Born on the 24th of July in 1936, Max D. (Duane) Barnes has become known as one of Nashville's finest songwriter's. Max was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, and is probably best known for songs like, "Thank God For The Radio" a #1 for The Kendalls in 1984, 'Chiselled in Stone' a hit ..and album title ..for Vern Gosdin back in 1987, 'Look at Us' a song he wrote as a tribute to his wife, that was a massive hit for Vince Gill and is still one of the most requested songs on radio(at least in this country anyway) and who can forget the George Jones classic 'Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes,' 'Storms of Life,' a career making song for Randy Travis, Eddy Raven's "Joe Knows How To Live" and "Don't Tell Me What To Do," a highly successful co-write with Harlan Howard.
Having co-penned song's with writers of the calibre of Vern Gosdin, the late, great Harlan Howard, Vince Gill, Skip Ewing, Troy Seals, Billy Sherrill and his own son, Max T. Barnes, there is no doubting the mans pedigree. Max is deservedly one of the most in demand writers in Nashville.
On his songwriting Max states; "Country music is for ordinary people. That's what I am and I don't ever want to get above that."
"Day After Forever" is a generous, 15 track track album of Max D. Barnes songs, all performed by the writer himself and kicks off with "I Am An Island," a story of lost love that was recorded by Merle Haggard on his 1994 album, "1994."
The other 14 songs on here could possibly all be new or previously unrecorded as I haven't heard any of them before. Tracks that stand out for me include "I'll Never Be Taken Alive" a great tex-mex flavoured song that would suit Eddy Raven or Johnny Rodriguez and the dark "No Sign Of Gina," a song telling the story of a crime of passion.
"Sad Song" is just that, a sad song about losing someone dear, which for me is where Max's strength lies. Others in this vein include "Stay Close" a real tear jerker about losing someone who is very dear to you, as is the title track, "Day After Forever" a song that definitely has Vern Gosdin stamped all over it.
Max does get to rock things up with "Chain Gang Dance," a fun song that unfortunately, is the only song on the album that didn't appeal to me. But I could certainly see the linedancers taking to this one.
With some of Nashville's finest session musicians and harmonies from backing singers of the calibre of Dawn Sears (what happened to her, a wonderful voice, yet she just seemed to disappear) Wade Hayes and his son Max T., "Day After Forever" is a fine album, showcasing the songs of one of Nashville's finest songwriters, performed in the way they where written, by the writer himself.
If you're after a good album of mainly laid back Country music, then "Day After Forever" could be just what you are looking for. Check it out!!!