In Local Musicians

Barren to Beauty was created by Jimmy Greene, who founded a nonprofit with the same name to help people through art and friendship. Jimmy is the only full-time member of the band, and he describes their sound as, “If Dave Matthews bribed Chris Martin to play Johnny Cash.” Which, btw, is a concert we would totally be down for.

Band playing in small room

Members of Barren to Beauty performs at the “Zen Den,” Jimmy Greene’s home.
(Photo by Timothy L. Hale/Special to The Pilot)

How long have you been playing together?

Jimmy Greene: Barren to Beauty as a musical entity emerged from an affiliated non-profit organization of the same name (established March 2017). The constitution of the band is inherently fluid, featuring rotating musicians to help support the initiatives of our nonprofit organization. I have been supremely blessed by the talents and contributions of phenomenal hometown heroes to include Japheth Moon, Catherine Clark, Sam Taylor, Tyler Lee, Kelly Jacobs for photography and Will Jacobs on production management.

What do you need more to become a successful musician — talent or drive?
Jimmy Greene: Drive; easy question. Arguably, drive is itself a talent.

How has North Carolina influenced your music?
Jimmy Greene: I’ve always had an intense appreciation for bluegrass, but the greatest influence on my music has been the community.  I’m still a relatively new transplant to North Carolina. Colorado, while rich in rugged natural beauty was missing the richness of community that I have discovered while living in Southern Pines.

Talk us through the creative process of writing a song.
Jimmy Greene: Imagine yourself in the middle of a terrible situation. Survive. Reflect. Share it honestly and without any burden to impress or satisfy someone else. Add a little Duck Hook from Southern Pines Brewery for the writer’s block. It has very little to do with what is heard but rather felt.

What is one of your favorite moments as musicians?
Jimmy Greene: Barren to Beauty was started by a couple of military guys looking for a different way to handle the inherent stressors of military life. We chose to try art instead of intoxication.

Overseas, I was able to headline a massive MWR event with over 5,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. They were captive listeners, and it was a great way to introduce the nonprofit side of Barren to Beauty to a large audience.

What’s your favorite go-to karaoke song?
Jimmy Greene: Anything by Dashboard Confessional. They are totally underappreciated.

You can only listen to three albums for the rest of your life — which do you pick?
Jimmy Greene: Easy: Chopin for the quiet times; “Good News for People Who Love Bad News by Modest Mouse for the angry/emo times; Magical Mystery Tour by the Beatles for all the times.

We turn on your car: What’s playing on the stereo?
Jimmy Greene: I drive a badass 2005 Toyota Camry. I have an automatic transmission, power steering, and a 6-disk CD player. Right now I have Muse, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Taking Back Sunday, Bethel and Blink 182.

Which song do you wish would die a slow death?
Jimmy Greene: Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper.

Where is your favorite place to play in Moore County?
Jimmy Greene: My living room. Come check us out!

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