Barnes' soulful pop songs won him the support of artists like John Mayer
(his labelmate on Aware Records
), while the spiritual tone of his lyrics earned some support from the Christian music scene. He remained on Aware
's roster for two albums -- 2004's Brother, Bring the Sun and 2006's Chasing Mississippi, both produced by Ed Cash -- before moving to Razor & Tie
for 2008's Me and You and the World and 2010's What We Want, What We Get. The latter album became a surprise Christian hit, debuting in the Top Five on the Christian charts thanks in part to the single "God Gave Me You." A year later, Blake Shelton
recorded "God Gave Me You" on his Red River Blue album and his version topped the country chart, earning Barnes a Grammy nomination in the process.
Following the 2011 holiday set Very Merry Christmas, Barnes returned with Stories to Tell in 2012, working with producer John Fields in Los Angeles. The singer's second holiday outing, A December to Remember, was released in late 2013, followed a few months later by Golden Days, both of which arrived via Barnes' new label, 50 Year Plan
. For his next studio release, 2016's Carry on, San Vicente, Barnes channeled a sunny, '70s-inspired Southern California vibe. A similar laid-back pop approach continued on 2018's Who Knew It Would Be So Hard to Be Myself. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi