Hailing from Lindsay, Ontario, the James Barker Band got their first big break when they won the 2015 Boots and Hearts Music Festival Emerging Artist Competition. Their debut single, “Lawn Chair Lazy,” was one of my absolute favorite summer jams this year and also the fastest rising debut single in Canadian history.
“Lawn Chair Lazy was a laid back summer song that was more for the guys. It was a lot of fun,” says frontman James Barker. “With the new single, Just Sayin’, we wanted something a little more upbeat. It was more for the girls,” he laughs.
If one thing is for certain, these guys know how to make good music and have fun doing it. They are not a group that takes themselves too seriously and perhaps nothing demonstrates that more than their pre-show ritual.
“We do this thing called “feed the chicken” where one of us puts a hand out like it’s full of chicken feed and the rest of us peck it like we’re chickens,” laughs Barker. “I’m not even sure how we started that.”
They returned to the main stage at the Boots and Hearts Music Festival this year and even got together with headliner Dierks Bentley for a surprise show days before the festival.
At Whiskey Riff, it’s well known that we only employ people we think can beat Dierks Bentley in a shotgun race. When asked who would take the title of the fastest in James Barker Band, the frontman was quick to give that honor to their drummer. “I think we’re all pretty good, but probably Connor.”
I’m sure you guys watch hockey?
“Of course! Unfortunately, we’re all Leafs fans so maybe someday we’ll get down to Chicago and watch some real hockey with you guys.”
Hockey fans, cold beer fans and country music makers, these guys are living and breathing everything that Whiskey Riff loves. Check out their new single, “Just Sayin” and be sure to keep an eye for more from the James Barker Band. You won’t be disappointed.