Touring in support of his latest album, Prairieography, Del Barber can hardly wait to hit the stage at the Dream Cafe.
“It’s one of those magical places,” said Barber who is making his third appearance at the Penticton venue.
“You can’t manufacture that, they’ve put a lot of work and care into the place.
“They’ve set the bar high, and I feel I have to meet those expectations and it brings out good things in me.”
With more than 110,000 kilometres worth of touring last year alone, Barber said he doesn’t mind the travelling, in fact prefers to do it all by car whenever possible.
“It gives me a sense of where I am, a sense of place,” he said.
At the same time, Barber explained, playing venues like the Dream Cafe and the opportunity to engage with audience members before and after the shows is one of his favourite things about touring.
It is the stories his audiences share that the storyteller in him welcomes and cherishes.
“Hearing about their lives, that’s a pretty amazing part of this job,” said Barber.
A native of St. Norbert, Man, Barber admits Prairie life, from work to play, has influenced his music and songwriting.
“The language and disposition I have in my music comes directly from the Prairies,” he said.
Barber also draws on his own experience, working jobs across Canada and into the U.S., from the Prairies to the mountains of B.C., from taxi cabs to fishing boats.
Not exactly the perfect life, but it is the nuances of imperfection, the imperfections and ironies of life, that inspire Barber.
In addition to being a skilled storyteller, Barber is also a skilled musician.
Guitar lessons with Chet Breau, son of legendary Canadian guitar player Lenny Breau, combined with hard work are obvious in Barber’s guitar playing which is characterized by impeccable fingering and melodies.
Barber hits the Dream Cafe stage Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. For reservations and tickets call (250) 490-9012