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Barrie Dempsey

Singer/songwriter, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, flute and harmonica.

I was born in North Plainfield New Jersey. After high school I enrolled in School of Visual Arts, New York City to study fine art actively pursuing music through high school and art school. I was lead singer, harmonica and flute player in many rock and blues style bands. I opened for Rhinoceros, a popular band in the New York area at the time.

My vocal influences were Paul Rodgers and Greg Allman, among others. I learned to play blues harmonica by listening and playing along with John Lee Hooker and John Mayall records for hours on end.

I had a duo called Dempsey and Owens that played in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York area. We had original songs and played festivals and clubs like The Rock Bottom Inn, and even wrote a theme song for them.

In 1973 I recorded a song in Record Plant Studio in New York City where I wrote the lyrics and the melody at the same time John Lennon and Yoko Ono were putting the strings on the Imagine record. Concerts at the Fillmore East in New York City were going strong then and I would walk from school down to buy tickets for the shows.

I moved to California in the mid 70’s and played in the Amber Band. We did covers and originals and recorded a documentary of our band with all of our original works for San Diego State University that won an award in 1980. We were the house band at the Bull and Bear in El Cajon, CA for more than a year with a strong following.

Over the years I have worked with a few exceptional songwriters and collaborated on many songs. Around 2005, I started writing my own songs on acoustic guitar and started my own recording studio in my home. All instrumentation on the tracks, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboard, harmonica and vocals are done by myself.

Today I’m putting together a collection of originals and playing at various venues as the featured artist, showcases and radio appearances in the Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey area.

I’ve been the featured performer at “Burlap and Bean” in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania and played at World Café, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware. In January of 2013, I was on radio station WCFA-LP 101.5 FM in Cape May, New Jersey for a half hour show with MQ Murphy – host of “Six Degrees” and an hour show with Roy Baker - host, “Open Mic” radio program doing my original songs on acoustic guitar and harmonica. Roy requested my song “Open Mic” be used for his theme song. You can listen to it on Reverbnation. In June of 2014, I played at the Del Mar Fair in Del Mar, California.