Fresno Folklore Society

A Non-Profit Corporation for the Traditional Arts

Fresno, California

Artist Profile 

    Terry Barnes Trio


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Terry Barnes, #6 of 8 children, has lived and breathed music since she was a toddler.  I’ve known Terry since her high school years when she and my daughter Abby were best friends. I remember they challenged each other climbing the rope in gym. I was impressed then by their physical agility and am now even more impressed with Terry's music. Recently, I was excited to see and hear Terry perform at several local venues with her husband on percussion and Dennis Wombacher on violin/fiddle. They recently appeared on Central Valley Talk where they performed and recorded some of their music. 

Although music has always been a part of her life, teaching became her profession. As the principal at a local grade school she joyfully welcomes the children back to school each Fall with a musical comedy act. You can see her on Facebook: The Terry Barnes Trio. And you can hear them Saturday, October 5 at 7:00pm in the Wolk Garden as part of a double feature program with Jerry Thurston and Friends. Be prepared for some great local talent and delightful surprises.  Pat Wolk


Tickets available online   $10 advance/FFS members; $15 at the gate.

Her Story:

Posted on December 11, 2018, by Terry Barnes

It’s a privilege to call myself one of the local musicians in the Fresno area.  It is a relatively recent undertaking for me after a lifetime of playing music from childhood through my adult years — in the privacy of my own home.  Growing up in a house filled with music (& kids…I’m #6 of 8), I was immersed in the music of the 60’s and 70’s, played the ukulele at age four, took six years of piano lessons, taught myself to play guitar, and did a few solo performances in my school choir, not to mention several adolescent attempts at songwriting, all of which led me to exclaim matter-of-factly to my sisters at a young age, “I just want people to ask their friends if they’ve heard my new album when I grow up!” That seemed to amuse them immensely, for some reason.

Until a few years ago, my public performing was limited to thematic and humorous  “school shows” for the students and staff of the Chowchilla Elementary School District where I’ve worked since 1986.  I’ve battled extreme stage fright forever, which is what has kept me from pursuing something I’ve always wanted to do – play music! I gave “real” performing a try while in college, first failing to be accepted to a talent show and then having that failure lead to an opportunity to open up for a show at the Fresno State Student Union, which ended in a giant migraine. That’s when I decided that stage fright was the winner…and I pretty much gave up on any hopes of performing live anywhere. 

This did not keep me from fully indulging in the vibrant music scene in Fresno, listening to any number of great local musicians throughout the 1980s, my favorite venue being the Wild Blue Yonder (I had to fake my I.D. to get into the Clams show, another pivotal experience).  So many fond memories come to mind for me and my husband, Steve Barnes, who was just as addicted to music as I was.  We were young and pretty poor in those days, but somehow we seemed to scrounge up the money for our weekend music habit.

Fast forward to October 14, 2014.  After a life-changing bone marrow disease put a halt on my fast-paced work-a-holism for about a year, I was officially in remission. You’ve heard it a million times, I’m sure, but I experienced that “second lease on life” phenomenon that people talk about.  With my adult children living their own lives, and after being forced to re-evaluate life, in general, I flipped through the newspaper and insisted to my husband that we start enjoying live music again! It was that night that we stumbled across the KFSR Barn Dance event and reconnected with a legend from our past music addiction – Roger Perry.  As we sat in utter admiration, once again, my husband leaned over and whispered to me, “You should be on that stage.” I laughed at his delusional comment (based on his obviously biased overestimation of my musical ability).

A few months later, we were thoroughly enjoying the acoustic tunes of Glen Delpit during the happy hour at Audie’s Olympic Tavern.  As fate would have it, we got to talking with Glen (another legend from our past music ventures), which is how we learned of the Open Mic on Tuesdays, hosted by none other than – you guessed it — Roger Perry.  My husband began his badgering of me at that point, trying to convince me to face my fears.  And in February of 2015, I finally…nervously gave in.

I attribute my success in overcoming my fears (for the most part – I still do have stage fright) to my husband and to the exceptionally welcoming and supportive musicians & audience members who encouraged me that night and every night of Open Mic since that time.  Dennis Wombacher, a phenomenal violinist (also on stage that night at the Barn Dance event), graciously agreed to accompany me on one of those Open Mic nights, and we became an instantly compatible pair, performing together ever since. 

There are far too many to mention, but countless supportive musicians (who I now call my friends) are directly and undeniably responsible for boosting me into this musical world, which has enriched my life tremendously! And to pay back my husband, Steve, for all of his badgering, I nudged him into joining this adventure (we spent our dating years playing music together in his parent’s game room) and he is now the percussionist in my trio (along with Dennis on violin).  After many more nights at Open Mic, including the migration to the Intimo Lounge with John Clifton as our gracious host, we now play fairly regularly, at places like The Tasting Room, Tap & Cellar, On the Edge, The Hideout, tribute shows at Fulton 55, River Park Farmer’s Market, and even a couple gigs at Dockside 2 in Morro Bay. What a ride!

For years, I’ve counted myself as “lucky” and it still holds true today.  Blake Jones (another blast from our past) gave me several musical opportunities with the Food-Not-Bombs show, the Rogue Festival,and even a cameo vocal performance on his latest CD.  And to add icing to the proverbial cake, this past October, four years after that fateful night, The Terry Barnes Trio joined the Roger Perry Band on stage at the KFSR Barn Dance show at Fulton 55. Full circle…so grateful and enjoying every moment!!