"My granny was my idol."


What makes the South a special place to live and grow up?

There's something so romantic about the South. Traditions are kept sacred more than other parts of the country. Everyone I meet is very polite and has incredible manners. I've lived in Birmingham, Alabama, for 10 years, and I love observing my friends doing the same activities – they never let the little things lose their importance. For example, I love the way they attend Auburn and Alabama football games and the celebration that goes along with that. The South is so welcoming and hospitable, and I connect with that because I grew up with traditional values, parents, and grandparents.

Does your family have any important traditions?

Absolutely! My granny was my idol; she was one of the most hospitable people I've ever known. Growing up, Sunday dinners at my granny's house were a cherished tradition. Every single Sunday we'd have a huge meal with all of my family and a few close friends. It was proper and done well; and it still happens every Sunday at my mom's house today.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in Birmingham?

I cook at lot, but when my family does go out to eat, we love Dyron's Lowcountry. The shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, and country fried chicken are delicious. They have a great bar that you can sit at while you wait and a nice outdoor area too.

What's your favorite small Southern town?

Florala, Alabama, is such a cute town. It has this perfect little courthouse and town square with adorable houses on either side of the main street. My family and I love Florala.

Tell us about the Barker Family Band Project.

I have three kids who are all incredibly talented in music. My son, Avery, plays guitar in my band right now. He's based in Nashville and hoping to move forward with a career as a solo artist. My 16-year-old daughter, Olivia, is a phenomenal singer. All three of my kids have grown up on a tour bus; they love the road. It's where they prefer to be. One day last year, we were goofing around and singing Dreams by Fleetwood Mac together, and I got this idea. I figured people would enjoy watching me perform with my kids, and it's always been a dream of mine. So, we put together a limited tour called Bloodline, and it turned out to be this really cool project launching this spring.