Del Barber grew up in the Canadian Prairies, and the landscape is as much a part of him as the people he has met along the way. From the fertile Red River Valley to the pastures of the west, straight into the factory floors and slaughter houses of the city, Barber’s fourth album, Prairieography, is born out of a love for his home, its people and their stories.
Barber sings from the heart about his roots, telling tales from the road, and offering incredibly personal and sincere observations of the world around him. There is an unexpected blend of old-time country and Cajun boogie on “Living With A Long Way to Go”, however Barber maintains his characteristic storytelling style with “Farewell, God Bless You, Goodbye,” a story about a young man trying to escape the hum of the city. “Walking In A Straight Line,” written in the present tense, chronicles a trip he took to the Yukon from Winnipeg via the Rockies. On “All That it Takes,” Barber enthuses, “Sometimes three chords and a light heart are enough to make a good song. We really wanted to incorporate a few songs, like this one, on the album that would lean on heavy grooves and simple soul-driven rhythm sections.”
Barber has emerged as one of the next wave in this country’s proud tradition of songwriting talent. The follow-up to his award-winning albums Love Songs for the Last Twenty and Headwaters, Prairieography is the earnest travelogue of a wandering troubadour, and the realization that creativity is rarely a bolt of lightning.
Canadian singer/songwriter Jessica Mitchell brilliantly challenges many of the norms and conventions we associate with the country music genre. Mitchell caught the attention of multiple news outlets, including The Toronto Star and Global News, when a video she posted to Facebook of her hearing her new single “Workin’ On Whiskey” on the radio for the first time went viral.
“Workin’ on Whiskey” was the top added Canadian Country song to radio for the week of July 17. This summer, shaping up to be Mitchell’s busiest, includes an opening slot on the Kiefer Sutherland tour, several performances at major music festivals and a first time chart climbing hit single. Nominated for a CCMA Award for Roots Artist of the Year, September will bring the London, Ontario native back to her hometown for Country Music Week and the CCMA Award show.
Mitchell’s EP “Hold Onto The Light” was released April 1, 2016. The EP’s first single, “Grown Up Things,” produced by Grammy-nominated producer Dave Brainard (Brandy Clark, Jerrod Niemann) and co-written with Luke Sheets (Plumb), is a soul-searching song about loss and change, of not wanting to deal with the curve balls that life t rows at us. It showcases her powerful and pure voice and her considerable songwriting skills.
The Jessica Mitchell concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on November 5 in the Back Stage has been moved to 8:00 p.m. on November 5 in the Studio where Jessica will be appearing with Del Barber.