Saturday, March 1st, 2008
CONTEST – Matthew Barber / Ghost Notes
Photo by Catherine Stockhausen
Some might challenge the legitimacy of “singer-songwriter” as a genre because as vague and pigeonhole-y as epithets as “jazz”, “rock” or “country” might be, they at least give some indication as to the musical gene pool from which an artist is descended. But what does “singer-songwriter” tell you? That the person in question both sings and writes. That’s helpful.
But consider Toronto’s Matthew Barber, who releases his new album Ghost Notes this week. It’s too soft to file under “rock”, too jauntily contemporary for the folk crowd and let’s not even get into the whole “pop” thing, whatever that might mean these days. And so we’re left with the singer – he has a fine voice, expressive and articulate yet not elastic enough to allow over-singing – and the songwriting, which covers the well-worn terrain of love and heartache but is well-crafted and mated to fine musicianship and sharp, yet subtle arrangements. It’s all quite pleasant but a bit overly-soft for my tastes. But hey, that’s singer-songwriter for ya.
Barber is playing an in-store at Sonic Boom next Thursday evening, March 6, at 7PM then jaunts down to Austin for some SxSW action before returning to his home and native land for the cross-Canada “Sibling Revelry” tour with sister Jill Barber which stops in at the Rivoli on April 3 (Chart and BeatRoute talk to both Barbers about the upcoming tour). And, courtesy of Stage Fright Publicity, I’ve got three copies of Ghost Notes to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want some hot singer-songwriter action” in the subject line and your full mailing address in the body. Get these in to me by the time Barber takes the Sonic Boom stage at 7PM on March 6 and, for a change, this contest is open to anyone anywhere.
And you can stream the whole record on his MySpace right now.