80% of podcasts do not survive 10 episodes before giving up and going away. In late November 2012 Kevin Barber and Ryan Cannon started something from scratch, drawing a line in the sand and moving forward week by week for 158 straight weeks.
The show ostensively is about music, but is in fact so much more. What it manages to do every week is bring the magic of live, original music to the home theatre, providing the crucial answers to the questions “Who are you, and why do I care?”
Giving a stage to the best and brightest, newbies and oldies, high and lonesome and dirty blue music from the storied steel city brings with it awesome responsibility and perhaps a little salvation. Your barber is an honest and trusted friend. It doesn’t matter how often you drop in he remembers you and how you like it. It’s his stage but it’s all about you as stories, opinions and sage advice are offered. Painful truths, joyous news and real life events are embraced and discussed until all too soon your time is up and the next head is ready to work on.
Sometimes life has a way of working out – sometimes the sum is greater than the parts, sometimes it just all adds up.
Triply, mystic, and sweetly fierce, Christine Leakey has been artsy since the zoetrope stage of her life. Born to see shapes and colours and blessed with a gorgeous voice, Leakey made music to put those shapes and colours a life of their own. Fearlessly embracing the Hamilton music scene during her Mohawk College years, she used the excellence and support to full advantage, forming what Tim
Gibbons refers to as the first “girl band” of its type out of Hamilton. Double Feature Creature, their CD – Returns, is as raw and fresh as the space girl vibe it offers. Seeing music as a natural extension, the WarholIan pantomime played out in highly charged fits and spurts. It’s hard to nail her sound down easily, and keeping the listener comfortably off foot is kinda what Christine Leakey does best. Giving it her all means going to where they get you, and Christine Leakey has found music family members in all kinds of places. Recording with and art designing American recording art Dave Kerzner’s recent release NEW WORLD, she got to sing with the ladies from Pink Floyd, a thrill to be sure gives you an idea about just how sweet her voice is.
Dropping by on a gorgeous late fall evening, Christine brings some new songs to play live, and some videos of her songs from 2012’s Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure to round off a fun night at Barber Shop Podcast.
The beautiful, gruesome swinging riot that is Sloppy Jalopy is very much the sum of its parts. Just like the band’s namesake, the end product is a an absolutely unique creation of old and familiar pieces. Crafted lovingly by Craig Koshul and Al Barubek a few years ago with the intent of giving a fresh feel to the Bakersfield country, rock-n-roll and Steeltown influences to deliver something that leaves the floor wet and the taps dry wherever they play. Once Jimmy Blair and Derek Spriggs were added to the line up, the rollicking, frolicking rat rod was turning heads as fast as they turned on the heat in whatever room they play. Songs that make you smile, music that’s as tight as it is loose and a bunch of friends having fun is a winning combination for any band, but this one cracks the safe wide open.
Dropping by on a wicked Wednesday on Remembrance Day we all celebrated the gift of freedom and music in a very Barber Shop Podcast way. Spirits were light but the beer sure wasn’t for this one. Too much fun.
In every town there is a sly bar room rocker who carries the mail faithfully through rain, sleet and snow to deliver the goods. Be it in his teen years, raging 20’s – or in this case, his fabulous four ties, Dougy Flyswatter has been a part of the tattered fabric that is the Hamilton music scene and has always served up the basics of good ok home cooking. Provocative lyrics, suggestive titles and infectious hooks make for a sticky recipe for musical mayhem and the good times roll on and on.
Always positive and light-hearted, the attitude and aptitude of this guy are ready made to make the smiles wide in the land of the hammer. Bluesy riffs and nods to life’s sleazier moments bring the bacon home for all those who like it dirty – and good.
Showing up on our first Wednesday in November, Dougy brings the whole damn band of guitarists Blair Jacobs and Jon Ingalls along with long time drummer Carm DiBraccio to make a big racket and a big statement about his present state of musical mind.
Playing some fresh recordings and some cool videos amidst the live tunes, we go heavy on the tunes on this episode of Barber Shop Podcast.
If you’ve seen a show anywhere in the last 25 years, chances are at some point you have seen Frank Koren playing guitar. If you’ve heard more than a few recordings born of these fertile lands, you have likely heard Frank Koren. Long considered top flight in the clutch, Frank had the early passion and knack to pick a melody from thin air and wrap his fingers around the nuances that mark him as more than just a hire gun – more of an assassin actually.
Schooled up all proper, the post graduate world started with a European sojourn and the realization that his prowess matched his hunger, singing for his supper from place to place, the seed now in full bloom.
Strange that it took all these years for the 40 something Koren to record his first album of original material. Recorded with Amy King at Grant Avenue Studio, Red Chair is something much more than a collection of Koren’s missives, it is a broad palate of sound and emotion – stretching beyond the predictable into a place that at once comforts and challenges the listener while maintaining a centric balance that belies the distance travelled. Drawing on a career time’s relationships and friendships, the cast of players is a veritable who’s who of tasteful players – each one tailor made for the pattern laid bare before them.
Bringing just a wee hybrid acoustic and a bagful of stories, we spin some tales, some yarns and some heads right before Halloween in this episode of Barber Shop Podcast.
October 21, 2015 was, as you know, the “future” date in which Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) arrives having been flung from 1985 to 1955 and…. Well…. It was kinda a big deal. Long, long ago, Ryan and Kevin were just leaving the podcast nest when Graham Peacefull and Joey Balducchistopped in to chat about Blind Mule, their sideways smile of a ska stained suburban inde roots outfit, their members and mission a story of positivity and gratitude. Dark rivers are crossed with ease when the infectious rhythms and smart word play get wrapped in harmonies that nurture the offerings so perfectly.
At that time, in December of 2012, the studio was not as it is today, and Graham and Joey were content to spin a few tracks from their recent CD, and spoke at length about the inception and impetus of the band. All these weeks later, Ryan, Gary and Kevin finally bagged a mule, catching the group refreshed, renewed and sporting some new material. No need for a lot of chatter in this one, the story’s origin having been laid out so long ago. No, this episode delivers all killer and no filler as we feature a 4 live, 1 track show of great original music with all 5 guys – Graham Peacefull, Joey Balducchi, Jon Edwards, Gabe Atkinsonand Josh Snively all givin er, live in studio.
Keeping it short and sweet we dive right in with a great look and listen into Blind Mule as they hit full groove and never let go. This story isn’t over – the boys are going to be back real soon as the wood shedding and mojo of heavy stage work and swaying crowds pour their energy into the production of their second album.
Thank the lord as we sit down and jam out some of life’s mysteries on Barber Shop Podcast.
Chris Altmann is one of those rare individuals for whom music is not just a profession but an all consuming passion. Discovering his chops and purpose in his youth, the gamut from Bon Scott to Bob Dylan made for a very heady mix indeed. Playing pretty well anything that was put in front of him with seeming ease, Altmann started gigging up and down the coast of his native Australia, making friends and waves the entire time – this guy is special.
Highly sought after for his sublime work on pedal steel, Canadian artists and producers have kept CJ Altmann busy working with some of the country’s bright lights while continuing to work his own music to a beautifully sharp point.
Stopping by on a crisp October evening, CJ Altmann brings his guitar, a couple of beautiful records, and his easy style to Barber Shop Podcast and in turn, the whole world in Hi Def and Hi Fidelity.
Always real, always good, always real good – on Barber Shop Podcast.
Any true work of art begins with the artisan, every painting, sculpture or song a reflection of the hand and mind behind the vision. Crazy Things is not only the name of Duane Rutter’s new record, it is the gem carved and polished from the stone that he himself unearthed.
These collection of songs began to form and mature in step with Rutter’s renewed determination and activity a couple of years ago and as the onion peeled and eyes teared, the songs began to grow into something altogether wonderful with a cast of Hamilton heavyweights alongside. Andrew Aldridge brings his guitar, arrangement and engineering genius to the mix and the addition of Nick Burson, Carrie Ashworth and Steve Woods make a gorgeous palate for JB Reed’s hauntingly evocative vocals as the perfect sound to embrace Duane Rutter’s signature sound. Deep, lush production at Hamilton’s Grant Avenue Studio are thanks to Amy Grant and Aldrew’s touch – allowing them to take some magical keyboard tracks from none other than Garth Hudson – he of The Band fame. Recorded under a starry night in upstate New York, these stems were woven into the albums final cut with a haunting efficiency.
Always bringing you the best live music right to your good place, Barber Shop Podcast does it again thanks to Duane and JB Reed sharing their gift on this early October in Wednesday. Bring it on in spades, there is no going back on this – or any other night.
Chris Strei is a perfect example of the guy who make up the overwhelming majority of working musicians, the blue collar grinder. Born and raised in Brantford, the city just west of Hamilton, Strei was one of a throng of pubescent wanna-be’s in his high school, the cool factor of the instrument providing the perfect foil for the journey ahead. Nothing spectacular, no magic moment – just a steady progression of music and words to the point of original art. Cover songs on the chicken wing circuit keep the chops and balance up as he and his band Minus Everything turn thought to music, releasing the 9 song disc Faces to the public, the full band a fresh take on a power trio. Great hooks, straight up and decent all around, Chris Strei gives a good account of himself, everyone’s little guy who carries a decent stick.
Just two guys talking and playing music on another great Wednesday night at Barber Shop Podcast.
Nate Waldes carries with him the quiet desperate rage of the poet and seeker, perhaps a bit too smart for his own good. When you can see and interpret, channel and reflect with such precision, life can be a bitter pill if you let it. Vision and delivery in one tight package, the wood toned roots Waldes displays are earnest and hard won. Writing early and often, his use of the familiar and paradox reflects well on the new generation of Hamilton singer-songwriters. Steeped in the vinyl tea and inspired by a kindred spirit, his love of music became a natural extension of his soul, deep and reflective.
Stoping by on a brilliant autumn evening, Nate Waldes brings with him his soon-to-be released 5 song CD NATE OF EARTH and a few new ones he shares live. Full of great hooks and reason, his music transcends the bedroom folk rock genre it serves so well with every bitter-sweet note. Without these reminders in every generation of songwriter, the road to enlightenment would not be so clearly lit. Praise be the writer and poet in us all as we roll another fat episode of Barber Shop Podcast.