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ALBUM REVIEW: Del Barber ~ Prairieography

ptw scorebw7delbarber_prairieography_sq_300dpiCanada has always had a strong country scene which is too often overshadowed by their southern neighbours. In recent time Lindi Ortega and Corb Lund have released great records and now Del Barber, a new name to us, has just released his 4th album.

Barber’s sound is a comfortable one that shape-shifts between folk, honky tonk and alt-country without going too deep into any of them. That isn’t necessarily a criticism as he possesses a versatile voice that fits all of those styles and a band that can seemingly nail any sound thrown at them with consummate ease. There’s also a real authenticity to their sound, in particular the laid-back barroom groove of ‘Country Girl’, that classic country of ‘Peter and Jenny Lee’ and the Americana-flavoured melancholy and poetry of ‘Big Smoke’. Barber’s lyrical knack lies in his ability to use the past tense and nostalgia to create the feel of a story and journey across the album. Characters are spotlighted, tragedies and heartwarming moments are documented, all with a calm and generally measured demeanour often embellished with wonderful pedal steel, organ and fiddle.

Barber has written a strong record, perhaps not one that emotionally hits deep enough or carries quite enough grit in its delivery but his music and the players on the record give faultless performances. This isn’t an album you’ll necessarily fall in love with and obsess over yet there is nothing to dislike and its finest moments are genuinely heartwarming.

Chris Familton

Australian Tour Dates

  • Wed Nov 19th – Melbourne Folk Club, VIC (with CR Avery)
  • Thu Nov 20th – Brighton Up Bar, NSW (with Fanny Lumsden and Emma Swift)
  • Sat 22nd – Sun Nov 23rd – Mullum Music Festival, NSW
  • Sat Dec 27th – Thu Jan 1st – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Festival of Small Halls Tour

  • Fri Nov 28th – Tumbulgum NSW
  • Sat Nov 29th – Hervey Bay QLD
  • Sun Nov 30th – Yeppoon QLD
  • Mon Dec 1st – St Lawrence QLD
  • Tue Dec 2nd – Sarina QLD
  • Wed Dec 3rd – Thuringowa QLD
  • Thu Dec 4th – Carmila QLD
  • Fri Dec 5th – Degilbo QLD
  • Sat Dec 6th – Mt Nebo QLD
  • Thu Dec 11th – Beerwah QLD
  • Fri Dec 12th – Wallaville QLD
  • Sat Dec 13th – Eumundi QLD
  • Sun Dec 14th – Cleveland QLD
  • Wed Dec 17th – Caloundra QLD
  • Thu Dec 18th – Mudgeeraba QLD
  • Sat Dec 20th – Moore QLD
  • Sun Dec 21st – Mt Mee QLD


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