Three Beards: Mellow Alternative Rock From Fayetteville, NC

Posted 01 Jun 2014 in Artist News, Music, News

Three Beards is the next band that Guitar News Daily is going to shine a light on.  Before the release of their new album we had the opportunity to talk with Hank Barbe who is one half of the band.  Yes I know if they are ‘Three Beards” Hank should be 1/3 of the band but we’ll clear that up later.

Three Beards

Three Beards is Hank Barbe and Kenny Freeman.

Who Is Three Beards

Q: Who is Three Beards.  Where are you from?  How long have you been playing together? How did the band come about?

A: Three Beards is a mellow rock band out of North Carolina and we recently moved to Kentucky. The band consists of me, (Hank Barbe), and Kenny Freeman. We met at an open mic at The Rock Shop in Fayetteville, NC. We jammed outside and I think I played a Cure song with my Mandolin. The next day I bought a cajon and called Kenny. Three Beards was born that day. We decided to start a band and the fact we were already spending most of our free time jamming together made it easy for us to get really comfortable with each other. We started the band in the summer of 2013.

Q: There are only 2 of you in the band right?  So who is the 3rd beard?

A: Its kinda been a running joke. We used to have a couple of guys playing with us, but its always been me and Kenny. We played at a coffee house once in 2013 and someone asked why we were Three Beards when there are only two of us, and we said that Jesus was the third beard, but we fired him because he never came to practice.

Three Beards

Three Beards performing.

Q: How many times per show does someone make a ZZ Top reference in terms of the beards?

A: Haha, surprisingly we don’t get many ZZ Top references. We get a lot of Counting Crows or Toad the Wet Sprocket comparisons. We’ve only released a few singles, but our newer stuff for the album is a lot more electric guitar driven.

Q: How do you describe your sound?

A: We like to think of ourselves as just a rock band. I think that we get a lot of Counting Crows comparisons, but I think we have a pretty unique sound. Guitar driven rock ballads are our favorite songs to play. Most of our songs were written during times of clarity and pain, and it translates into our music. Our new music uses a lot more driving guitar, but its still mellow rock.

Q: What can a person expect to see at a Three Beards show?

A:  At our shows, we always try to be spontaneous. We like to interact with the crowd and adjust our set based on how we feel when we start. We like to ad lib on stage. We can do that because we spend so much time together just hanging out and playing. Its easier to be spontaneous  when its just me and Kenny. We’ve had Shawn Adkins play drums with us a couple times, (He’s great)  but its really just us, so we don’t have to have super strict set lists.

Three Beards Hank Barbe and Kenny Freeman

Q: Tell us something memorable or outrageous that has happened to you as a band. Could be something funny or maybe not so funny.

A: Back in February we played a show at The Rock Shop in Fayetteville,  NC. It was the second time we played with a touring band out of New York called Blameshift.(They are bad ass) Blameshift had just signed an endorsement with a whiskey brand called Cold Cock. Needless to say we spent a lot of time on the bus with Jenny Mann and Tim Barbour drinking whiskey before we played. Somehow we ended up playing last after all that whiskey. I think they actually had to turn my guitar down and I somehow managed to get through the show just singing and pretending to play while Kenny played both guitar parts. Lessons learned.  But it was a great night.

Q: Where can people catch Three Beards playing? Do you have any plans to get out on the road?

A: We played a lot in North Carolina. Fayetteville has a great group of people trying to revive the music scene there. Tams Higgins, Shawn Adkins, and Pawley Thomas put a lot of their hearts and souls into that town’s music scene. Tams publishes Friction which is a local music scene paper that she gives out for free, Shawn owns The Rock Shop, and Pawley owns the Drunk Horse Pub. I’ve seen Shawn and Pawley pay bands out of their own pockets. In a month or so we are going to start booking more Three Beards shows in Kentucky, Ohio (Cincinnati area), Tennessee,  and parts of North Carolina. We may consider touring after the album is out, but for now the furthest we plan on going is Colorado in December to play at a National retreat for disabled veterans. We are looking forward to that.

Thanks again to Hank for taking some time to tell us a little about the band.  Keep your eyes out for their album and look for them in your town soon.


Dave has been eating, living, and breathing music since before he could talk. This makes Dave perfect for his role here at Guitar News Daily.

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