Traphill, North Carolina, native Presley Barker plays country/blues music and is a singer/songwriter.
“I enjoyed music from a really young age,” Presley recalls. “My mom liked clogging, so we were always listening to folk music.”
Presley was particularly fond of Doc Watson, and started playing guitar at seven years old, It did not take him long to start getting the hang of the instrument and catching the attention of the local music community. Soon, Presley started taking lessons with Steve Lewis, a past winner of the prestigious Winfield National Guitar Championship. Presley also made frequent trips to Grayson County, Virginia, to meet with guitar builder and player Wayne Henderson.
“Every time I visit Wayne, he teaches me a new tune on the guitar,” Presley says.
Presley also traveled around the region to fiddlers conventions. He started entering guitar competitions and bringing home lots of blue ribbons. In 2015, at age 10, Presley won the Old Fiddler’s Convention Adult guitar competition in Galax, Virginia and won a second time in 2017. In 2017, Presley also won the prestigious Wayne C. Henderson Guitar Championship. While Presley says that the Galax blue ribbon was one of his most prized awards, the competitions are not as important as playing music with friends.
Presley sings and plays guitar at his local church, and gives performances at concert venues and festivals around the region.
He has appeared on the NBC Today Show with Al Roker. He has played the National Folk Festival, Richmond Folk Festival, Lowell Folk Festival, Montana Folk Festival, Masters of Steel String Guitar Event in Washington, D.C., PBS Song of the Mountains Show, Doc Watson Day Celebration in Boone, NC, David Holt’s State of Music, Blue Ridge Music Center, Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, Houstonfest, Carolina In The Fall, and Merlefest. Presley also appeared on NBC’s “Little Big Shots” with Steve Harvey and “Wonderama” TV show in New York City. Most recently, Presley was invited by Country Music Hall of Fame and Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Ricky Skaggs to play the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. Presley released his first solo album entitled “JUST-TEN” in the fall of 2015 and is now working with Dolly Parton’s producer and Grammy Nominated Kent Wells Productions in Nashville TN to release some new music coming soon.