I saw Del Barber at one of the Home Routes House Concerts at Shallow Bay this past Sunday. Del is a young guy who is pure-bred prairie boy wearing a cloak of a wandering Canadian troubadour. As all great performers in the singer-songwriter world, Del’s stories are an essential part of his performance. His spoken introductions are usually longer than the songs and are every bit as entertaining. He’s funny, touching and gentle all at the same time, occasionally treading on sensitive ground, usually at his own expense (he seems determined to not take himself too seriously).
Del’s songwriting is good and his singing voice is clear and full, but his guitar playing was the winning pitch for me that evening. Normally a young musician will over-play their instruments with adrenaline force that many times over-shadows the song. Del is a sensitive accompanist to his own songs and the guitar playing always seemed to sit nicely underneath the melodies he sang.
The end result is that it was so easy to hear his lyrics, enjoy his voice and relax into the rhythm of the night. What a wonderful evening.
If you haven’t attended a house concert yet, then I recommend you do so. It’s such a wonderful and intimate way to hear live music. Thanks to Home Routes and MusicYukon for the work they did to bring this wonderful “movement” to the Yukon. It has spun off to a whole series of additional house concerts and the Yukon is starting to hum and buzz through it’s various communities with wonderful, rich and stellar music.