As a lead up to Father’s Day, Canadian Press wrote a great story about Del and his father.
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.
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.