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.
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.