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Del Barber at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg

Del Barber

Del Barber at WECC, Winnipeg, June 18 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo.

Review and photos – Del Barber at WECC, Winnipeg, June 18 2010

– text by eugene osudar/photos by Ailsa Dyson

the voice in the darkness
from an insignificant
big man
all pumped up
full of his muscular self

you bullies
you hecklers

don’t you see
The Power
can’t you feel
The Command

on stage

the adrenaline rushing/
coursing through
the veins
of the true

Big Man

Del Barber

at The WECC
Friday night

to nearly
300 music lovers,
friends and family
and one immense

wanting to command

from the darkness
on the edge

of his sneering
(his envious)

bullies and hecklers
drunks and punks
of the internet age

i have heard
too many
of these voices
at shows,

without pause
without a thought
of hesitation,

Del challenges,

“Just because you lift weights
doesn’t make you big,
you gotta be

on stage


and that voice
that bully
shut his sneer
in the fear

he’s been exposed,

he’s microscopic.

of his phony

and The Skinny
Big Man
all wound
ready to spring
twisting and turning
round the microphone
in command
Del’s towering
flying, soaring
Big and Mighty
and Passionate
on fire

i could feel the heat

on stage

playing, singing, blazing

and oh so proud
of his illimitable

Woody Guthrie’s
wandering minstrel soul
as Mitch Podolak
said of Del Barber to me
many months ago

so many songs
are standards

just like Darren Day
said to me
of Del Barber’s songs
after the first
acoustic set

it’s already written
in my journal,

because i’m singing
along to so many
(nearly) every
so it is written.
so it is truth.

these songs


and there’s no BS
about Del Barber

no two week
tours to Toronto
or Calgary

(those are just,

Del Barber
the true one
in this Winnipeg
music scene

after his brilliant in-store
Wednesday afternoon
at Into The Music

Del told me he has a tough, hard
Home Routes Tour
all the way from Winnipeg
in the heart of the icy winter
driving up to the Yukon
and back again

if you’re a true musician
with talent
with heart
you need to tour
4-6 months a year
and play the towns
and the cities
the ugliest dives
over and over
and over again
and build your audiences
all around this country
and beyond

it’s a circuit
and a grind
it’s a commitment
and belief
in one’s self


in the talent
in the heart
of a minstrel
a poet
a writer
an artist

you have to meet
the challenges
of the assholes

fight it
brawl it
Charles Bukowski
with words
with a poet’s
and sometimes,

with your fists
and your face

cut the cowards
down! to their
they’re parasites.
feeding on the weak.

and dying
before The Big
and The Mighty

Voice and

on stage

The Woody Guthries
The Billy Braggs
The Del Barbers
of this world.

he’ll take his father’s
all wheel drive

he’ll take his songs
his standards

he’ll take his
Woody Guthrie
heart and soul

he’ll take his passion
his belief
he’ll take his friends
and family
his manager’s belief, too
all the Love

he’ll take his courage
for the long,hard ride

and he’ll take on
every bully
every asshole
every loser
every jealous

and he’ll play
Big and Mighty

just like he did Wednesday
just like he did
Friday night at the WECC.

the hot hot 37 minute
acoustic set

Tell Me Where To Start
62 Richmond
The Party Song
Coming Home With The Summer
a Hoyt Axton cover, I Dream of Highways
Katy Sparrow
The Soul of a Land That’s Mine

and then the hour long
set with the band

Love Song For The Last Twenty
As Far As I Can Tell
Miles and Years
Home To Manitoba
Love Is Just a Wrecking Ball
Thunder Bay
Where The City Ends


Neil Young’s Unknown Legend
Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark

and then,
a second encore,

If I Told You I Love You

the players,

Del on acoustic guitar and harmonica
Alan Owen on fiddle
Nadine Klowak on harmony vocals and keys
Bill Western on pedal steel
Caleb Friesen on drums
Luke Enns on guitars
Jean Paul Laurendeau on bass
(and the new cd’s producer)

Nadine Klowak with Del Barber

Nadine Klowak with Del Barber at WECC, Winnipeg, June 18 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo.

the highlights,

a new song about boyhood
hockey games
Gretzky and Messier
and today’s loves
Tell Me Where To Start

songs about a grandiose
liar, 62 Richmond

songs about philosophers
and writers at a party,
from a wild dream,
Nietzsche and Dylan and Jesus
Christ, The Party Song

and i’m just singing along
every one a standard!

a song for his guitar
player Luke and wife
body tingles and shivers
Coming Home
With The Summer

the Hoyt Axton cover is a song
his parents used to duet on,
and with Nadine, oh my,
i’m hearing Emmylou’s
sweet harmonies
the ones she sang with
Gram Parsons!

Katy Sparrow
more sweet harmonies,
again, i’m singing along
composed from a dream
Del’s father had.
and I feel like
i’m listening to Woody
Guthrie, a song about
the voices that aren’t heard
enough, women and kids.

The Soul of a Land That’s Mine,
so many tingles, gorgeous
Nadine and Del!
singing along.

a perfect
acoustic set!

the second set,

i want to dance
and sing and
sing and dance

i want to Move!
i want to RoaR!

Woody Guthrie’s
here, now!

i’m sitting
singing ‘n’
i’m sitting because
i don’t want to take
away from what’s
happening on stage.

Del’s Chicago songs
from his university
days, Chicago
Miles and Years
country songs,
beautiful poems,
heavenly pedal steel,
fiddle and harmonies
soft caress drums.

and back home songs,
Going Home To Manitoba
a perfect song story
set selection.
the story of Del’s song
writer’s journey.

“I shall not be moved…”

Love is Just
Thunder Bay
hot hot songs.

and the encore,

a little Neil Young
just to channel some
star tingles
through our souls
Bruce Springsteen
beautiful heroes.

crazy brilliant keys,

Dancing in the Dark
and some friends
come and lift me

to dance.

and a surprise
(after the house
lights switched on)
second encore,
lights off again

we’re howling along
to the moon and beyond


“i’m all would up
and ready to unwind,
use your imagination…”

the red panties
thrown early on
rest on a monitor.

Del Barber

Panties on the amp – Del Barber at the West End Cultural Centre, June 18, 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo

and the perfect
night is

if i told you
i love you,

your minstrel soul
your words
your melodies
your perfect birds

would you believe

these songs

Darren Day.

this minstrel
is Woody/

Mitch Podolak.

and he’s ours.

My Winnipeg.

Del Barber
June 18.

More Del Barber at WECC Winnipeg photos:

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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