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Del Barber takes time to re-evaluate life and write

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Winnipeg area musician Del Barber took the past two years to re-evaluate his life, work on the farm and write new material.Del Barber plays the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 17. Photo By Richard Amery
 He brings his trio of guitarist Grant Siemens and bassist Bernie Thiessen to the Geomatic Attic, Nov 17.

 After releasing his most recent CD of hockey songs “The Puck Stops Here,” he parted ways with his record label True North and took some time to stay at home and reflect  while working his wife‘s parent’s farm and write some new songs.

 The hockey album was an enjoyable lark, that he and his band the No Regretzkys enjoyed doing.

“The record company was dragging their heels on releasing  a new album, so this was idea I pitched to them and they liked it,” Barber observed. The album includes covers of Tom Cochrane’s “ Big League,” Gary Glitter‘s “ Rock and Roll part 2,” and , of course, Stompin’ Tom Connor’s “The Hockey Song” and obscure hokey songs like the Pursuit of Happiness’ “Gretzky Rocks” and the Hanson Brothers” “Hockey Night Tonight” and even the Coach’s Corner Theme.

“There’s probably enough material for for two more albums, but when it came down to it, we just picked the ones that worked,” he said.

“ It was just a fun little project that was bonus content,” Barber said, noting he hasn’t decided what the Lethbridge show and tour will sound like.

“It’s not a big tour, but it is something. It‘s hockey season so, we’ll probably play some of that CD, but probably not a lot. I’ll drive to Winnipeg and playing with the band and we‘ll see what works,” he continued, adding he’d like to focus on the new songs he’s been writing though he has an established career including five albums to draw from including the Juno nominated 2014 CD “Prairieography.”

“I’m starting to learn how to write about myself again. I have a better sense of who I am now. I usually blue collar people, friends. It’s pictures of their lives and their stories because  that’s who I am. More rural people are the people who I appeal to Toronto be damned. People there just didn’t get me,” he said.


“The last two years I’ve been working on the farm and doing manual labour. My wife’s parents have a cattle and grain farm. And we just found out we’ve having a baby in March. So that’s been a new experience for me too,” he continued.

“I miss having a good record  company behind me and the money that goes with it and the team. So it‘s like I’m going back to where I started and starting again,” he said.

“I feel that at 34 , I can stand back and look at the state of the world and understand it a little bit more, which is harder to do when you are 20 when I first started doing this,” he said, noting modern music has lost touch with the great songwriters of the past.

 Age has also given him more respect and  appreciation for older songwriters.
“I’ve been listening more to people I respect and admire. I still listen to Ian Tyson and people like that and people like John Prine. The good songwriters are trying to do what those guys are doing just like they were trying to be like the great songwriters who came before them, he observed.

Tickets are $32.50. The show begins at 8 p.m..

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor
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