Robert Barry Knox, aka R. Barry Knox aka Shon'Soro

 

    I have been an independent songwriter, producer and my own publisher of songs about love, life and relationships for the past forty years. Love of music is my primary motivation. I have produced eight album/cd’ s in my private project studios and public studios in drug free environments.
   I have always endeavored to create music that does not degrade my country, culture, history or fellow American. I hope you find my musical adventures interesting, creative, and most of all – entertaining. I would appreciate hearing comments or opinions.
   I was born in Oklahoma, the home state of many famous America songwriters, singers, band members, academy award winners in motion pictures, television and all fields of the media. In my early years I would sing with relatives, family friends and in school and church choirs. Both my mother and her father were musically talented and family entertainers. I always enjoyed listening to my mother singing and her father playing his fiddle. These memories have always remained an influence and motivation for my life-long endeavors in music production. 
   When I reached junior high school I purchased my first guitar, an acoustic six string Kay, and started lessons with the famed guitarist Julian Akin in Oklahoma City. After months trying to learn basic techniques of guitar playing I remained unable to control my fingers on difficult guitar cords. Mr. Akin suggested to me and my parents that I should forget about guitar lessons and learn to play the guitar on my own and at my own pace. I did just that. With the help of some new friends I learned simple guitar cords and basic strumming. Over the next few years I continued learning and practicing to play the guitar and the techniques of singing. The first song I ever learned to sing and accompany myself was Chocolate Ice Cream Cone, written by Famous Lashua and made famous by Red Foley, a famous country singer in 1943 and again by Rose Maddox in 1960.
  
A few years later in 1955 my family moved from Oklahoma City to Houma, Louisiana, near New Orleans. It was here that I found myself deeply interested and attracted to the various types of music in and around the New Orleans. To this day the famous music rhythms of New Orleans, Louisiana has been an major influences in my musical creativity and endeavors.
   After returning to Oklahoma City and graduation from high school in 1957 I continued with my musical endeavors playing anywhere I had an opportunity. Not able to find gainful employment in the music arena I decided to forego college and I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. I served the next four years in Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands and Cape Cod, Massachusetts and playing music whenever I had an opportunity.
   After completing my military enlistment I settled in the Los Angeles area where I had hoped to find some worthwhile opportunities in music; however, love grabbed me when I met Jennie Enriquez and we married. Finding few opportunities in music where I could earn enough to support a family, I was gainfully employed in the retail business in Los Angeles and San Francisco. I attended several colleges and universities in the evenings and weekends. After several years I managed to graduate from the College of San Mateo, attended the San Mateo College of Law and later earned a degree from the University of the Antelope Valley in Administration of Justice. During those years I engaged in musical endeavors whenever time and finances permitted. 
   Requiring too much of my time in traveling I left the retail business and entered the California Civil Service, working first in San Francisco and then moving to the Los Angeles where I was much closer to the music centers in Burbank and Los Angeles. On my days off, the weekends or vacations and when I had the money I recorded at several of the major recording facilities in and around Los Angeles with hopes of attracting someone that could help me with my musical career. At that time I was promoting myself as Shon’Soro, The Desert Man.
   Realizing that it was too costly to record at the major studios I purchased a TEAC 4 track recorder, a Carvin Mixing Board, a Lexicon reverb unit, a couple of Shure microphones and some accessories for a project studio in my home in Quartz Hill, Los Angeles County, California. I was able then to record at my pace and I managed to recorded enough 4 track analog songs of me with my Hohner acoustic six string guitar, a Hohner harmonica, a tambourine and a snare drum to fill my first LP “Shon’ Soro – Volume I, 1978 (with a portrait cover) and my second LP Shon’Soro -Volume 2, 1980 (with a scroll cover).
  
Over the next few years I expanded my project studio with a larger TASCAM eight track recorder, a sixteen channel CARVIN mixing board, several audio processors and then with the help of my musician friends I recorded a selection of new songs during 1982-1985 as R. Barry Knox for a new CD - “Trying To Get The Most Out of Life”. This self-published CD was marketed on MP3.Com and retail music sellers on the Internet.  A remastered issue and individual downloads are now available on most music retailers on the Internet.
   Around the same time I was playing with my newly formed Desert Man’s Band at various types of clubs in Los Angeles County where my musical endeavors caught the attention of an independent film producer and director. He hired me on a verbal contract to write some songs for his picture. We agreed that I would retain all licensing and production rights for all of the songs I would write and produce for him for use in this film. Unfortunately, after months of working on the songs for the film project, the project was suddenly cancelled by the Denver investors because of management conflicts and financial accounting errors by the project’s management.   
  After this unfortunate situation happened I was frustrated, burned out, very near a nervous breakdown and so depressed that I quit my civil service job. Over the next two years I did nothing but record my songs. I was lucky to have an understanding spouse that believed and supported my music endeavors. However, without any success with my recording projects and with pressing financial issues I moved to San Diego and returned to California Civil Service. I worked my musical projects as time and finances permitted until my retirement when I was able to return to full time recording of my musical projects.
   In 2002 I put a compilation of ten of my unfinished recording I had been working on between 1996 and 2002 into a new CD titled  “Rough Cuts”. A remastered issue and individual downloads are now available on most music retailers on the Internet.

   Fueled by a new energy to produce some new music I purchased more professional recording equipment, a computer, a music editing program, a sound effects library and several music loop programs. I then resumed writing, recording and producing a new collection of songs in various styles and genres. Between 2003 and 2004 I concentrated on writing Broadway type stage music in hopes that I would catch the attention of producers and directors of stage and theater productions along Broadway in New York City and New Orleans. I released this collection of songs in 2006 on a self-published CD – Bayou To Broadway on my Desert Morning Records and marketed it on the Internet with CDBaby.Com and music sites on the Internet.
   In 2006 and 2007 I continued recording music full of dance rhythms and lyrical stories that I hoped would have some international appeal. I released these songs on another self-produced CD “Music In The Pocket” on my own Desert Morning Records and marketed it on CDBaby.Com. A remastered issue is available from CDBABY.COM and most music retailers on the Internet.
   During 2013-2015 I recorded “Hanging Out”. This collection of unique recordings was made using various types vocal innovations, fusions of rhythm patterns of various genres, including my newly created looped-fusion genre, and some very new and futuristic production applications. This remastered version of “Hanging Out – 2016 is on my Desert Morning Records and marketed through CDBABY.COM and most music retailers on the Internet. 
    After experiencing a mini-stroke I had to slow down and limit my music projects. I did  managed to finish recording a new collection of my songs during 2013-2015 for Volume 3 of Shon’Soro. I have also completed a new compilation of musical adventures for my newest CD – Urbanville 2017, a compilation by Robert Barry Knox and Friends. The 2017 compilation is filled with a collection of songs from "then and now "about life and love and filled musically with many types of piano riffs, a lot of saxophone, trombones, clarinets fills and instrumental solos and some exciting vocal techniques by myself and my friends Paula Peña, Donald Garness, Carla Mayo and Jessica Peters. The cd and individual downloads are available from most music retailers on the Internet
   As for the future, I remain here on Music Avenue, doing what I love to do best – creating musical adventures. Any comments you care to make about my musical endeavors will be appreciated. Please email me copies of any published articles. Any radio or media representatives wanting promotional copies of my CDs send me a request via email from your website.

Robert Barry Knox dba House of Knox, an ASCAP member.  

www.rbarryknox.com