The beginning of The Barnsley Boys was three blokes who had been neighbours in Barnsley since the early 80’s. In 2005, Jeff was learning guitar, Woody was learning keyboard and Bill had been strumming a few chords on guitar since giving up trumpet playing in the 70’s so we began to have a few casual jams together. Harold von Finster joined us after he met Jeff and in 2008, Jeff began playing at Steel City CMC and encouraged the rest to join him at the club.
On our first appearance at a walk up night Mel asked us our name and we realised we didn’t have one, we just said “We’re the boys from Barnsley”, so Mel turned around and said “Please welcome The Barnsley Boys”’ and the name has stuck. We were all nervous about how we might be received but everyone at the club has encouraged us from that very first night. All the other performers made us welcome and encouraged us to develop our music and the supporters who turn up each week to listed have given us great support. Harold left us to pursue bluegrass music and was replaced by a long time friend of Bills, Arthur James. Very soon, Howard Elsey moved in next door to Bill and he too joined us. Yet another neighbour and friend, Mike Raub, tired of being the odd one out so he began playing bass and joined us as well. Howard left when he moved out of Barnsley so the line-up became the current five piece. No-one leads the band, it is totally democratic and as such they play music from all their likes. Bill and Arthur are blues men but enjoy 70’s rock as well. Jeff is the country influence, while Woody leans toward country and 70’s and 80’s easy listening. Mike is the youngest so his tastes are more 80’s rock so their repertoire reflects all the influences. We do the occasional gig at a club and have a couple lined up at a local hotel but our main interest is having fun making music. We aren’t going to get too rich with any record deals.