Sunday, March 20, 2011

Album Review - Del Barber - Love Songs for the Last 20

Hey Canadian Music Scene,

Good ol' Del Barber. Hailed as one of Winnipeg's most favourite folk artists, Del put out Love Songs for the Last 20, his second CD release, just last year.
The precursor to this album was Where the City Ends an album that contained track upon track of a love for the prairies. Love Songs for the Last 20 seems, in a way, to be built off of his last record.

Now, allow me to say, when listening to music I try to take the most unbiased approach possible, I love and appreciate all type of music, but there has always been something about country... Maybe it is because I was was raised on U2 and not exposed to country music, or maybe it is some sort of natural thing for my ears to repel country music. Either way you look at it, I have always had to "try more" with country tunes.

When attempting to classify Del's tunes there is no doubt the word country will emerge. Personally, I would classify him as "a lot of folk with some roots and bluegrass with a touch of country." Although, I don't think that classification is going to fit into your iTunes genre section.

Besides all that, what does Love Songs for the Last 20 achieve? Del Barber manages to mix a wide arrangement of tracks from If I Told You That I Loved You, a song about young love and all the perks that go with it, to a seemingly tragic yet strangely uplifting tune called Katy Sparrow, that Del had co-written with his father. Poppa Barber also does the backing vocal's on the tune.

As I listen to this album I yearn for summer. Del manages to capture the raw essence of life on the prairies. It is songs like Home to Manitoba and Thunder Bay that make me want to live another summer out at the lake. On top of that, Del also has a very strong connection to Chicago, in fact the song Chicago tells of an individual leaving the life he had before and heading for the prairies.

I have always believed that the song writing of Del Barber is far beyond many and most musicians out there. Props to Del for weaving some solid words together to form something beautiful.

It is highly recommended that you purchase this album, you can grab a listen to it first.

Last but not least, here is Joshua Michalski doing a cover of If I Told You That I Loved You.

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