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.