Bad Livers

Style: Old time, bluegrass, insurgent country
Formed: 1990
Stomping grounds: Austin TX

The Bad Livers are hard to describe, but start with "iconoclastic old time music." Tony Trishka describes them as "old time lonesomey music with half the rocking chair on the back porch and the other on-stage at CBGB's." Rubin and Barnes are fixtures in the Austin music community, guesting on a number of albums and involved in side projects (see discographical notes below).

Band Members:

Danny Barnes, guitars, banjos, various instruments, lead vocals, principal songwriter
Mark D. Rubin, string bass, tuba, tenor vocals
Bob Grant, mandolin, guitar and tenor banjo

Former member (through Horses In the Mines) Ralph White, fiddle

Band Address:

POB 49227, Austin TX 78765
Phone - Fax
E-mail: (Mark Rubin)


Davis McClarty Agency
Phone: (512) 444-8750 - Fax: (512) 416-7531 fax


Bad Livers:
Hogs on the Highway. Sugar Hill, 1997
Horses in the Mines. Quaterstick Record QS20/CD/CS/LP
The Golden Years. Southern Studios (UK), 1992, 12" gold vinyl only release
Delusions of Banjer. Quaterstick Record QS14/CD/CS/LP
Dust on the Bible. Quaterstick Record QS22CS

The Mad Cat Trio [Mark Rubin, Danny Barnes, Erik Hokkanen]
Souvenier. Cassette only release, 1993.

Guest appearances:
Steve James, Art And Grit. Antones/Discovery, 1997 [Rubin, Barnes]
Compilation, Sounds of the New West, Freedom, 1996 [Rubin, Barnes]
Compilation, Lounge Ax Defence & Relocation CD, Touch & Go, 1996
Terry Garland, Edge of the Valley, First Warning 72705-75713-2, 1992 [Barnes]
Compilation, KUT Liveset-On The Air-Vol.2, 1991 [Available only to people who pledeged money to the fund drive]

Other Notes:
Via Mark Rubin: We [Rubin and Barnes] both had the honor of playing on Roosevelt T. Williams' (AKA the Grey Ghost) last recording project for Spindletop (1994). I played on and produced a CD for Santiago Jimenez, Jr., Musica del Tiempos de Pasado, dePresente, y Futuro (Watermelon Records, 1995), which was recorded at Minner Bucket w/Danny engineering. I'm the bassist on his 2 other Watermelon CD's, as well as several of his own Chief Records' releases. I also produced the new Asylum Street Spankers CD, Spanks For The Memories (Watermelon Records, 1996) w/ production assistance from Dan. You'll find recorded evidence of Danny pickin' on CD's by Teddy & the Talltops, Michael Fracasso, the Barnburners and many others.

You'll find either my tuba or bass on projects including Chris Smither, Sara Hickman, Gary Primich, Shoulders, James McMurtry, Teisco del Ray , Herman the German & das Cowboy , Toni Price, Charlie Burton, Erik Hokkanen and my favorite, with Texas-Polish fiddler Brian Marshall on his Polish Roots cassette (1995.)

Dan & I just wrapped up work on the score for an as yet untitled documentary about the Lead mines of Pitcher, OK. And we're currently in pre-production for the soundtrack to the new Richard Linklatter directed film The Newton Boys, being shot here in Texas June/July '97.

Danny performes locally in an electric trio as The Danny Barnes Experience. Danny & I both play locally with Erik Hokkanen as the Mad Cat Trio. We also perform infrequently as the Bluegrass Vampires with a rotating membership of killer local pickers. And finally, I lead a Jewish/Eastern European folk ensemble called Rubinchik's Orkestyr.

Recordings the Bad Livers wish would disappear:
The Fist Puppet "Lust for Life" 7" and the Led Zeppelin cover on The Song Retains The Name, Safe House, 1991.

Interviews & Articles on the Web:

At the Bad Livers Web site:

"City Stages Festival Preview Guide: Bad Livers," Tim Kennally, Black & White Magazine, Birmingham, June 12, 1995

"Bluegrass and Beyond: Bad Livers Give an Old Music a New, Overdue Luster," Robert Baird, New Country Magazine, June 1994

"New Faces,"Daina Darzen, Rolling Stone

"Southern Discomfort," Cathi Unsworth, Melody Maker, May 28, 1994

"Bad Livers," interview by Peter Blackstock, The Rocket, May 31, 1994

Down the Acoustik Hole at The Hole World

"The Bad Livers: Mutants of Bluegrass."

By Mark Rubin:

"The Klezmatics," an interview at Pop Culture Press


Flipbook animation at Club Cam

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