MURDER ON MUSIC ROW is one of Tony's favorite songs, and one of his most-requestd songs during live performances.  The song was written by Bluegrass Performer Larry Cordle.  Larry originally recorded the song, then it was recorded as a duet by George Strait and Alan Jackson.  It was a pretty controversial recording by Jackson-Strait.  Though it was well-recorded, the industry put some pressure on them because of what the song stands for.  They then kinda down-played their affiliation with the song.  If you are a longtime country music fan/performer/musician, and you have a good knowledge of traditional/classic country music, then you will understand this song and surely appreciate what it stands for.  If you remember "REAL" country music, before the massive effects, midi files and synthetic sounds, tuning software, etc, the music made by such memorable artists as: Hank Williams, Ray Price, Ernest Tubb, Conway Twitty, Hank Snow, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Mel Tillis, etc.  These recordings were made with raw talent!  From the artist, background singers, guitarists, drummer, bass player, etc.  In today's "Cut & Paste" world, you've got to wonder "Is that a real drummer or a machine or a sound loop of some kind?"  The days of "Raw Talent" has given way to the computer age, youth, sex appeal, big-big money, and gadgets.  There is a very historic section of Nashville, where the heart of the recording industry has been located for decades, and still is today.  Back in the 1980's Lacey J. Dalton had a tribute song to the writers, pickers, singers, publishers which work in this area of town, the song was titled "Sixteenth Avenue".  The key line of the song was "God Bless The Boys Who Make The Noise On Sixteenth Avenue".  This sect is also known as "MUSIC ROW".  Everyone from Harlan Howard to Elvis Presley has done their work on Music Row.  This song tells the story of how out with the old and in with the new took place.  Mell Tillis once said during this transistion to "HOT, NEW COUNTRY", MT: "I'd Like To Get Out Of The Business When I Am Ready And Not Be Pushed Out Of The Business"!!!  Whenever Waylon Jennings saw this move taking place, he said "The Last One To Leave Nashville Turn Out The Lights".  Many of the stars of that era were literally pushed from the business, even though it was them that created the avenue for the hot stars of today.  Stonewall Jackson won an age descrimination lawsuit against the Grand Ole Opry when his performances became limited and management said "I don't want a grey hair in the audience or on the stage".  Grand Ole Opry star Charlie Louvin once said "We Built This Place (Opry) And Maintained It All These Years And Now They Want To Throw Us Out!"  This song tells of an awful murder on Music Row.  But the murder victim was country music itself!  They never found a weapon or a finger print, but someone killed country music, cut out its heart and soul.  The song lyrics mention "The Hag" -- Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Sr and "The Possum"-- George jones and how these great artists would not stand a chance on today's radio.  With what you'v just read here, you will have a much better idea of what this song is all about.  Enjoy the song and pass along to your friends.  Also, make sure you look up versions of this song by : George Strait, Alan Jackson, Larry Cordle, George Jone, and of course yours truly, Tony Barge.  Thank for listening!



Back in 2002, somewhere in music city, the Empty Places Album was recorded.  In this video you will see steel guitarist "the late" Joe Black, Don Sheen on fiddle, and Charlie McVay Sr, and Mope Jones cutting up and having some fun.  The EMPTY PLACES album is available at CDBABY.COM...


Some raw footage of Tony Barge and band recorded "live" at East Butler Fireman's Club during 2011.  In this video musicians include: Chalie McVay Jr on steel guitar, Derrick Edwards on drums, Herb Humphreys on lead guitar, Randy Humphreys on bass guitar. 

EMPTY PLACES (a tribute to mother)

This video is the title cut from Tony's 2002 ALBUM, "EMPTY PLACES".  This version is a tribute to mother.  The album also contains a DAD'S VERSION of the song. 


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Booking Policies

Here you will find some information on our booking policy:

Bookings are invoiced on the basis distance traveled, performance time, number of musicians required, expenses involved, etc. Variations in performance fees on and during special events and holidays, ie:> new years eve, etc...
Service Fee
We retain a 20% service fee from all of your booking fees.

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