Well, what a fine way to start the weekend; we’ve just received word that Del has been nominated for Solo Artist of the Year at the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards. The CFMA Gala and awards ceremony will be held at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, NB on Saturday, November 17, 2012.
Posts tagged: headwaters
Back in April, leading up to the release of Headwaters, Del was in the illustrious Banff Centre. Check out the very cool live recording that’s just been posted on the venue’s website.
For Boyd Barber, work was never about anything as fanciful or intangible as pursuing a dream.
In fact, it was the dreams that chased him. Vivid nightmares that have haunted him since 1969, when he was one of the Canadian Navy members onboard the HMCS Kootenay when a gearbox exploded, killing nine crew members and injuring at least 53 others.
For 40 years afterward, Barber worked as a millwright. He spent most of those four decades toiling in the depths of Manitoba mines, but his was a jack-of-all-trades position that required him to nurture a general aptitude for all sorts of body-burdening tasks: welding, electrical work, installation of industrial machinery.
It’s the sort of stuff often referred to as good, honest work, but Barber hated it. So he was glad his son, Del, developed a talent for music and opted to follow a different path than his dad.
But he never expected to follow in his son’s fresh footsteps. These things are supposed to work the other way around.
Head to Winnipeg Free Press to read the rest of the story.
Where did this guy come from? I’m sure there’s a story, or nine – nine songs of melody, everyday desperation and occasional arrivals of harmony. A Winnipegger, but home on the roam, the worn-in Barber will appeal to fans of Jim Cuddy or Justin Rutledge (though he’s less earnest than the latter and dustier than the former). He writes about Monday-morning mirrors, streetlights that serve for stars, and often about fire: “Choking on the smoke, trying to get warm.” There’s thought to the arrangements; this stuff isn’t rough cut. Barber’s put in the miles. We get his trip. B.W.
Read the review on GlobeandMail.com.
HEADWATERS finds Winnipeg’s wandering minstrel Del Barber expounding on the virtues of home, whether physically or spiritually. It’s especially apparent on “Soul of the Land That’s Mine” where he apologizes for constantly leaving his “home and native land.”
On his third album in four years, the prolific Barber’s acoustically-dominated folk-roots is vibrant and joyous. His amicable vocal feels as comfortable as worn-in Birkenstocks. The 10 songs here are enhanced by his lyrical prowess as evidenced by “The Waitress” (“Her dreams, they fell asleep on the top bunk/and woke up on the floor”) or You Can’t Turn Around (“Your cups filled up, but baby your thirst is gone”).
Barber is possessed by a consummate wanderlust for life while questioning faith and seeking happiness only to realize maybe even everything is not enough (as he notes on the track, “Everything is Not Enough”). Headwaters is the finest work yet from one of Canada’s most promising young troubadours. Four stars.
Read the review on WinnipegFreePress.com.
Since the release of his 2010 album, Love Songs for the Last 20, the momentum hasn’t slowed for hometown hero Del Barber. After snagging a Juno nomination and a couple of Western Canadian Music Awards — not to mention logging some 300 tour dates on the strength of that career-making release — the roots/country troubadour wasted no time recording a follow-up that’s even mightier than its predecessor.
That record is Headwaters, which came out this past Tuesday via Six Shooter Records. When Uptown sat down with Del for coffee, the ink was still drying on his deal with the respected Toronto indie label, which is also home to fellow songwriting heavyweights such as Christine Fellows, Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland.
“I signed the paperwork five days ago,” he says with a laugh. “There’s a lot of smoke in this industry, so it’s nice when something’s burning.”
Indeed, to borrow a line from Almost Famous, it’s all happening for Del Barber. If Love Songs… was his introduction to the Canadian roots scene, Headwaters will no doubt confirm his place as a major player. Barber’s third full-length album has a maturity and a wisdom that belies its creator’s 28 years — a result of spending months on the road, yes, but also from being challenged on his ‘absolute’ ideas.
Read the full article at UptownMag.com.
If Del Barber was born a few generations earlier, he would have been riding the rails. Part time employment would have kept him alive, but like so many of his influences and idols, traveling from town to town trading stories and chords with other folkies, and squeezing each and every drop from the fruit life provided would be what kept his heart beating.
More importantly, music fans would hear his songs and use his art as their windshield to new experiences.
Barber is a throwback, a storyteller that lets moments and emotions burn through his soul until they reach his fingertips and find a home with melody. There are endless numbers of songwriters trying to forget the past or simply steal from it, but Barber resides in the rarefied air (think Josh Ritter or Doug Paisley) of talent hoping only to fine tune proven recipes and results.
Read the full review at Hero Hill.