Blackfalds is getting ready to celebrate the grand opening of the Abbey Centre and Del Barber is getting ready to celebrate with it.
Barber, a Winnipeg-based country music artist who will be performing along with Serena Ryder at the Abbey Centre on May 24th, is a big fan of Alberta and is looking forward to performing here once again.
“I love Alberta, I spend probably a third of my year in Alberta either fishing or playing music,” said Barber. He added he may even consider relocating to Alberta at some point in the future.
Barber grew up just south of Winnipeg in the small community of St. Norbert (which has become part of Winnipeg now due to the larger city’s growth.)
He said that the combination of rural and urban influences from his home were what he drew inspiration from heavily while recording his most recent album, Prairieography.
Although Barber has been working professionally as a musician for the past five years, he said that he never made a conscious decision to follow it as a career path, despite being musically inclined his entire life.
“I think music has sort of always been in the family, so it was one of those natural things,” said Barber. “In terms of it being a job, I never really chose it.”
Barber said his journey was a slow one and that his love for music “Just sort of trickled into a career,” after recording his own album which led to a tour that never really ended.
That tour led to three other albums, which brings Barber to the upcoming show at the Abbey Centre in Blackfalds on May 24th.
It is Barber’s friends and family who are to thank for him succeeding as a musician thus far, he said. Barber added the people in his life continued to encourage him in his musical endeavors and as a result helped him grow as a musician, leading him to write songs for the community and his fans, rather than just himself.
It’s no secret that making a career in the music industry is no easy fiscal task.
Barber added encouragement was not the only form of support he needed from his friends and family during his early years as a fledgling musician.
“I did have to lean on a lot of people financially at first just to pay the bills,” said Barber.
He added that for a long time he did not really see life as a musician to be a viable career option.
“I was pretty doubtful about it all along,” said Barber. “I didn’t really think that was an option, to have a career in music.”
Barber’s sound blends an interesting mix of classic and modern country sounds. He said that he grew up listening to the classic country sounds and wishes he could hear them more often.
Therefore, the classic influences in his own music come from a desire to hear that style of music.
However, Barber said the majority of his influences come from landscapes rather than sounds or other artists.
“I spend so much time outside and spend so much time working in the different kinds of geographies we have in this province and the western provinces,” said Barber. “So I think that’s the main influence, is just the vastness of Canada. You can’t help but sound like where you are from.”