Phil Barker

Phil's Gear Page > Songwriter, musician Iona / 1997-present
Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass Fretted Bass / Fretless Bass
Photos by Joe del Tufo, Lutz Diehl, Henk Oosting (henkoosting.com), Janien Kommer, Mike Anders & Monica Duffels
B orn in Perivale, London in 1970, I first wanted to learn to play drums. However, after watching Mark King (Level 42), I soon dropped the idea of drums and decided to learn bass. I was really into Genesis and It Bites in my teens, but no one in my area was playing that kind of 'muso' stuff, so I had to settle for playing in Goth bands (in one band the singer wore make-up and women's underwear on stage!).

In 1988, I began playing in Jazz Funk bands. I thought "now's my chance" and, with Status Bass in hand and Trace-Elliot amp, I began slapping and popping uncontrollably for about 2 years (one band I played with at that time was called 'Pigs in the Parlour').

In 1991, I joined the Saltmine Band (Christian) which later became Funky Beehive. After 18 months of bad jokes, no money and packing up at midnight in the rain in Reading, my Christian charity had depleted.

In 1993, I began working with Sal Solo of Classix Nouveau, spending a lot of time touring America and Europe. At that time I learnt some valuable lessons on how to be a good Catholic, how to shave your head, and how not to eat food with dead animals in it. Sal always insisted that the band was paid cash (local currency) after every gig which is a rare and excellent thing. I also recorded 2 albums with Sal Solo.

In 1994, I met producer Andy Piercy and began working on various projects with him and session guitarist Dave Clifton. It was also at this time that I met my long time sparring partner and pal Terl Bryant and we began working as a rythmn section both live and on recordings together.

In August 95 I'd been depping for session ace Phil Spalding (Robbie Williams, Seal, Mick Jagger, Mike Oldfield) in the band 'Chief Seattle'. Terl asked me if I could fill in for an gig at the Borderline, London, standing in for Tim Harries (who had replaced Nick Beggs). I was not at all familiar with Iona's music. Terl's advice was not to play anything FUNKY because Dave would hate me. I had to learn about 20 songs for the gig as the set list hadn't been finalised (no change there!). Listening over and over to the songs I realised just how intricate and well thought out they were. The gig must have gone pretty well because Simon (the manager of the band at the time) told me "well done, anyone would have thought you'd been in the band for years". A few months later, and I was on tour with the band for what was the most influential time. The album 'Journey Into The Morn' was released, and was very busy with the longest UK and US tours ever. We all got on famously, especially after we nearly got killed on the road twice in 2 days!

In 1997 I took over the job permanently from Tim and we (Iona) recorded the live double album 'Heavens Bright Sun'.

I count Dave, Troy, Terl, Jo and Frank as some of my most valued friends.

As well as working with Iona, I have also had the privilege of working with the following:

Faith Hill, Robin Mark, Matt Redman, Don Moen, Paul Wilbur, Andy Piercy, Eoghan Heaslip, Dave Clifton, Geraldine Latty, Chris Eaton, Barry & Batya Segal, Kim Hill, The Woodthieves, Caroline Bonnet, Paul Mills, Chris Norton, Tim Hughes, Noel Richards, Ricky Valance, Paul Field, The New Scottish Orchestra, oh and Paul Naylor.

I have played on at least 60 albums so here is short selected Discography (sorry to anyone I haven't mentioned, please don't take it personally).

I live in Surrey with my wife Claire and our children, Francesca and Madeleine. I do not have my own studio, but I am currently working on my solo project, brewing beer in the understairs cupboard!
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Discography (10)

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22nd July 2019

Donegal...... just beautiful.
Always inspiring to be here...... 🎶🙏

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15th July 2019

DANCING......
I stumbled across this on YouTube today. A song I recorded in 2008 in Nashville for a solo album entitled Personal..... one that went well under the radar and is no longer available.
Also features some lovely low whistle by Troy Donockley 🎶😁

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4th July 2019

Avec Toi...... some songs in French from moi! ( Jo ) 😁 🎶 🇫🇷 ( including a couple of my Iona favs )

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11th June 2019

Soon in Hardenberg - Dave Bainbridge & Frank Van Essen and band playing SANCTUM & Iona. With sand art by Gert van der Vijver. Come and join us if you can!

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6th June 2019

Dave Bainbridge and Frank Van Essen will be together for another gig on 17th August in The Netherlands!

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1st June 2019

Soon in The Netherlands! With Iona's Dave Bainbridge and Frank van Essen. Music from Frank's album SANCTUM and some well known Iona material. Tickets available now.

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9th June 2019

Out on the river , pulling oars, in the wake of my recent visit to Kells, remembering my Colmkille Curragh voyage in 1997!

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22nd May 2019

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19th May 2019

BACK TO MY ROOTS!
Here at Kells, Co. Meath, Ireland! Spiritual heart of Ireland. House of St. Colmkille, Book of Kells...
Seems such a long way from Blue Coast Records , California!
Speaking of which , here’s a link to 3 of my songs, remixed by BCRs Cookie Marenco. You can have a listen here , and if you enjoy, can download from BCR.😁


Oops! Forgot to add the link on my first post 😳

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19th May 2019

BACK TO MY ROOTS!....
Here in Kells, Co. Meath, spiritual heart of Ireland. House of St Colmkille, Book of Kells...
Seems a long way from Blue Coast Records, California!
Speaking of which , here’s a link to 3 of my songs , remixed by BCRs Cookie Marenco. You can have a listen here, and if you enjoy, can purchase the download from BCR 😁

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16th May 2019

HOME .....It’s Jo here, and I’m wondering if my recording whirlwind in California was a dream😳 And enjoying the fact that it’s warmer and sunnier here than it was in San Francisco Bay ..... in my dream?

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18th May 2019

JOB DONE😁
Three days , three albums!
Ya can get a lot done when it’s just piano and vocal and no “drop-ins” or edits!
Album 1. 9 Jo Hogg songs plus a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah ( only 4 of the original 80 verses!) , all sung in French

Album 2. 9 Jo Hogg songs sung in English

Album 3. Solo piano tracks of all the songs plus some improvised solo piano
Blue Coast Records will release the albums in DSD( direct stream digital), and all will be available for download direct from joannehoggmusic ...( not sure when🤔)
Home tomorrow 😁

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10th May 2019

IS THIS REALLY CALIFORNIA??

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18th May 2019

SONGS IN FRENCH??
Did she really say that? 😳

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8th May 2019

ACROSS THE POND....! 😎

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1st April 2019

FROM THIS TO HOME.....
It’s a stark contrast , that’s for sure. Sunny conditions made our job easier and life a little less harsh for those living in Moria, but there were many tragic stories being lived out in our midst. I saw a family and group of friends carry the dead body of a woman out of the camp on one of the days, and that week, volunteers tried to console a family who had lost a child , one of twins, while making the treacherous boat crossing from Turkey. Hundreds still make the terrifying journey every week. People back home often ask me why they leave their country to end up somewhere as awful as most of the camps. When you hear their stories, it’s not hard to understand why. Even though conditions are desperate in the camp, many folk that I met were so grateful to have survived, and cling to the hope that they might have a chance to start a new life somewhere. But while they are in limbo , EuroRelief will continue to do the best they can to support and care for them , and we will continue to support their passionate efforts.

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25th March 2019

SUNSHINE AND SMILES....
No matter how many times I come here, it’s always quite a surreal experience. The resilience of people to cope in such a difficult environment never ceases to amaze me. It looks better in the sunshine, but the reality is still very grim. There are nasty biting insects in the overcrowded tents and isoboxes, large rats are frequent visitors, and chickenpox and scabies is rife. People stand in line several times a day for food, water, info, assistance .... and the camp is on a steep hill so getting around requires great effort, especially for mothers with small children and heavy bottles of water to carry, and for the elderly too. We’ve found a way to turn very large t shirts into carrying bags that folk can make for themselves requiring only a pair of scissors. This has proved very popular with the women who have so many things to carry , including their laundry. So far, we’ve had three days of vitamin distribution and noting other medical needs that we can return to with specific treatments. Finding particular tents in the sprawling mass can be very challenging , even with the tent number and a map!
And then, a few miles down the road, we mingle with the locals and tourists and enjoy the view and feel very thankful for so much.

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24th April 2019

MAP PROJECT PART 2......
Currently working on 6 new songs for Miracles and Parables part 2. Photos are from a recent session tracking drums and bass with my fav dynamic duo, Terl Bryant and Phil Barker. Miracles of healing, deliverance and raising the dead , and Parables about the Kingdom of God , the sower and the seed and the good shepherd. Instrumentation will be in keeping with part 1, so it’ll be drums, bass, cello, piano, guitar and my favourite brass instrument, the flugelhorn.
I’ll keep you posted. 😁 jo.

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25th February 2019

Hi Everyone,
Just to let you know that some of the Iona back catalogue plus my solo albums, are now available from Burning Shed - see

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9th February 2019

ITS BACK TO THE MAP!
So , earlier this week, I went to London to record my favourite dynamic duo, Terl Bryant and Phil Barker ( both known to you Iona friends😁). I’ve been working on some new songs for the MAP Project Part 2. We recorded on three new songs, all parable songs! Good Shepherd, Listen( the story of Jesus talking to a crowd about the sower and the seed), and The Kings Party( one of the parables about the kingdom of heaven).
As always, the dynamic duo did not disappoint 😁.
Will keep you posted on progress.

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14th January 2019

Hi folks, Jo here.

Since my last trip to Moria camp in November, 1000 more refugees with this story, making this journey, arrived in Lesvos in December, needing kindness.

All the proceeds from the Road From Ruin CD go to support the R.A.I.N fund (Refugee Aid International Network) Click Here:

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2nd January 2019

Jo here,

To finish off the year, I thought I’d share the Horse and Rider video with you, in memory of Esmerado, my special white horse, featured in the artwork of Iona’s Another Realm, and this year in the artwork of The MAP Project.

The song, from Uncountable Stars, was remixed earlier this year to get a more panoramic sound for the videos use in an exhibition in Japan, so here it is..... the updated version of Horse and Rider, featuring Esmerado.

And finally, I’d like to wish you a very happy and blessed 2019.

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30th December 2018

Hi, Jo here. Thought you might enjoy this.... a wee clip from an evening of trad music with family and local friends at Christmas. I think it’ll be a Festive tradition for years to come 😁🎶

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26th December 2018

A gift for this season - FREE DOWLOAD
Christmas songs (in Dutch!) featuring Iona's Frank van Essen, Dave Bainbridge and Troy Donockley

Yesterday, Marlou & I sang on the marketsquare of our hometown, Hardenberg. Beautiful (Dutch) songs from our Christmas CD Immanuël. It was cold & wet, but we were so moved by the depth of the lyrics, the melodies & the arrangements I did 16 years ago now.
They are still powerful testimonies of Gods love for His people, and some of the arrangements are still favourites of mine, too.

Marlou & I decided to make them available for free this Christmas for you to enjoy. With a little extra: I found all the original mixes in my archives, and remastered them up to today's standards. Everything now sounds so much more open, warm & beautiful. Very happy!

So please feel free to listen and download the music.
And we wish you every blessing for the coming days & the new year. May the love & shalom of King Yeshua be with you always.

Feel free to share and spread the word!

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24th December 2018

A Special message from Frank van Essen.

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4th December 2018

Healing Stories From Lesvos

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19th November 2018

18+ years after the Iona recording of this wonderful tune, I decided to record a new, improvised version with Dave Bainbridge. Listen to the full version at and enjoy SANCTUM

The melody of A Million Stars has been with me since my teens. It's one of those tunes that just "happened" one day while improvising on my own, and has never left me. One day I played it for Dave & Troy and they loved it, so that's how it ended up on the Iona album Open Sky. It's great to hear how the years have shaped the melody and both Dave's and my playing. The version on SANCTUM is as we improvised it in the studio, with a few minor edits, but it's very spontaneous and inspired. Hope you enjoy it. - Frank

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13th November 2018

Frank van Essen's SANCTUM is out now! Very excited to share it with you. With Dave Bainbridge, Troy Donockley and bass legend Jimmy Johnson, this is an album you don´t want to miss! Check it out on - and please share!

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26th October 2018

A small preview of Frank van Essen's S A N C T U M. The downloadable version will be available on the 25th via

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26th October 2018

10/25/2018

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