Kris Barras has been added as support for Beth Hart’s upcoming U.K. tour
The talented Kris Barras will be joining Beth as support act for her upcoming U.K. tour.
Devon born Kris Barras picked up the guitar and took up martial arts as a child. After playing in bands throughout his teens he became disillusioned. He had toured the east coast of the USA twice and recorded an album in Philadelphia, but struggled to get to the next level. By his early 20s, offers for fights were coming thick and fast. Music took a backseat as he travelled the world to compete in MMA tournaments, winning 14 out of 17 fights and even settling to live in Las Vegas and Thailand.
“People used to think I was crazy to be fighting in cages, risking damage to my hands,” he says. “Truth is though, I always enjoyed it and found that the fighting world offered me more opportunities than the music industry. I got to fight in front of 8000 people in Asia, I would’ve much rather have played to them instead of getting punched in the face.”
At 19 he owned a guitar shop which ended up going bankrupt, which became the inspiration for I Don’t Owe Nobody Nothing (from The Divine and Dirty). He retired from the cage in 2014, feeling like he had achieved everything that he was going to achieve. It had consumed his life for so long, making so many sacrifices that he felt that it was time to move on and concentrate on the coaching side of things, and to start enjoying the music again. “Fighting was an adrenaline thing,” he says of his decade-long MMA career. “I got a massive buzz doing it – it was incredible. You’re under incredible amounts of pressure. You put a foot wrong, you don’t just lose, you can lose your teeth. But I thrive on pressure, whether that’s fighting or music.”
He self-released his debut album ‘Lucky 13’ in April 2016 and over the following year toured the UK where he began to build up a following as well as European shows in Norway, Germany, Slovakia, Poland and The Netherlands. It was during his first performance at Ramblin’ Man Fair in 2017 where he was introduced to Provogue/Mascot Label Group – home to Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Black Stone Cherry, Monster Truck and the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band.
His second album The Divine And Dirty, was produced by Josiah J Manning at Momentum Studios in Plymouth, UK and was released on 23 March 2018, his first album on Provogue/Mascot Label Group. Just as the title refers to the good and the bad within us all, the album encapsulate everything Barras has been through to this point. The album was rapturously received by the UK media including BBC Radio 2, Planet Rock Radio, Classic Rock Magazine as well as the blues, rock and guitar press. He toured the UK prolifically over the following year.
This journey saw the band not take a breath as they criss-crossed the country on 4 UK headline tours – each time the venues increased in size, and every time with sold out shows. He joined Beth Hart for a 10 date UK run as well as shows overseas, then 9 dates on tour with Joanne Shaw Taylor, not to mention shows with GUN, King King, The Magpie Salute, Therapy?, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, an unprecedented one-in, one out performance at Planet Rockstock and a full European tour with Jonny Lang and Walter Trout. He played to 3 million people on BBC Radio 2 – which caused host Richard Madeley to exclaim, “That’s the reason I love doing this show!” They have also had numerous A-Iist singles at Planet Rock Radio, won the stations prestigious 2019 ‘Best New Band’ award which led to him being asked to guest present two shows on the station. He even found time to join Supersonic Blues Machine as the new singer-guitarist with the legendary Billy F. Gibbons, joining for their debut European tour, playing Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London and a host of sold out shows and festivals across the continent. If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy he will be joining Kentucky arena rockers Black Stone Cherry on their July UK tour and then making history as the first band ever to play Ramblin’ Man Fair, three years running on a bigger stage each year; from the Rising Stage to the Main Stage, which perfectly encapsulates this bands journey. Faraway from when Barras played the grassroots circuit with a mixture of originals in amongst covers to 20-30 people – from covering ZZ Top in pubs to playing with Billy F. Gibbons in the same band, in 2 years. In March 2018, he sold 75 tickets for the London album launch at Thousand Island, and only 11 months later returned to play to 500 people at the main room of the Garage, London.
In June 2019 he announced his new album ‘Light It Up’, to be released on 13 September via Provogue and produced again by Josiah J Manning. ‘Light It Up’ sees him at his most expressive yet, forcing himself out of his comfort zone. “I kinda forced myself to write songs a different way. The biggest difference for this album was that I didn’t pigeonhole myself in any way, I didn’t feel like I had to conform. I just sat down and wrote songs I wanted to write, with a sound I wanted to produce, not thinking about genre whatsoever.”
Brighton Dome – Wednesday 5 February
Eventim Apollo, London – Saturday 8 February
Town Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Sunday 9 February
St David’s Hall, Cardiff – Wednesday 12 February
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall – Friday 14 February
Sage Gateshead – Saturday 15 February
The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester – Monday 17 February
Sheffield City Hall – Thursday 20 February
Plymouth Pavilions – Saturday 22 Februay
O2 Guildhall Southampton – Monday 24 February