2017-04-19 / Community View

Barncats band best known for diverse music reportoire

BY NICHOLAS PUGLIESE
810-452-2601 •


Steve Starking, with longtime friend Bob Clark, formed Barncats in 2010 and the band has become one of the most popular local acts since then, performing in local venues and summer festivals before an ever-increasing loyal following. Steve Starking, with longtime friend Bob Clark, formed Barncats in 2010 and the band has become one of the most popular local acts since then, performing in local venues and summer festivals before an ever-increasing loyal following. LAPEER — If a person in the Lapeer area regularly attends musical performances in and around the county, chances are good that people have seen, or at least heard of, Lapeer’s Barncats. The five-piece rock and variety band has been stalwarts in the Lapeer area bar scene for many years and has been voted Lapeer County’s Best Nightly Entertainment by The County Press readership for the past five years.

The group, composed of Bob Clark on vocals, keyboards and guitar, Steve Starking on guitar, keys and vocals, guitarist Larry Kozloff, bassist Chris Miller and Greg Pirtle on drums, claims Lapeer as home and while they perform an assortment of covers, selected from music recorded over the past five decades, it is the selection of songs and the virtuosity and passion with which they are performed that sets Barncats apart from their local contemporaries.

“Our music is pretty darn diverse,” said Starking. “We’ll play classic rock obviously but we also play disco, oldies, Motown and we probably have one of the most diverse libraries of any band I know of.”

Each member of the group is a veteran musician that has played in various groups throughout their careers before coming together for Barncats. Starkiing and Clark have been friends and bandmates for more than 40 years, beginning in 1976 when Starking joined Clark’s band at that time, Twilight Express. Since then, the pair has been featured in over a half-dozen local bands, honing their talents and collecting what has become a legendary wealth of music to draw from during performances.

“We used to play three or four nights a week in younger days,” said Starking. “Each of us has played in numerous bands over the years, but Barncats has definitely been a very comfortable band.”

With the formation of the Barncats in 2010 came Kozloff, formerly of the band Phantom, who attributes his skill on guitar to always being in trouble as a kid.

“I had a guitar in my bedroom, and a lot of the times I would get grounded and sent to my room and I would just sit in there for hours practicing,” said Kozloff. “My parents thought they were punishing me. I used to play guitar and think, ‘this is great!’”

Following Kozloff joining the band were the last two pieces of Barncats, Miller and Pirtle. Miller, a veteran on bass guitar, joined Barncats from former band High Street Shelter, and Pirtle is a well-known drummer from the Flint area.

The band members attribute their chemistry with why they’ve found local success as the current preeminent bar band in Lapeer. “I think we put on a good show,” said Kozloff. “We’ve been able to play a lot of venues and we always have a great time.”

For veteran musicians like those in Barncats, the group performs not for the money but for the love of the music, and Barncats are no different. “Every show is about just playing great music and having fun,” said Clark. “We have a good following and just have fun seeing what kind of sounds we can achieve.

For more information on the Barncats, check out their website, www.barncats.info or find them on social media.

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