Canadian Singer-Songwriter Del Barber Drops 'I Told You So' From Upcoming Album 'Almanac'
By Jason Schneider.
“I wrote it before my dad passed — before he was even sick — but it became an anthem for me in the months after his passing,” says three-time Juno Award nominee Del Barber about his new song, “I Told You So.” Originally written from the perspective of Barber’s neighbour who’d lost her husband, the song’s interpretation of grief has such a universal quality that even Barber ended up applying to his own life, but maybe that was its purpose all along. “Looking back, I feel like this song was a gift from [my dad],” he says.
“They were a great team,” recalls Barber, thinking about his neighbuor and her late husband. “They had land and a nice string of horses. ” When he passed, he left a hole in her life that was — and is — impossible to fill and she still catches herself talking to him. "I Told You So" is her telling her late husband about the silly little moments she wishes he could’ve been there for, and while it’s a simple premise, Barber’s song lands heavily—certainly more so for anyone who has been in the same situation. “No one wants to hear ‘I told you so.’”
“I Told You So” and Barber’s recently released single “Still Got You” are both songs from his upcoming album Almanac. Set for release on April 28th via acronym Records, Almanac follows Barber’s acclaimed 2021 album Stray Dogs: Collected B-Sides Vol. 1, made during the height of pandemic restrictions. While Stray Dogs brought Barber to the end of one season, Almanac doggedly led him into the next.
Barber wrote the 12 songs that make up his eighth studio album with collective intention. “I want my work to be seen as subtle by definition,” he says. “I want my statements to come across as questions rather than decrees or opinions. Some of these songs are descriptions of my world through my own eyes; a way of songwriting I’ve never felt I’ve done well until now. Writing Almanac felt like I had another chance. It felt like spring.”
After writing Almanac on his farm 400 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, where he lives with his wife and two children, 3-time Juno Award nominee Del Barber took his road band to the city. The whole of Almanac was recorded at No Fun Club in the space of one week with co-producers Grant Siemens and Scott Franchuk. Barber says that he wanted the atmosphere in the studio to be spontaneous and collaborative, traits that certainly shine through on Almanac’s lively, unpolished sound. “It was a really beautiful session,” Barber says. “There were no grand intentions, just an aim to get good players and friends together and record a pile of my songs. Going into this session I really wanted to enjoy the process, not think too hard, and just keep it simple and honest. I had a group of great songs and I really didn’t want to stand in their way.”
CROSS-CANADA TOUR 2023 (All dates with Lucette)
April 4 - Rochedale MB - Roots At Rusty's
April 5 - Regina SK - The Artesian
April 6 - Medicine Hat AB - Casa Amigos
April 7 - Red Deer AB - The Velvet Olive
April 8 - Longview AB - Twin Cities Saloon
April 11 - Penticton BC - Dream Cafe
April 12 - Vancouver BC - Biltmore Cabaret
April 13 - Kelowna BC - Red Bird Brewing
April 14 - Prince George BC - Books & Company
April 15 - Demmit AB - Community Centre
April 16 - Jasper AB - Legion Branch 31
April 17 - Edmonton AB - The Aviary
April 18 - Saskatoon SK - The Bassment
April 20 - Winnipeg MB - Park Theatre
April 21 - Thunder Bay ON - Branch 5 Legion
April 23 - Huntsville ON - Legion Branch 232
April 25 - London ON - Rum Runners
April 26 - Hamilton ON - Mills Hardware
April 28 - Toronto ON - Dakota Tavern
April 29 - Burnstown ON - Neat Cafe
April 30 - Ottawa ON - Live On Elgin
May 1 - Montreal QC - Casa del Popolo
May 2 - Quebec City QC - l'Anti Bar
May 4 - Fredericton NB - Broken Record
May 6 - Dartmouth NS - The Buffalo Club