Del Barber’s a no doubter for this Thursday, eh?
The lineup at Sunday dinner in this town will tell you one thing: it’s time for a haircut, Jasper.
Lucky for us the barber is at the Legion tonight, Jan. 11, at 9 p.m. (yes it’s tonight, we checked), as Del Barber returns to the Rockies with a four-piece and a newfound freedom. The Manitoba native told Craig Gilbert all about it.
Craig: You tend to pack the house when you play here. Or how would you put it?
Del: It’s my favourite place to play in Canada, for sure, no doubt. More than anything, I feel like I have a second family there. Since I’ve started touring, they’ve been sort of helping me try to keep touring, and it’s always been a place where I feel like I’m doing the right thing with my life. There’s a lot of other places where you can feel doubtful as a musician.
At the Legion especially, I feel like I’ve been playing there since they started doing shows. I was one of the first people that started bringing music back to that place. A lot of the time as a musician, you feel like a leech or a coyote or something, taking from people all the time. But in Jasper, I feel like I’ve made lifelong friends and I can come in and give a little bit back, have an actual relationship there so it’s not just one-way.
Craig: Where are you based?
Del: In rural Manitoba about five minutes from the Saskatchewan border, I have a little farm just off the Yellowhead.
Craig: What are you touring behind right now?
Del: We’re touring behind the promise of a new record. I recently lost my label and my manager, so this is sort of like I have full control again and I have all the songs. We’re just trying to figure out how to get a record out. That’s sort of the excuse to get out and play the new songs and get in front of people again and tell them we’re not done.
I kind of felt pushed down and kicked to the curb, so now I feel like I have full control, I get to do what I want and make what I want. So I’m playing in places I want to play in and not having to play the same game right now. I can just go play music and hang with my friends, so it’s more about kind of getting back to why we started doing this in the first place, you know?
Craig: How has that been for you?
Del: It’s been freeing. It was really scary at first, and obviously it felt like, I mean I accumulated a lot of debt playing music, so it’s been a struggle, but it’s something that you can’t just quit. Once you’ve done it for 10 years, you have to change the model and keep on and see if you can find a way to make it work. Like, I do a lot of work on the side, now, on farms or wherever else, but music is still the first source of income, the first real passion.
Craig: What can the folks expect when they come down to the Legion, or do they know what to expect already?
Del: They know what to expect. We haven’t been able to tour with our drummer recently, but now we have our drummer back, he’s back in Manitoba, so I’m excited to have drums again. The last I think three shows at the Legion we played just as a trio. We love hanging out and playing late and being with our friends in Jasper. One of my favourites, like I said.