‘Renaissance’ Provo barber goes from forming chords to cutting hair

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The rich waft of gentlemanlike aftershave greets customers entering the Drew Danburry Barber Shop at 55 N. University Ave, No. 145. Danburry, too, greets each patron, usually by name. His voice is strong and to the point but has a warm and rich quality. The shop’s interior is well lit with warm light. Wooden floors pop and creak as Danburry snips hair with precision, scrutinizing his work with a level of detail only understood by an artist. Indie music plays at a level where it can be appreciated but is not overbearing.

Looking through the door of Danburry Barber Shop.
Looking through the door of Danburry Barber Shop.

Born in 1980 in Huntington Beach, Calif., Danburry grew up skateboarding. According to Danburry, his earliest memory is riding in his family’s bus heading to Costa Mesa, Calif., listening to Stevie Wonder on the radio. This is perhaps a fitting first memory for a future musician who would travel the world on tour for almost a decade.

Danburry first came to Utah as a BYU student right after graduating from high school. During his time in Provo, he started playing music, eventually forming a band with Micah Dahl Anderson. Danburry said the process was evolutionary; he picked up guitar by learning chords and slowly making up his own songs. Later Danburry toured around the world playing these songs.

“Touring was hard. It wasn’t fun. It was becoming difficult. It was not enjoyable, and I wanted to enjoy it,” Danburry said.

After Danburry married in 2008, touring became even more difficult for him because he wanted to see his wife. He continued to tour for two more years until he decided to take a break.

He had never considered barbering until his father-in-law suggested it to him, listing his attention to detail as a strength that could make him good at it. Soon after, Danburry enrolled at The Barbering School in Midvale.

Danburry said he always knew he would open his own shop, so he did. His ability to change his circumstances when they are not what he likes, along with his desire to make more money to support his family, motivated him to change his profession.

Drew Danburry enjoys cutting hair he says it's a creative process.
Drew Danburry utilizes his love for creativity in every hair cut, saying his favorite part of the barber shop is the creativity within.

Gordon Barlow, Danburry’s brother, said, “I see Drew being Drew in music, in barbering. … Drew is the constant; the things he does are the variables, like music changed because Drew was in it, and barbering changed because of Drew’s influence on it.”

This is a part of who he is; Danburry never sought to fit in during high school or reinvent himself afterward in college, like so many people do.

Finn Christensen, a longtime friend and former employee of Danburry, said, “Working with Drew, there is always an interesting conversation; usually people and the weird things that cultures do. You can talk about almost anything with him. I’ve never hit a dead end.”

Drew Danburry is a man of many passions and talents, a renaissance man of sorts. Happiness is most important for him. This pursuit of happiness is what led him to no longer play live music. Instead of performing live, Danburry records songs and makes music videos, an outlet that allows him to enjoy his passion without the stress of live performance.

Barbering is a way for Danburry to make money to support his family, and by following this new path, he gave up what many aspiring musicians dream of, touring the world. But Danburry can’t think of anything else he would rather be doing.

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