Canadian country group the James Barker Band is heading to Red Deer later this month on their Game On tour.
The group was in Red Deer last summer when they toured with Canadian country star Dean Brody.
The group’s debut EP Game On was released last April, and came out on the heels of their popular song releases of Long Chair Lazy, Just Sayin’ and Chills.
“It had a pretty diverse sound because we’ve been working on so many different things at the same time. I think each song sounds different, but they all sound like the James Barker Band at the same time,” said band member James Barker.
The Ontario-based group met through different circles in the music world.
“Connor and I actually met when we were 16 when we were at a band camp, and so we started playing together right away.”
Barker said he met the other two, Bobby and Taylor, through playing the bar circuit in Ontario, as they were playing in different bands.
“We met up that way and found out we could go out on tour without killing each other and said, ‘Well, we better start a band’.”
For Barker himself, his transition into music began with playing the fiddle when he was just four-years-old.
His mother, too, was a big influence, as she was a guitar player and singer/songwriter.
“From that age on that’s all I wanted to do. My biggest goal in life was to get to Nashville. I remember wanting to go there and move there when I was 16 and my parents wouldn’t let me, but this has really been all I ever wanted to do,” he said.
Flash forward to today. The dream has come true for Barker as the group splits their time between their home province of Ontario and Nashville.
Their latest track, Good Together will be released Jan. 19th, a song that’s more along the romantic side of things.
“There’s so many things that encompass country music, things that go good together like beer and chicken wings, that most people in other genres probably wouldn’t understand what we’re talking about,” said Barker.
He added that these things can often be metaphors for relationships.
When it comes to the group’s musical influences, it’s a wide range. For Barker, one of his first influences was George Strait, a legend in the country music world.
Nowadays, his influences come from the likes of Eric Church and Keith Urban, all the way over to Led Zeppelin and the Arctic Monkeys.
The group is currently on tour and will be heading out to Red Deer’s Bo’s Bar & Grill on Jan. 29th.