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Game On – James Barker Band

Game On by the James Barker Band is what country has become and it’s not that bad.

I like a lot of different music. Some Pantera on the way to work to get pumped. Maybe some Yelawolf to pass the day. Maybe Tupac for the rush hour home and some Tim McGraw if I end up doing yard work. My issue is nothing new has caught my ear in a while. Even my old standbys have either not made music or what they have made has been pretty so-so. Then I was introduced into the James Barker Band and I found my new summer “jams”.

The band won emerging new artist at the Boots and Hearts Music Festival, and the next year they were signed to Universal Music; last April their debut Game On dropped. The album and band would go on to be nominated for 2 Junos for Country album of the year and Breakthrough artist of the year. Sadly they didn’t win the breakthrough group but they did win Country Album of the Year. With good reason.

The single Lawn Chair Lazy is a summer classic. I don’t know if it is nostalgia or what but when a man talks about a clear sky and day drinking I think of being at the lake. Songs like Chills, Just Saying and Working are great songs to get up and dance to. Throwback and Living the Dream are also in the tone of Lawn Chair Lazy. Fun songs that can bring back a good memories. To things like mixed tapes, cd’s, using the college fund to party and so on. They just come off as a new version of good ole boys, never meaning no harm. It is nice to see a Canadian act get so popular.

Now I do have a small beef with the album. The run time is only 22:21, meaning going to the gym you could listen to the whole thing three times over. Also yes I hate to admit it, it is that new pop/country sound. If you’re looking for “hardcore country” with a twang, this isn’t going to do it for you. The fact is though, I would say this is what country has become.

The Boot

I did have a chance to see them live this May Long at the Rainmaker rodeo here in St. Albert. First I have to say they can get seemingly unused new cowboy boots and daisy dukes out for a good time. I had never been to a country show before, the fact was it was really good. All the acts Emo LeBlanc, River Town Saints (Another up and comer), Dan Davidson (Great show for the hometown boy) and of course James Barker Band were all great. The only thing is being so new, the catalog isn’t very big. I would love to see them again after another album comes out. But they were able to get the crowd up and moving, having a great time.

Good Together is the most recent single released by the band as they have seemed to be constantly touring we can only hope another album is on the way…

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