for the Judds. Providing that solid pocket groove and ever present vocal harmony, Ken formed The Regulators and Wake Up Call, adding Acoustic Stew and the dance band Gold Dust to his list of steady projects.  Doing what “serves the song “ is paramount to his musical approach and enhancing music through vocal harmonies while keeping that ever present “pocket” is his musical mission.