Headwaters opens on a high note. “Love and Wine”, a duet with Catherine MacLellan, is a dark and sombre country tale delivered with beautiful harmonies, spare percussion and atmospheric steel work.
It’s a testament to his song writing and skill, but Barber uses a precise touch on every arrangement. Barber and his band pick up the pace early and often; “Can’t Turn Around” benefits from some heavier guitar and organs work, “Running On A Wire” is the most propulsive and the rich tones of “Queen of July” will make it a CBC staple for years (well, unless Harper simply replaces it with some Nickelback driven Sirius radio slot), but Barber also knows when less is more.
The albums biggest successes come when Del refuses to add any extra notes. The Summer ready, Prine worthy “Hen House Manifesto” is the obvious standout, but “Right Side Of The Wrong” is equally as powerful with its simple, pure story.
Headwaters isn’t written as a checkbox for your hashtag, online presence. The melodies and stories are for the living and deserve fresh air and tire raised gravel and sand. Barber wants you to hit the open road and explore, but he’s willing to settle for you seeing places through his eyes instead of your three inch screen.
If you are coming into one of our stores, we suggest that you confirm that the book you want is in stock by emailing the location nearest you: Grant Park, Saskatoon, or by phoning the location nearest you.