Galen was born in Georgia on December 1, 1968, to the parents of Riley L. and Shirley D. Barrow. He is the youngest of six children, three boys, and three girls. Galen grew up in the small community of Buncombe, located in Haralson County. His early hobbies included playing different sports games with family and friends and going quail hunting with his daddy.
When Galen was 13 he began a new hobby, playing guitar. A friend, Larry Benefield, moved nearby Galen and had been playing guitar for several years. When Galen expressed an interest in learning the guitar, Larry began giving him lessons. With the help of Larry and another friend, Harl Baggett, who was Larry’s guitar teacher, it wasn’t long before Galen was off with Larry and/or Harl to bluegrass festivals almost every weekend. There, he participated in numerous parking lot jam sessions with many different people where he learned much about the guitar, and later on, the mandolin and bass. Galen credits Harl Baggett with teaching him the importance of rhythm, and another friend, David Jordan, with teaching him the full rhythm technique on the guitar. Early musical influences on a professional level were Tony Rice and Adam Steffey
Throughout the years Galen has participated in a number of traditional and not so traditional bluegrass groups. Among these are Solid Ground, 4 Winds West and Standard Deviation. Playing in these groups provided great memories and hours of enjoyment.
In 1997, at a local music barn near his home, Galen met Kelly McCord who fronted his own bluegrass gospel group called the Gospel Servers. Kelly’s group needed a mandolin player and so Kelly asked Galen. Although he was playing with 4 Winds West at the time, Galen said he would fill in until someone else could take his place. Little did he know that six years later he would still be with playing in Kelly’s group.
In September 2001, while singing with The Servers at Macedonia Baptist Church in Pea Ridge, Alabama, Galen met the lady that would become his wife, Melissa Scott. Melissa is a beautiful woman with a heart of gold that plays piano and sings like an angel. However, dating between the two did not start immediately. It wasn’t until March 9th, 2002 that Galen and Melissa actually went on a first date. After a whirlwind romance, the two were engaged on July 9th, 2002, and married on November 9th, 2002. Sixteen years later, Galen and Melissa have produced one CD called “Back Home with Galen and Melissa”, a son, Ethan, born on February 9th, 2006, and a daughter, Audrey, born February 17th, 2010.
Galen’s plans for the foreseeable future include continuing to work for the Georgia Department of Transportation where he hopes to retire in a few years; singing with The Servers all over West Georgia, East Alabama and wherever else the Lord allows them to go; and singing with his family as the opportunity arises.
Galen hopes for The Servers is that the group will one day branch out more and sing over a larger area. He would like to see the group expand into other states. As Galen says, “it’s always great to see old friends you’ve sang for many times over the years, but it’s great to meet new people and make new friends who will one day become old friends too”.