Stone River Boys
The first time Mike Barfield came to Lincoln with Dave Gonzalez, he was a fill-in of sorts, taking the place of Chris Gaffney, who had just died, in the Hacienda Brothers.
After a few shows and several months of working together, Gonzalez and Barfield teamed up to form the Stone River Boys, a band that carries on the country-meets-soul legacy of the Hacienda Brothers but with its own distinctive sound and style.
That wasn’t in the plans when Barfield agreed to take Gaffney’s spot in what was to be a tour to raise money to help Gaffney pay his hospital bills. Gaffney died before the tour started, but the Haciendas plus Barfield played it to help his family, coming to Lincoln for the Zoo Bar’s annual festival in 2008.
“We weren’t sure it (the band) was going to continue on after that,” Barfield said. “Then we got to Lincoln and that was kind of the turning point. Charlie Johnson did that recording there and we thought we might have something.”
A show in Nashville earned rave responses and lots of encouragement to keep going. Barfield and Gonzalez did just that and made a record, much of it recorded in Lincoln. They also put together a more permanent lineup and toured hard.
The Stone River Boys will be back at the Zoo Bar for two nights starting Thursday, the first dates on an October tour that will take the band from Austin to Rhode Island.
“The old rules still apply,” Barfield said. “You’ve got to get out and play. We’re working it pretty hard, but it’s very tough right now. In some respects, the whole roots scene, bands like us, aren’t on the road as much as they were years ago. Some of that is maybe due to age. But it’s hard to find places to play and to get people out.”