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Dave Barnes Chats Christmas Traditions + Big Goals for 2019

"I’ve always hoped that my music becomes a part of people’s lives."

It’s almost Christmas! That means it’s almost time for A Very Merry Christmas with Dave Barnes. The annual Schermerhorn Symphony Center show has become a tradition for Music City. 

Recently, Nashville Noise sat down with Barnes to talk about this show, some of his favorite Christmas destinations and his goals for 2019.

Nashville Noise: What are some of your favorite holiday traditions outside of your Christmas show?
Dave Barnes: Living here in Nashville, my family and I have got into a groove where we go out to the Opryland Hotel every year and it’s so much fun! The kids are at really fun ages — they’re six, four and two. Tt’s when everything is still magical and we love that. This year we’re going to stay a night out there before Christmas, just the five of us. That should be a blast. We love seeing Christmas lights. We try to go out to Jellystone, a park by Opryland.

Nashville Noise: For your Christmas show this year, what are you doing new or different?
DB: The Christmas show is always tricky because I’ve learned the hard way that if you change too much, people can get a little upset. It’s ironically what people like about the show. It’s more about what’s consistent, than what’s different. So I think you have to be really careful when you put these shows together.

I’ve always said people want two things during the holidays. They want something to do and they want the same thing to do. We try to give them something to do every year and I really believe you have to give them the same thing to do every year. Something that’s pretty consistent is what builds memory and nostalgia, so we try to keep it as close as we can while we still kind of change it at the same time.

Nashville Noise: Now that this show has become a tradition, what does it mean to you?
DB: It’s a huge honor. I’ve always hoped that my music becomes a part of people’s lives. Seasonally that’s a real challenge because I would argue that a lot of us feel especially tied to our Christmas traditions and music. Anytime that people go, ‘Hey, we’ve made a little space in our Christmas music library for your music,’ it’s a huge deal.

You’re not competing against whomever’s relevant now. You’re going back sometimes years to Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and Harry Connick, Jr. With the show, it’s even cooler because Nashville is a music city and when I’ve weaseled my way into the holiday, one of the things that people can do during the holidays and see that it has continued to be something that people enjoy and come to, it’s just a dream.

Nashville Noise: You always get dressed up for this event but how do you decide the line between festive and classy?
DB: My manager and I are hysterical. We’re actually about to meet here in a few minutes about things around the show we’re doing this year. There’s always the question, ‘Should we change the clothes? Should we do a new look?’ But I just think there’s something fun about getting dressed up this time of year. One, because it’s cold, you can justify wearing more clothes, but two, I just think it sets the tone the show needs.

Nashville Noise: Looking past Christmas. Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
DB: I’ve been thinking about that. I’m really hysterical about those. I always have a couple every year and I don’t know yet. I’ve really enjoyed figuring this out. It’s always really fun for me to take the week before the New Year and go ‘Okay, what’s the New Year’s resolution this year?’ One year I didn’t do soft drinks, which I haven’t gone back on. That was three years ago… One year I did 15 pushups a day. One year I ran, which has continued… I’ve always loved the challenge of ‘What’s the thing to think about this year or what I can challenge myself with this year?’ I don’t know what my resolutions are yet but I love setting goals each year.

Nashville Noise: What can we expect from you in 2019?
DB: A new record, I think, kind of working on that now and more shows. Hopefully, more stand-ups. Hopefully, a lot of things.

Barnes’ Nashville Schermerhorn show is set for Dec. 2 and tickets are on sale now. Grab your tickets here. For more tour dates from the singer-songwriter, head to his website. As always, stay tuned to Nashville Noise for more from Barnes in 2019.

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