“All I want for Christmas is you holding me again…” Singer/songwriter Megan Barker has just released “One More Christmas,” lyrics that powerfully twist and emotionally weave like the stripes on a candy cane. Barker joined CMChatLive for an exclusive interview about her new song and what’s in store for 2018.
Tell us a little about yourself, growing up in Las Vegas, and how you got your start in country music.
“Hey guys! Well, I’m Megan Barker. I was born in Nashville to country music-lovin’ parents. My dad was a songwriter and my mom was an artist and session singer. When I was 9, I moved to Las Vegas when my parents got divorced. Growing up there was great. As a teenager, I started performing live music anywhere I could including the strip! I’ve had the opportunity to play amazing venues like the House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe, Monte Carlo, The Linq, and more. It was an incredible experience building my chops up in Vegas, but songwriting is where my heart is. I ended up being back in my hometown of Nashville so much the last couple years that I finally made the move back home permanent. I’m happy to call Music City home again.”
Your dad, Bobby B. Barker, co-wrote “One More Christmas With You” – what is the backstory of the song?
“I always wanted to write a Christmas song. I just love holiday music so much! It makes the whole season what it is. My dad and I wrote ‘One More Christmas With You‘ in November 2015 on one of my many trips to Nashville. The song was originally supposed to be about a breakup and trying to get through the holidays while missing someone, but when my dad passed just a couple weeks after writing the song, it took on a whole new meaning for me. It’s very close to my heart. He loved the song as well.”
Favorite holiday song growing up?
“This is such a tough one. One of my first favorites is more obscure I think. I heard it as a kid in my favorite holiday movie, Christmas Vacation. In the movie, you can hear Ray Charles singing, ‘That Spirit Of Christmas.’ Also, it’s not Christmas in my family’s household until we break out the James Taylor Christmas album. Ahh, I get in the spirit just thinking about his bluesy version of “Jingle Bells,” or his captivating take on ‘Some Children See Him‘…Also, we can’t leave out ‘Last Christmas.’ I never get tired of that song. Ever.”
Favorite song written by your dad?
“I know so many songs of his that the world never got to hear. He was a true writer in that he never stopped writing. But one of my favorite songs he’s known for would be ‘That Girl Who Waits On Tables.'”
Read that John Mayer inspired you – what’s your favorite song of his?
Again with the tough questions?!?! lol!! Even though I grew up around music, I would not be the artist I am today if I hadn’t have discovered John Mayer. I could never pick one favorite song of his, but he has an unreleased tune called, ‘Man On The Side.’ It changed my world so we’ll go with that.
How important is it to you to write your own songs?
“Songwriting is so important for me. I guess it’s in the blood, but I truly believe a great song will move you. I think as an artist, it’s important to be authentic and sing about what you know. I am a writer first and foremost so I think it’ll always be at the forefront of what I do.”
Can you tell us about your writing process?
“It usually starts with a hook idea or a guitar part and I build from there. You’ll rarely see me without a guitar in my hand, so I usually start noodling around and when I hit on something special, I play it over and over again and then it grows from there.”
What does the next year hold in store for you?
“2018 is going to be huge!! I’m currently finishing up some new music in the studio with two great producers, Brad Hill (Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne) and Lee Holland. This EP is definitely country with a little soulfulness. These are great songs that I am so proud of. It’ll make you wanna roll the windows down, cruise, and repeat.”
What was the favorite moment of your career up to this point?
“I just got to play ‘One More Christmas With You‘ on the Grand Ole Opry’s WSM. The radio station where country music started. It’ll be hard to top that, but we’re gonna try!
Where’s your bucket list venue to play?
“In 2018, I’d like to play Eddie’s Attic in Georgia. I heard John Mayer played there a lot early on. But on a larger scale, it’d be amazing to go back to do a hometown show at Bridgestone Arena here in Nashville as well as Mandalay Bay or MGM Grand in Vegas. What a dream!”
If you could put together a tour which artists would you take with you?
“If I could open for Keith Urban, that would be incredible. He’s another one of my heroes.”
What songs are on your current playlist?
“Walker Hayes, ‘You Broke Up With Me.’ SO CATCHY. Also, I can’t take Carly Pearce’s new album off repeat. ‘Honeysuckle‘ and ‘Hide The Wine‘ are my jams.”
How can fans connect with you on social media?
Barker will appear on “Today in Nashville” (Channel 4) on December 14. Later that day she will be performing at her Santa Claws show at Millennium Maxwell House – a benefit for Nashville Cat Rescue – at 9:30PM.