Award winning singer/songwriter Barrie Dempsey plays more than just electric and acoustic guitar. His musical talents include, flute, harmonica, piano, lead and harmony vocals.
Barrie grew up in New Jersey. After high school he enrolled in School of Visual Arts, New York City to study fine art. Actively pursuing music through high school and art school, he was lead singer, harmonica and flute player in many folk, rock and blues style bands. One band opened for Rhinoceros, a popular band in the NY area at the time. Big songwriting influences were John Prine, J.J. Cale, Jackson Browne and James Taylor among others. He learned to play blues harmonica listening and playing along with John Lee Hooker and John Mayall records for hours on end.
Barrie was part of a duo called Dempsey and Owen. They played in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York area. The team had original songs that they played at festivals and clubs like The Rock Bottom Inn, where they wrote a theme song for them. In 1973 he recorded a song at the Record Plant Studio, NYC where he wrote the lyrics and the melody for a song called Safe and Sound. At the same time, John Lennon and Yoko Uno were putting the strings on the Imagine record. During this period, concerts at the Fillmore East in New York City were going strong and he would walk from school down to buy tickets for the shows.
Barrie Dempsey eventually moved to California and was a member of the Amber Band.
The group did covers, originals and recorded a documentary of the band with all original works for San Diego State University-PBS that won an award in 1980. The Amber Band was the house band at the Bull and Bear in El Cajon, Ca. for more than a year with a strong following.
Barrie has been the featured performer at “Burlap and Bean” in Newtown Square, PA , played at World Café, Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington De. In January of 2013 he was on WCFA-LP 101.5 FM in Cape May, NJ for a half hour show with MQ Murphy – host of “Six Degrees” and an hour show with Roy Baker - host, “Open Mic” radio program doing original songs on acoustic guitar and harmonica. Roy requested his song “Open Mic” be used for his theme song. You can listen to it at www.barriedempsey.com. June of 2014 he played at the Del Mar Fair in Del Mar, California. In January of 2015 Barrie was interviewed by Cathryn Beeks on Listen Local Radio, San Diego, CA.
In 2005 Barrie started writing his own songs. Currently Barrie has put together a collection of originals on his EP’s titled "Barrie Dempsey” and “Line In The Sand”, which has been awarded Best Album Folk/Singer-Songwriter at The Akademia. Produced by Track Star Studios in La Mesa, CA. In 2017 he won the Bose Sound Professional & Music Connection Magazine, Best of Las Vegas: Solo Artist”. He is currently working on his next CD.