The music of Barefoot Manner started at the turn of the millenium as a bluegrass trio. Walter Hensey, Dave Kleiss, & Shawn Chase would get together and combine their love of music with their desire to become better musicians and play hour after hour, evening after evening, throughout the year. Then in the Fall of 2000, they met Jeff Garland and his percussion world and the now four-piece Barefoot Manner began to develop their unique sound. For months, the Barefoot Boys worked on their music and an inseparable bond began to form between them. They decided it was time to share their music and the Barefoot Manner positive vibe with others.
On January 27th, 2001, Barefoot Manner made their first official appearance at the Pour House in Raleigh, NC. The buzz about Barefoot Manner leading up to the show packed the Pour House and the entire night was magical. Everyone got down. Everyone. The energy was electrifying and the boys of Barefoot Manner decided right then and there that this is what they wanted.
Barefoot Manner spent the majority of 2001 playing extensively throughout North Carolina, performing with such acts as the Sam Bush Band, Acoustic Syndicate, the Larry Keel Experience, Blueground Undergrass, and the John Cowan Band. With the continued circulation of bootlegs and the release of their debut studio album, "Mannerisms", in September, the world of Barefoot Manner began to gain momentum.
Barefoot Manner performed 133 shows in 2002, touring through 13 states. They toured out to Colorado and back in both the Spring and Fall. Highlights of the year were Smilefest in June with Bela Fleck and Keller Williams and Salmonfest in August with Leftover Salmon and Galactic. In September, Barefoot Manner also hosted its first ever outdoor festival called Mannerland and headlined the event for two nights. The group's second album, "Centered", came out in November and Home Grown Music Network stepped up to help circulate. Barefoot Manner did a two night stay at the "Haunted" Pour House in Raleigh, NC for Halloween and then did their New Years show at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, NC. All in all, 2002 was a year of huge growth for the group, both in its fanbase and musical level.
A whirlwind year for the Manner men, the group performed 155 shows in 20 states playing non-stop throughout the year. The group toured out to Colorado in March and then hosted its second festival, Mannerland II, in April. Long-time friend, Hank Smith, officially joined the group over the Summer with his unique banjo skills. The group's Smilefest performance in Union Grove, NC marked the beginning of the five-piece Manner sound as Barefoot Manner played nearly five straight hours and brought the sun up to close out the festival. Barefoot Manner rounded out the Summer by touring out to California for the first time to play the High Sierra Festival. Upon returning to North Carolina, the guys recorded their 3rd album live in Raleigh on July 26th and 27th at the Aqua Leisure shows. Barefoot Manner welcomed in the Fall with their third festival, Mannerland III, in September. The Halloween show in 2003 showcased Barefoot Manner as a council of Manner jedi with the Star Wars theme in full effect. The New Year's Eve show was at The Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, NC and the event was filmed in hopes of releasing a DVD in the Spring of 2004.
Barefoot Manner will spend the majority of 2004 touring the South East United States and performing at Festivals. Mannerland IV will be on September 10th & 11th this year and the both the Halloween and New Year shows will be at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, NC.
Barefoot Manner is a five-piece musical group whose sound is heavily rooted in high energy newgrass, soul shaking funk, and musical experimentation on all levels. The Boys of Barefoot Manner have an overwhelming passion for making music, stirring it up really fast, and mixing in some positive reggae and Caribbean vibes. The music has been labeled everything from Americana Groove-grass to Cosmic Funk-grass, to bluegrass and beyond. Essentially, the music of Barefoot Manner is an original blend of bluegrass instrumentation in a genre-free world. Each live show is a new experience for both the band and its fans and the Manner Men strive for perfection and uniqueness in the music they create.
Barefoot Manner is:
- Dave Kleiss, Guitar & vocals
- Jeff Garland, Percussion & vocals
- Hank Smith, Banjo & vocals
- Shawn Chase, Mandolin & vocals
- Walter Hensey, Bass & vocals